Spice Republic is the new cuisine mall. Check it out
Photo: K. Gajendran
FOODIES CAN now indulge - what with lip-smacking bhel puri, Cream of chicken soup, Hawaiian coleslaw and a latte, all being made available under one roof. Welcome to the Spice Republic, a cuisine mall that brings together five culinary traditions Tex-Mex, Italian, Chinese, Continental and Indian. "Enchiladas and continental salads are mostly available in star hotels. We wanted to offer the same for the first time in a food court," says Aijaz Ali, CEO, Spice Republic, a hospitality expert with over 25 years of earlier association with noted chains such as ITC Sheraton and Hotel Viceroy. "Big Chef is an ode to Chef Vishy's culinary expertise," he adds. Teaming up in the venture is Vishy, Director Chef, Spice Republic, a hotel management graduate from IHMCTAN, Chennai, with over 24 years of experience with noted chains such as Novotel, the French group, Garrisons, Royal Caribbean Carnival Cruise Liners and more. And together they bring contemporary global dining experience at Big Chef the cuisine court and Iceberg ice cream and desserts parlour, here.
"Casual hassle free dining is coming into being. Bright ambience is also taking ground," says Aijaz. Absence of elaborate laminated menus, intimidating Kenny G and subdued lighting says it all. Enter informal service counters, for soups and salads, snacks and beverages, main course, ices and desserts, in that order, each with overhead unfussy menu, and a display kitchen in the background. The ambience is also tad cool - glossy panels, neon lights, colourful vases and fresh pink carnations, tiles in refreshing lemon and sea green offset with an off white acoustic ceiling, overhead televisions that dish out the soccer flavour of the season, soothing pop from the 80s, and the familiar beep of the electronic token display announcing your order - a pre-plated tray comprising Kentucky Fried lolly pop or even the biryani with cola! "This has been a deliberate attempt to present Indian cuisine in a Western service concept," he adds.
"We have equal number of takers for the various styles of cuisine. Our pizzas are doing really well, especially those with kheema and chicken tikka toppings. Our combo meals such as Kadi chawal and Chilli chicken with noodle are popular over lunch," explains Chef Vishy.
Amidst the global fare, one also finds a generous helping of the traditional Dum ka murgh, Dahi badey and Mirchi ka salan as also a fusion fare - Chinese and Mexican bhel puri, made with Chinese noodles and tortillas respectively, at Big Chef. Iceberg is the cold stop for designer ice creams -- Ice Maiden, a chocolate-based dollop, and desserts - Chocolate mousse and Caramel custard. On the anvil at the cuisine mall is Blue Nile, a fine dining restaurant with an oceanesque ambience and a global gourmet fare. For now drop in at Spice Repu blic (12 noon-midnight; Vista Grand Towers, Raj Bhavan Road, Tel: 23318403) for a hot chocolate or a filling Egg curry and rice. Bon appetite.
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