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A delightful treat

A pleasant ambience and variety fare. The Leisure Hotel of Black Thunder Resort has all this and more

A delectable spread.

THERE IS something more to a dining experience than just mouth-watering delicacies and a cuisine that suits your palate.

The ambience also matters a lot. Something I discovered after checking out this restaurant.

Breathtaking scenery, lush green lawns, the misty skies above, a close view of the beautiful Western Ghats and, of course, variety fare - the Leisure Hotel of Black Thunder Resort offers all this.

Located off the main road that leads to Udhagamandalam, the hotel is ideally suited for weekend revellers (the Black Thunder theme park is a few steps away).

You could partake all the scrumptious items gazing at the open skies and enjoying the cool breeze that wafts through the area. Let's get on to the menu now (before I forget!). There are more than 60 items in the vegetarian section and the non-vegetarian counter is also quite impressive.

The 36-cover restaurant offers North Indian, South Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine.

But, it is the lawn service (that seats 40) that is popular here.

Set amidst coconut trees, the bamboo-canopied dining areas have a special charm.

Expectedly, most customers prefer eating here. Even the seats and dining tables are made of bamboo, giving the entire place a natural feel.

"Though tourists come in large numbers, it is the corporate clients who form a major part of our customer base," says A.V.R. Srinivasan, Manager of the Resort.

"Most people like the lawn service. We made these arrangements to give the diners a back-to-nature experience," he adds.

Dining in salubrious surroundings. Pics: S. Siva Saravanan.

The menu is quite expansive (more than 10 soups and a lot of items to choose from the main course).

The advantage is that you can also order items that are not in the menu.

"We cannot stick to the menu as the customers' tastes are quite varied," explains A. Periyaswamy, Food and Beverage Manager of the hotel.

The butter naan was soft and the Chicken Shahjahani that was served as an accompaniment left a sweet taste on the tongue.

The cashew-heavy dish offset the spicy food that one got to savour in the non-vegetarian section.

"Curries and South Indian food are also quite popular here," says S. Natarajan, Executive Chef of the hotel.

The chilli chicken is not the regular on that you get to taste. For a change, it didn't have a reddish tinge to it.

The Szechwan Chilli Chicken looked very much like Chicken Manchurian. But the similarity ended there. The addition of ginger only made it all the more spicy. The Khas Seekh Kebab (minced mutton mixed with spices) was quite bland. The mint chutney went well with this Mughlai delicacy. To round off the meal, try the Bagala Bhath (glorified thayir saadham). The rice cooked in milk with butter and yoghurt, was truly appetising.


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