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Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005

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Parandi, paratha, and poolside

Traditional food in a rustic ambience. — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

EATING BY the poolside in summer is a welcome relief to the scorched souls of Bangalore. Le Meridien takes the hot opportunity to host its ongoing Punjabi food fest called Sanjha Chula at its poolside. The fest, in buffet style, is on till March 13.

Rustic ambience

Some intelligent lighting and a rustic ambience act as the perfect backdrop for this fest. Instead of the usual five star dιcor, Le Meridien has not only made arrangements to serve up Punjabi delicacies, but also its vibrant culture. The male staff is dressed in traditional pathan suits while the women wear bright Punjabi suits with matching parandis on their long tresses. That's not all; even the food is displayed in an unusual manner. There are separate thatched enclosures that serve chats, lassi and tandoors. The last section has parathas, and the rotis (made on order). After your short walk through the various food sections, its time to indulge in the food, designed by Chef Vijaya Bhaskaran and Chef Saini.

The food, for a change, offers wide options for both the vegetarians and the non-vegetarians. While a non-vegetarian can treat himself to sheek kebabs and murg masala, the veggie can bite into the sabz til kebab or the lasooni paneer tikka. You can down a pint of complementary beer or lassi to soothe your parched throats.

The lassi comes in options of sweet and salt. The starters include chats such as bhelpuri, samosa, aloo tikki and dahi wadas. But if you want to start with chats rather than kebabs, it's better to skip the beer and stick to the lassi.

The main course is lined up in large, traditional, copper utensils, placed on a bullock cart! To add to it, the serving spoons are also made of copper.

This section serves the typical baingan ka bhartha along with sarson da saag, aloo gobi along with the murgh handiwala, kadai machali and dhaba gosht. They are cooked well, with moderate spices though. But then there are raw onions and green chillies to add on if you prefer your food spicier.

In the dessert section, there are fruits such as papaya and pineapple vying for our attention with ice creams, served with hot jalebis and gulab jamuns which are made right before your eyes.

With traditional Punjabi songs adding to the ambience, one only misses bhangra performance to complete the Punjabi experience. For reservations dial 22262233, Extension: 4471/72. The fest is open only for dinners.


Ambience: Rustic
Specialty: Traditional Punjabi food
Service: Self service (buffet)
Wallet factor: Rs. 650 per head, plus taxes

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