Monsoon at The Park has a new thrust on dishes that go beyond generic, binary choices into more interesting influences and flavours

It’s that time of year again, when the various premier hotels in the city go through their annual menu redesigns. The latest outlet to undergo a culinary facelift is Monsoon at The Park.

The focus this time, says Chef Abhijit Saha, has been on showcasing certain specific cuisines from around the globe. Thus, one of the most noticeable changes on the menu is the renewed focus on Indonesian, Thai and Malaysian cuisine as well as contemporary European cuisine, including a few Moroccan influences.

Among the starters, for instance, there’s the Indonesian minced seafood satay, a gentle creation that is at once light and succulent. Also on offer is a rather interesting tod man pla fish cake, a Thai recipe flavoured with lime leaves. For the main course, there is the Balinese vegetable curry with steamed rice that just powers its way through one’s system. From the desserts, there’s the Thai style coconut custard.

The European section features such additions as the tea-smoked reef cod with cherry tomato mushroom, green beans and champagne sauce and mushroom risotto cake with roasted vegetables and gorgonzola sauce.

As far as the Indian section of the menu goes, explains Chef Saha, the menu aims to delve deeper into regional cuisines and dishes that are more off the beaten track. Among the appetisers are south Indian specialities such as masala vada and paniyaram, which, while having a bit too much of a restaurant feel to them, still manage to excite the tongue.

For the main course, one could try the prawn in Bengali style mustard sauce, the fisherman’s pomfret curry, appam and cauliflower salad (an Everyman fish curry) or the Mangalorean aubergine and coconut curry, sambhar and steamed rice. There’s even a Mangalorean dessert to go with this section — manni, an exquisite, full-bodied pudding of rice flour, coconut milk and jaggery.

The restaurant also boasts a special “Slim and Trim menu” created specifically for the weary traveller or those looking to eat out, but eat right. There’s a whole range of vitalisers to try, including a very refreshing and satisfying carrot, tomato and celery vitaliser. The focus of this section, says Saha, has been on achieving balance, consuming more fruits and vegetables, healthier ingredients and low-fat dishes. The best part is that as every bite of the multigrain pizza with chicken tikka, pickled onion and coriander showed, this section of the menu is no less delicious or exciting than any of the others.

And with a host of other interesting options such as creative sandwiches, unique soups and more, Monsoon not only leaves the customer spoilt for choice but also provides options that go beyond generic, binary choices into more interesting influences and flavours. Contact Monsoon at The Park on 25594666.

RAKESH MEHAR

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