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Peppered with passion

PRAMEET NARULA CHOUDHARY
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Experience From tequila to tortilla, the Tex-Mex food festival at The Lalit teasesyour taste buds

Something fishy!Tuna taco with onions
Something fishy!Tuna taco with onions

At a recent Mexican food promotion festival held at the 24/7 Bar at the Lalit Hotel, I started the meal with some crunchy coated peanuts and a bowl of cheese lings, reminiscing of the desi way to pair Mexican shooters and cocktails.

Although a not-so-large bar, 24/7 offers a relatively private and comfortable seating arrangement overlooking the bar counter . The decor is simple yet elegant with anthurium flower arrangement and the low lights adding to the quixotic ambience.

The entire meal had a whiff of decadence starting with the Margarita infused with melon liquor and tequila. I don’t prefer the melon flavour with my cocktails, but this acid trip convinced me that it was quite a sensory sensation. For entrees, our table split wild fire wings – a signature dish made with deep-fried chicken wings tossed in BBQ sauce, tuna taco with onions; cheese enchilada and deep fried poblano chilli. The tortillas were exceptional. I typically don’t like flour tortillas, but these did not have the “floury” taste to them. The meal’s highlight was the poblano chilli, the perfectly spiced chillies let the complexity of the flavours merge and slowly unfold on my tongue.

The Tex-Mex food festival definitely deserved for an indulgence. As I moved on to some more serious food, it was time for a break with another round of tequilas and this time, I ordered shooters. The tequila fuego is a sure winner, smooth tequila and a hint of lime juice are followed by hot jalapeño chilli sauce. This drink deserves at least a 9 on 10.

Shrimp quesadilla is next dish in but I asked for a vegetarian version for myself. The dips served along – sour cream, salsa and guacamole – were simply irresistible. Guacamole was fresh – nothing fancy, but made with perfectly ripened avocados. If I had to live on one food, it would definitely be guacamole.

Our gastronomic journey was a delight as I chatted away with sous chef Ravi Kant. While he shared his many experiences with continental cooking, I also managed to sneak away a few secret recipes! After an eating extravaganza and a sweet ending to our Mexican culinary treat, it was time we said adios amigos!

PRAMEET NARULA CHOUDHARY

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