A romance with sizzling grills

Meat and Poultry on Sizzling StonePhoto: Hari Shanker R   | Photo Credit: Hari Shanker R

A piece of delectable, tender chicken leg, a juicy, well-marinated lamb, and delicious steak laced in sauce are neatly assorted and served in a platter, steaming hot. If this sounds irresistible to you, the ‘Sizzling Stone’ Festival at the sea-facing Bait restaurant at Vivanta By Taj, Kovalam is an event you should not miss.

“Through the festival, we have put our best foot forward to offer an unforgettable culinary experience to gastronomes in the city,” says Rishikesh Rai, Executive Chef at Vivanta by Taj, Kovalam.

What exactly is a sizzler? “Sizzlers are essentially open-roasted, shallow fried fish, meat or vegetable dishes that are usually served on hot metal plates with a wooden base. The name of the dish eponymously comes from the sizzling (hissing) sound that emanates as the dish is prepared and served,” he says.

The fete gets its name from special, imported stones that are used.

“Our dishes are not only cooked, but also served on specially carved stones from the Swiss Alps (instead of metal plates that are usually used to serve most sizzler dishes),”says Rishikesh.

According to the chef, this technique helps retain the heat and the sizzle of the dish for a long time. “The heat-absorbing and retaining capacity of the stone also helps in facilitating a better marination of meat, thus offering a far better taste,” he explains.

There are three variants of sizzlers to choose from. ‘Meat and Poultry on Sizzling Stone’ offers a unique combination of prime steak served with black pepper and teriyaki sauce, ‘patthar gosht’ (a popular Hyderabadi mutton dish), cumin and saffron scented corn-fed chicken, and duck with orange and coconut sauce.

Then there is the Seafood Sizzler, which includes a fillet of snapper laced in Coorg vinegar pesto (a unique dark tart vinegar sauce that offers a distinct taste – more known for its local name – kachampuli), along with carom dil infused prawn, Bahti spiced lobster as well as a local extravaganza – the Kovalam spiced squid. The menu also includes a vegetarian sizzler that includes Stone grills peppers and cottage cheese with pineapple shashlik, hand-crushed spiced mushroom and baby corn, raw banana potato and dry-fruit stuffed cake along with kappa chops. All the dishes are served with Kerala porotta and dal.

Among the dishes, the seafood sizzler appeals to us, and we order it without much ado. The Bahti spiced lobster dish, is rich in exotic flavours. The snapper-fillet is also worth mentioning for its unique taste, thanks to the Coorg vinegar pesto. The fried pineapple pieces that comes with the sizzler not only balances the palette but also makes the dish all the more delectable.

Our dishes retain the sizzle even after 15 minutes-post serving, unlike normal dishes of the same kind which lose the warmth in a shorter duration. The chef also offers us a piece each of the cumin and saffron chicken and the patthar gosht. Both the dishes have tender, well marinated pieces. The juicy, patthar gosht, my pick of the day, concludes the hearty meal. The dinner is more memorable for its exquisite dining experience than the scrumptious taste of the dishes.

The fete is on till July 27. It is open for lunch (12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m.) and dinner (7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m.). The seafood sizzler costs Rs. 1,050 per person (plus taxes) and the meat and poultry sizzler costs Rs. 850 per person (plus taxes).The vegetarian sizzler is priced at Rs. 600 per person (plus taxes). Contact: 0471-6613000.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 12:55:10 PM |

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