Food

A deep-sea affair

Scenes from the sea food festival

Scenes from the sea food festival   | Photo Credit: M Periasamy

Le Meridien’s seafood festival celebrates coastal cuisine from across India

Le Meridien’s restaurant Latest Recipe looks like a beachside town with a variety of stalls and the aroma of fish curry tickling my nostrils. It’s the seafood dinner buffet and I am hungry to try it all.

The chefs have included a variety of dishes in the menu. From fish tikki, crab cake, stuffed calamari (squid), prawns 65, Karimeen pollichathu, and Goan fish curry to fish biriyani and mini dosa with fish masala, there is a lot on offer. The festival celebrates cuisines from south India – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra, Karnataka and Goan.

Chef Sakthivel Kathirvel, the senior sous chef, loves to experiment with his dishes. “The crab idlis were inspired by a Thai dish called Booja. I made these idlis using crab meat, coconut milk, south Indian spices, eggs and curry leaves.”

The fish is carefully selected. “I believe in authenticity of taste. The freshness of the fish and masala are equally important. Ready-made masalas can’t assure you the quality. I grind the spices myself. That is the secret of the rich aroma,” he smiles.

At the Oviya snack bar

At the Oviya snack bar   | Photo Credit: M Periasamy

I begin with a portion of crab cake, stuffed calamari, prawn 65 and assorted sea fries from the Oviya snack bar. Kathirvel laughs when I ask him about the stall’s name. “I wanted to name it Nayanthara. But my colleagues say Oviya is the latest sensation.”

The crab cake is soft and not too spicy. Stuffed calamari (fish-filled squid) is a treat inside a treat. Assorted sea food fries, served with French fries, are crispy and I feel like munching on the golden fried squid and fish .The spicy prawn 65 is lip smacking and I am ready for a second helping.

Sea food at the festival

Sea food at the festival   | Photo Credit: M Periasamy

The next round brings the sura meen puttu, Karimeen pollichathu and Goan fish curry. I teamed these with idli and crab idli. The yellow sura meen puttu, is delicious and the flavours of shark, gingelly oil, curry leaves and mustard blend perfectly. Karimeen pollichathu, a traditional Kerala delicacy wrapped in wilted banana leaf, left my Malayali heart throbbing. The grill is perfect and the fish so soft that it falls apart.

The orange Goan fish curry is deliciously sour and goes well with the flufy crab idli. The combined taste of crab and egg is new. The crispy aasai dosa with fish masala explodes in the mouth.

The fragrance of the steaming fish biriyani makes me fall in love with it. The perfectly blended flavours, urge me to dig in. This is definitely one of the best fish biriyanis I have ever had.

I end my meal with a round of fresh badam milk and hot jalebis. The milk is warm and its rich taste lingering.With every bite of the jalebi, sugar syrup oozes out and I can’t stop with one. This is indeed a dinner to remember.

Quick facts

When: until July 30 from 7.00 to 11.00 pm

Where: Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Avinashi Road

Call: 0422-2364343 for reservations

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 4:31:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/seafood-festival-at-le-meridian/article19358152.ece

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