Many bites, same delight

WHEN THE rosemary flavoured braised lamb hails from Morocco and the spicy fried rice preparation comes from Indonesia, you know you are being taken to the far end of the culinary universe. Tangerine, the latest addition to the crowded and quirky gathering of restaurants and bars in the posh Sahara Mall at Gurgaon, is an exciting example of world gourmet cuisine. It comes courtesy exporter-turned-restaurateur, Varinder Baweja and his experienced food and beverage team. They've even brought over an Orient Express chef to infuse a touch of class in the kitchen.

There are three seemingly separate locations at Tangerine, although the lounge, dining room and bar do not feel very different from each other. It is fine to order the starters if you're in the lounge, where the menu offers inspired small dishes like cheese stuffed crumb fried mushrooms with a hot chilly dip, sesame crumb coated river sole cubes, fried crisp and served with the signature Tangerine Sauce and the lamb chilly with melted cheddar cheese.

A versatile band from Goa plays during the evenings, and the menu swings for the fences with each and every dish. The simplest starter is murgh tikka with a coriander dip and salad, while the Lebanese shish touk - succulent morsels of boneless chicken marinated with garlic, lemon and olive oil - char grilled and served on pita bread with a garlic dip seems like a hearty one-chef dish, compared with all-out main course productions like chicken steak, vegetable moussaka or the grilled fish.

At Tangerine there's a lot to eat and talk about, even in the smallest of dishes. The pasta with chicken, an unusual combination of French and Italian, simply assumes that there is nothing in the rulebookpreventing white wine scented pasta from finding happiness with a hopping chicken, as long as you bring on a tangy cheesy sauce and brighten the picture with delicate fresh wintergreens or a red pepper relish. For desserts, the brules and brownies are there but give them a skip for once and try out something different, the pineapple mousse cake.

Chicken comes through with flying colours, as it must in a restaurant located North of the country. Ask for chicken suya, one of Tangerine's fast moving numbers - peanut paprika flavoured chicken fillet skewers, grilled and served with a spicy chilly tomato onion dip. The teriyaki chicken wings cooked with soy, sherry, honey and ginger juice is another dish a little different from the usual, but in case you prefer your chicken more down-to-earth, just ask for the evergreen butter chicken and tandoori roti.

Apart from its high quality food, Tangerinehas a relaxed yet sophisticated feel with an English fireplace, colonial style pillars, stained glass windows and genuine artefacts in the midst of Italian paintings. What is awaited is the liquor license, and along with it exciting wines and spirits to keep you cosy during winter.

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