The enchanting Orient

The Mystical Orient Food Festival at Le Meridien offers some truly exotic far-eastern fare


EASTERN DELIGHTS Both the ambience and food are authentic photo: murali kumar k.

EASTERN DELIGHTS Both the ambience and food are authentic photo: murali kumar k.  

Golden pagodas, flaming dragons, Chinese lanterns and hosts dressed in traditional attire welcome you at the Mystical Orient Food Festival being held at the La Brasserie Restaurant at the Le Meridien. The festival offers exotic fare from countries such as Japan, China, Thailand and Korea. In preparation for the fest, spices have been imported and the restaurant has been done up so that the ambience complements the food.

The food is spread out in a buffet with counters for soups, grills and noodles. In-house Oriental Chef T.N. Mukherjee has designed the menu. He specialises in flavoured sushis and cold meats.

The exotic journey starts, of course, with the soups. You can choose to try sup ekor nembu (oxtail soup) or can stick to the sup kem pang dengan fu cuk (potato soup with soyabean skin) and the vegetable Japanese soup. Since the soup counter is live, you choose what you want added in your soup such as rice cake, cucumber, dry shrimp, red chillies or lime. Among the salads the Korean kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) offers something different to the tongue. If you prefer meat, try nua nam tok (north-eastern beef salad).

There is never any shortage of appetizers in far-eastern cuisines. Here the specialties are the chef's vegetarian and non-vegetarian cold appetizers. You must also try the stuff dished out from the grill such as the tori no teriyaki (Japanese style grilled chicken) and the satay lamb.

The main course consists of vegetables and meat with rice or noodles. Most of the meats are cooked with Japanese and Chinese cooking wine to taste authentic. This is evident in the kung pao chicken and crispy fish fingers with hoisin sauce. The vegetables section has Thai green curry (chuk suk vegetable) and one yet another that stands out in particular — the hot and sweet pineapple. This dish, made from ripe and succulent pineapples, is spicy when you bite it and yet retains the sweetness of the pineapple. Also try the tofu korokke, carrot and hijiki kinpira, sapo chicken and saiwoo potato.

For dessert there are lots of icecreams and snow-white jelly with strawberry, deep fried sugar cookies, coconut rolls, thousand-layer pudding and sago in sweetened milk. The buffet overall is a great deal for the price (Rs. 650 per head plus taxes). The food is light and veggies have plenty to choose from. You also get a complimentary glass of red or white wine to drown all the spices.

For reservations call 22262233, extension: 4471/72.

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