Christmas fare for gourmets

CHRISTMAS IS here and Kochi hotels are sparing no effort in making it a memorable one for those who choose to dine out. Partying takes newer dimensions when hotels introduce innovative themes and ideas.

Christmas lunch at Cghearth (Casino Hotel) is made up of traditional fare - roast turkey, roast of veal, prime rib of beef, roasted breast of pheasant with chutney, baked ham, fresh oysters, clams and lobster. To top it, there will be orange juice and wine and fresh dessert. Christmas pudding and brandy sauce, Christmas pies, etc., will bring in the whiff of Christmas celebrations. Entry at Cghearth costs Rs. 400 for an adult and Rs. 250 for children aged five 5 to12 years.

At Le Meridien, the entry costs Rs. 500 for an adult while children get a 50 per cent discount. Lunch buffet offered there has a magic show and face painting for children as sidelights. Christmas carols would be played in the background and Santa will give away gifts.

Cowboys and Indians would entertain party goers on New Year eve at an event titled `Wild West Nite'. Bob Livingston, John Inmon and Tucker Livingston make up the band from Texas, which also features a French drummer called Louic. Another band from Bulgaria called the OK Band will provide the "sassy and classy beats for the evening'', according to Penny George, the assistant manager, Public Relations.

The Taj Malabar has organised a Christmas fare at their restaurant, Pepper, with roast turkey, plum pudding and wine at an all-inclusive price of Rs. 700 per head. One can choose to have a twosome candle light experience with a five-course Mediterranean menu and listen to a live band play at Rs. 1,500 a couple. Dinner can also be planned at the bayside Dolphin's Point with an exotic barbeque buffet offering Continental Indian fare and seafood. Beer is unlimited.

Champagne with Christmas lunch buffet is also on offer at Rs. 900 at Pepper restaurant. The Ginger Bread shop in the lobby has fresh biscuits and icing sugar from the hotel's bakery. There is also Christmas Chandios at the Thai Pavilion which is a single-course lunch and dinner.

The hotel will also be organising a food festival called `Frontier Flavours' from December 26 to January 4.The festival, celebrating the Northwest frontier cuisine, will be held at Dolphin Point. According to the Food and Beverages Manager, Santosh Kutty, a series of events from Christmas eve will herald the New Year.

For New Year, there will be the Taj Malabar Magnifique - a mix of French, Canadian and British performing artists. The music and dance event will feature crowd pullers form Mumbai too.

The Taj Residency is hosting a traditional Christmas dinner at the Bubble Cafe at Rs. 500, while the lunch is priced at Rs. 450. For the party goers on New Year eve, there will be a choice between Bubble Cafe and the Lawns. The Voodoo Night at the Lawns promises to take the people to the African jungle. The ambience will be created with dripping candles, stalactites on ceilings, special rock walls, etc. There will also be acrobatic performances and a fire dance.

Bubble Cafe will be bringing in the whiff of Christmas and New Yyear eve by hosting `Zero Degree' - recreating the "cool Christmas and New Year". Snowfalls inside the Bubble, glacier walls and a special campfire will add to the effect. There will also be reindeers and sledge dogs, penguins and seals to give a `feel' of Antartica.

Christmas buffet is available at Abad Plaza, Abad Metro, Hotel Abad and Abad Atrium at Rs. 250 and downwards. The Trident at Wellingdon Island offers a traditional Christmas spread for dinner.

By Shyama Rajagopal

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