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    Greek and Lebanese short eats take centre stage at Radisson Blu Chennai City Centrea��s festival

    RADISSON16A shot of hummus. You may have dipped, spread or even used chunks of the delectable Mediterranean paste before, but we bet youa��ve never had it served in a shot glass. Those are the quirky little twists that make Radisson Blu Chennai City Centrea��s Trip to the Mediterranean festival appeal to the senses. a�?Wea��ve never tried this before,a�? admits corporate executive chef Neelkantan, a�?So we went through a whole series of pastry and food trials to get the flavours from Greek and Lebanon right.a�? Judging by what was served up at a chefa��s table recently, they got it right. Like most other culinary trysts with the lower European, upper African countries, ita��s the mezze (platter of short starters) that stands out. Now, when we say short, we mean short! If the labneh bil zayit are pop-in-the-mouth yoghurt dumplings that have a creamy hint of pistachio, the calamari salata is a squid slurpera��s dream come true a�� all with that extra dash of olive oil to slide it down the gullet.
    Washing it down with a creamy pumpkin potato soup, we realise that if wea��d been blindfolded, it would have been quite a task to distinguish the mains from mainstream Indian fare. a�?It should help more people try it out if it tastes familiar,a�? says the chef indulgently. The samak makali is on the blander side, but then the menu pre-warned us that it was only mildly spiced. The pick of the lot was a supremely succulent shank of lamb barbook, dripping with an onion and prune sauce. Even if youa��re not a fan of the nut-stuffed baklava, give it a shot here a�� with the nuts being soaked awhile, theya��re a lot easier on the teeth, sweet or otherwise.
    A trip to the Mediterranean begins today, at Oasis. A la carte at approximately `1,500 per couple. Details: 30404444

    a�� Daniel Thimmayya

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