Chef Subrata and his team head to Kasimedu every morning to create seafood magic at Stix
There is something admirable about chef Subrata Debnath’s commitment to serving up nothing but the best at Stix’s seafood festival (July 3-12). The executive chef at Hyatt Regency and his team set out to Kasimedu fishing harbour every morning at 5 am, to handpick the freshest that the city’s fishermen have to offer. He admits that it can be stressful work — picking out the right size of the right fish at the right price. But the effort shows on the plate. The festival menu offers portions of different fish and shellfish and lets customers decide what sauce or style they would like. There is also a selection of pre-made options available alongside the regular menu.
The good chef offers us a cornucopia of dishes prepared by Stix’s Chinese masterchef Oliver who lets his cooking do the talking. All the dishes were plated beautifully — the standouts being the lobster and red snapper. The lobster (`1,688) in XO sauce (a speciality here) is a must-try — the sauce enhancing the flavour of the lobster but not overpowering it. The red snapper is in a sweet and sour sauce (Rs 1,188) and definitely lives up to the lovely plating. Personally, I find a little bit of sweet and sour goes a long way, so perhaps this is a dish best shared. The king prawns in black pepper (Rs 1,588), served dry, has a juicy, buttery quality that has me (my companion has shellfish allergies), returning for seconds and then thirds.
Of the other specials items on the menu, we recommend the Sichuan style flat noodles (`588). We also try the crab (`1,188) done in a Sichuan style. It isn’t the meatiest of crabs but I suppose that diehard fans, willing to go in arms deep, will enjoy it nonetheless. The mussels in black bean sauce (Rs 1,188) would go great with a pitcher of beer. The part of the meal I enjoy most, however, is the rare opportunity to lunch with a chef who didn’t merely watch us eat or nibble at the edges of his serving but joined in with great appreciation (he told us he spent his tenure in Kathmandu eating rohu for lunch almost everyday) and enjoyment of the food being served.
The seafood festival is on for lunch and dinner. Prices are not inclusive of taxes. Details: 61001234
— Ranjitha Gunasekaran