The Park celebrates the humble dim-sum for a week, with a special menu at Lotus
They should have called their dim sum festival The Teahouse of The August Moon at Lotus, The Park’s iconic Thai restaurant. After all it is nearly August and the lovely Japanese girl or Geisha, whom Marlon Brando, acting as an Okinawan (native of the Japanese island of Okinawa), partners with in the 1956 movie, is named Lotus Blossom. The Park’s Lotus does not look quite so ancient as Marlon Brando’s teahouse, but it’s getting there with its faded orange and lemon drapes and hanging Abalone Shell lamp, that has many shells missing from it, no doubt filched by the nouveau chic city patrons, who bring their children there.
“We’re just about to do a major renovation at the Lotus,” Swati Chaturvedi, the PR tells me. We complacently watch a birthday party in progress, where the doting parents of a birthday girl, seem intent on putting Lotus to flame by lighting a fizzing birthday candle. Noise and merriment are, however, meant to be part of the dim sum tradition in distant Canton that is in South China, where tea and dim sums are consumed in vast quantities. “In one teahouse, more than 2,000 dim sum dishes are offered on a rotation basis,” writes Ken Hom in his book on Chinese cuisine. He also quotes a Chinese scribe who praises tea in these terms: “Tea tempers the spirits, calms and harmonises the mind; refreshes the body and clears the perceptive faculties.”
Fortified by an infusion of jasmine tea, we begin with a round of the most delicate of delights — thin rice paper casings of scallops scattered with glistening pearls of orange salmon roe (`900 for a set of four). Ideally, you have to sip some more, compose a Haiku or two, delicately remove an orange pearl from between your teeth with a jade handled dagger and then progress to dim sums with crab, or water chestnuts, or bean curd and black bean. What we do instead is order a clear soup (`375) from the Thai menu, sample some more dim sums and finish with a creamy coconut-based caramel custard. Pure joy!
The Dim Sumptuous Festival starts today and goes on till July 25. Details: 42676000
— Geeta Doctor