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Exquisite experience

RADHIKA RAJAMANIRADHIKA RAJAMANI

Atiroopa, the new restaurant at Aalankrita, the ethnic gateway, offers fine dining in a traditional ambience.



LUXURIOUS LOBBY: Ideal to relax.

AALANKRITA, SITUATED at Thumkunta Village on the Karimnagar main road, Shamirpet mandal is a perfect ethnic getaway. On the occasion of the celebration of one year, a new feature has been added in the resort. Atiroopa, the restaurant, is in tune with the ethnic and green backdrop of the resort. Step into the restaurant and you are transported to a world of ethnic chic — traditional décor with the modern amenities, choicest food and liquor, good music and much more. Tastefully done up by Dr. Deendayal and Mamta Deendayal, the restaurant reflects what its name indicates — very beautiful.

Walking down the small corridor (with a tiled sloping roof) that leads to the lounge area reminds one of such corridors of old houses particularly in Kerala. The lounge looks like a living room embellished with objets d'art. In fact, it looks like a mini repository of objects furnished as it is with low settees (refurbished pieces), lamps, wooden pillars, lamps, idols of Radha and Krishna, and Thanjavur paintings. It warrants sitting down and admiring the pieces of art. This traditional decor extends into the restaurant — though there is a slightly different touch.

Two big leather puppets made by an award-winning craftsman can be seen on the wooden and glass partition at the entrance to the restaurant. The fairly spacious `squarish' hall equipped with a bar can seat about 54 people. The walls are adorned with Thanjavur paintings, mostly of Lord Krishna, with ornate frames. Exquisite panels and thorans, hanging lamps, icons and images mounted on board constitute some of the ornamentation.



NEW LOOK: The bar has a different look.

The big dining tables are not the regular kinds seen in a restaurant. Here too, the ingenuity of the Deendayals is visible. The base of the table is an old big door (like those found in a temple) which is polished and overlaid with glass. So if you peep below the glass top, you will see the door. Big ornate wooden chairs, albeit slightly heavy, suit the unique table. Again the Indian influence is very much evident in the bar. `Structured' with pillars, the bar has small jharokas as well. An old gramophone enhances the `antique' look.

There are cotton tablemats with Mangalagiri borders and bead coasters on the table.

The menu has been worked after a survey undertaken by Raphael Gomes, Executive chef and Krishna Akundi, AGM, F & B. It is multi-cuisine fare with a wide variety — Indian, continental, Middle-Eastern and Oriental fare (Burmese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Chinese) with an emphasis on the last. "Our aim is to give a fine dining experience to the discerning customer. So, this is reflected not just in the food but also in the service as well. We will serve in the French style — i.e. cutlery will be changed for every course," says Chef Gomes. The menu card itself looks grand — brocade with a zardozi border. Flip through and you will find mind-boggling names of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. With taverna stimulants (starters) and soups, one can begin the course meals.

An Italian section Pasta D'Trattoiria comprises pastas and pizzas including a Spanish omelette or Omlette chasseur.

The mirch masala (aptly called) is the Indian section having paneer and vegetable dishes, dals, a range of kebabs and speciality dishes which the chef recommends — which are mainly exotic non-vegetarian ones. There are a few Middle-Eastern delicacies as well. The roti platter and rice items complete the fare.

This menu is slightly different from the usual because of the incorporation of a few dishes like dhansak (a Parsi dish), zin dao (a ginger-flavoured Burmese snack), goustaba rista (Kashmiri koftas), nasi goreng (an Indonesian dish) and many more fish and chicken dishes.



ETHNIC CHIC: The interiors of Atiroopa.

That way, one gets to try out new dishes. One can also indicate the preference of spice at the time of placing the order.

The international dishes are served with traditional accompaniments. For instance, Spaghetti and sauce will be served with Parmesan cheese and garlic bread (cut into round discs).

The desserts for the sweet ending are not as many as the menu. So it's easier choosing them — just orange soufflé, coffee mouse, assorted French pastries, ice creams (about four flavours) and an Indian sweet of the day.

Remember the restaurant is open only from 6 p.m. to midnight. The telephone numbers of Aalankrita are 928 247161, 162, 199, 464. The prices may seem on the higher side for many but it's the personalised service and exquisite experience which counts.

Sit back, relax, enjoy the music and be pampered for a fine dining experience. Atiroopa, atiruchi.

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