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Far from fusion

The menu was limited to dosais and Chettinad side dishes at the `North meets South' fest at Copper Chimney...


THE TITLE `North meets South' is a teaser. It is something like the much talked about project to link rivers. The scheme to break barriers and spread happiness equitably ought to have a dream run. Yet reality is far from it. The very thought of a synthesis of two culinary styles throws up some mind-blowing combinations and flavours. May be because it was the fag end of the fest, (only till June 30) the menu was more or less limited to dosais and a few Chettinad side dishes at Copper Chimney (phone: 28115770/4156) on Cathedral Road.

The food festival is being held in collaboration with Anjappar, a chain of Chettinad restaurants. One of the early birds to popularise the cuisine, the first restaurant opened in 1964 and the group has excellent antecedents. The current management comprises the third generation khandani cooks.

The culinary journey that began with grandfather Anjappan has really taken off with the grandsons, who will serve kal dosai and kozhi varuval to Americans. The third restaurant of the group will open soon in San Jose, California.

In the dosai category, the fusion varieties were only dosai with chicken Akbari, paneer burji and chicken and cheese. The rest such as pesarattu (Rs.80), kheema dosai (Rs.90) and prawn masala dosai (Rs.110) are passé in Chettinad joints. Though the last two are regulars, this doesn't diminish their capacity to tickle your palate.

Pesarattu was a major let down. Such liberties — texture, presentation and taste — were taken that this Andhra native's very identity was lost. The chicken and cheese dosai (Rs.90) with its Continental touch was tasty.

The limited choice made mutton chukka (Rs.140) and muttai podimas (Rs.120) our starters, and it turned out to be a happy decision. A cardiologist's nightmare, red meat and egg yolk were certainly a foodie's delight.

The side dishes, chicken Chettinad (Rs.130) and vegetable kurma (Rs.90) were average.

It was the price that took the pleasure out of the eating. Yet when one pays Rs.80 to Rs. 110 for a dosai, it needs to be special. Copper Chimney fails to deliver that.

MARIEN MATHEW

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