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Tasty tongue twisters

Indulgence is the name of the game at the Blue Flower restaurant, Hotel Taj Residency, which is playing host to a Thai food festival.



TALK THAI TONIGHT: Chef Gowda sautés `Satay Chicken.'

IF A double shot of protein is your idea of the world's best dinner, then Blue Flower's rendition of the mammoth Thai food spread will be manna. "Thai fare is extremely healthy and nutritious, as most of it is cooked in protein-rich herbs and spices, with very less or no oil at all," says chef Denappa Gowda of Thai Pavilion, who is currently lending his useful F&B experience for the ongoing Thai Food Festival at Taj Residency.

But, less oil however does not render the food bland, as many may believe. On the contrary, Thai cuisine is highly spiced and curried to an unmatched flavour, so unique in itself. "That's because a lot of different varieties of chillies and ginger go in the preparation of the food. There is the fiery red chilli, the bird chilli, Resham Patti chilli, Galangal and Kha ginger, among others, which are even hotter than Indian varieties," chef Gowda explains.

Among the herbs that are used for a distinct flavour, the prominent ones are basil, McRoot fruit and leaves, pea brinjal, fresh turmeric, Thai ginger, dill, and the ubiquitous lemon grass that finds a presence in almost all the items, on the menu.

Items like Phad kra Praow khao Pod Warn, Tub Tin Crob, or Peneang Je maybe testing tongue twisters, but are just as tasty for the taste-buds. With a Greek-n-Latin Carte du jour to order from, indulgence is the name of the game. And at the ongoing food fest, gastronomic adventures will in the least, result in reassuring experiences.

That salads and soups set the tone for the meal cannot be understood better than here, where a great detailing and seasoning go into the production of Som Tam (Papaya salad), Pra Hed (Mushroom salad) and Yum Thal Yal (Pea-brinjal salad). An hour of elaborate preparation is required for that perfect tang in Tom Yum Kai (Green chicken soup) and Tom Kha Phak (Veg. Garlic soup). Satay Kai (Sautéed chicken with honey and chilli sauce) and Pho Pia Je (Thai veg. spring roll) are good starters to go along with the soups.

"A lot of rice is eaten in Thailand as much as noodles. Rotis or bread is not that popular," says the chef. In the main course, one can either choose from curried and flavoured rice, steamed rice (Khao Prao) or fruit flavoured rice (Khao Phad Sapparod - pineapple) and Phad Thai je (Glass noodles). Although pork - a main non-veg item in a typical Thai home - has been excluded from the menu, one can try out the other delectable delicacies that come in verdant hues.

There's Thai chicken (Gaeng Phed Kai) in rich red or green sauce and sea-fish (Pla Chon Pae Sa) in hot garlic sauce for the constant carnivores, and Spicy Thai veg in green sauce, for lettuce lovers.

Enjoy the meal and feel the joy, in an oriental ambience that has been created inside the restaurant (Telephone No: 23393939), especially for the occasion. While the vegetarian buffet is priced at Rs. 225, the non-veg comes for Rs. 325. The food festival is on during dinner time till June 29.

SOUVIK CHOWDHURY

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