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Delhi on the shores of the Mediterranean


THIS SEASON of summer is proving to be the season of exotic mouth-watering delicacies. Food is not limited to its native place. It speaks a language that is universal. For a whiff of the Mediterranean, try Italianni's in New Delhi's Radisson Hotel, where you can try a wide variety of international cuisines. These days the restaurant is hosting a special Lebanese and Turkish food festival. The place has wonderful ambience enhanced by piped Spanish, Italian and Turkish instrumental numbers.

Apart from the famous grilled dishes of Lebanon and Turkey, there are a host of other authentic delicacies like the Syrian green vegetable soup which is well known across Southern Europe and the Arab world. In Lebanon as in much of the Arab region, a meal is incomplete without a Shawarma, which normally contains a melange of chicken, lamb, camel and beef but at Italianni's contains only chicken and is served with hummus, pita bread and Mediterranean salad.

Another popular dish of the region is Imam Biyadi, an appetiser. Another popular appetiser on offer is Filafil. Prepared with compressed meat, it tastes much like meatballs served with cheese dip. Italianni's also serves the better known pizzas and pastas.

Chef Mohammed Naushad who has wide experience working in West Asia and was specially trained for this festival by Yahya Khan, a Turkish culinary expert, says: "Lebanese desserts, Tiramisu and Mushkale, are quite famous among the Arab sweets and have now become popular globally. Our clients are usually from the corporate world."

Tobacco meerschaum sheesha, the Turkish flavoured hookah, is a delight to be savoured if you choose to sit in the smoking section of the restaurant. The mint and apple flavoured hookah combines excellently with Turkish coffee. Italian and Spanish wines are also available.

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