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A plateful of delicacies

It's Chinese vegetarian fare at its best prepared with care by Chef Hardy Cheung at the food festival, on till July 11, at Golden Dragon, Taj Coromandel.


THE FOLLOWING are some questions for non-vegetarians: Do you finish the vegetables served or do you merely rearrange them around the plate? Is your worst nightmare about an authority figure brandishing a stick and ordering you to finish your greens? Does seeing, let alone reading, articles on how flora is good for health and beauty make you itch or have facial tics? Does your heart bleed for your vegetarian friend?

If your answers are in the affirmative, it's time to meet chef, Hardy Cheung at the Golden Dragon (ph: 28272827), Taj Coromandel.

What Chef Hardy does with vegetables is what a gifted artist does with colours.

The ongoing Vegetarian Chinese Food Festival, on till July 11, promises to be a `freak-out' time for the green brigade.

The fare is tempting for even the most diehard non-veg. Pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brinjal, lady's finger, bamboo shoot, asparagus, lettuce, mushrooms and pakchoy are all there on menu with three or four dishes made from each of them.

A light touch here and there and the plebian fried onions become the patrician crispy fried sesame onion. Same is the case with butter garlic sweet potatoes.

The secret of the delicious tender coconut-mushroom clear soup is tender coconut water. The Chang chiang home made noodles is another tongue-tickler. The noodles, made by the Chef himself, has julienne of cucumber and carrots to give it texture.

While on textures, the Chinese cabbage and pakchoy with shitake ginger sauce has plenty of it.

The crunchy pakchoy with its faintly bitter taste gives the dish a unique dimension. Singapore double flower, however, never touches the level the rest do. Both the broccoli and cauliflower that day were slightly overdone.

The dessert, banana peanut coconut rolls were excellent.

The gorgeous honeyed walnut that goes with the rolls is the stuff that dreams are made of. To make it short, Chef Hardy has done it again!

MARIEN MATHEW

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