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Exotic flavours

PRINCE FREDERICK

The Seafood and Pasta Fiesta, on at Kayal at Le Royal Meridien till July 13, offers Italian and Mexican dishes, which are typical of the traditions they come from.


KAYAL, THE exclusive seafood restaurant at Le Royal Meridien, where a Seafood and Pasta Fiesta is on, hasbeen festooned with stickers that smack of the sea and sea life. There is a streamer that announces the pasta fiesta. Another feature that draws attention is the aquarium wherein a few jumbo prawns and lobsters swim about. But for these, the restaurant wears its usual look. The main focus, however, is on the platter, to which Chef J. Daniel Sujay Kumar has brought Italy and Mexico.

The dishes are typical of the traditions they come from. Italy is the first to get off the mark, with a soup that has pasta rolled in the tortellini (ring-like) fashion. Another soup on the menu is the mushroom and ginger soup laced with bean thread.

For starters, you have tuna and conchiglie (which denote seashells in Italian) salad. Then we are off to Mexico, with the tequila shrimp with cilantro linguine. This preparation is garnished with coriander, hence the word cilantro in it. For the etymologically inclined, cilantro is Spanish and it owes its origin to the Latin word for coriander. Another `starter' is the pasta that has been filled with Mediterranean vegetables.

The main course for veggies includes gnocchi scented with asparagus and tomato medley and farfelle (pastas made in the shape of bows) with sundried tomato pesto. Here you find an interesting innovation. Pesto is a sauce consisting of crushed nuts and basil (leaves). Pesto comes from pestare which in Italian means "pound". Here, Chef Daniel has followed the "script", but changed a few characters. `Sundried tomato' is one of the new characters.

Non-veggies can sample garlic-scented prawn on baked macaroni, gently-baked Norwegian salmon with tagliatelle (thin strips of pasta), poached red snapper on curried artichoke and fussili, grilled tuna with tri-colour fettucine (thin strips of pasta) and corn relish. For the gastronomically adventurous, there is sautéed octopus and penne.

Among the pasta specials are seafood lasagne (or flat noodles), spaghetti ala pescatore, blackened seafood pasta stew and crab ravioli. Ravioli is square or round noodle dough stuffed with meat or vegetables.

A feast has to finish with a bang and not a whimper for it to be remembered. The desserts at the pasta fiesta pack a punch indeed! Those on offer are tira misu and zabaglione. For the record, zabaglione is Italy's flagship on the international culinary waters. The dessert is made by whipping egg yolk, wine and sugar. It is then served over ice cream.

The fiesta is on till July 13. For details, call 22314343.

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