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Catch of the day

Lagoon, the newly opened seafood restaurant at Le Meridien, is the new fish to catch


IF IT is Kerala, it has to be fish. And great fish at that. The one-month young seafood restaurant, Lagoon at Le Meridien is a fresh catch. "The very fact that we started a seafood speciality restaurant is because our guests are looking for seafood. The Kerala coast is well known for some of the most exotic sea fish and some that our exclusive to our shores, like Karimeen (Pearlspot) and Scampi." Says Laiju Jameson, the chef. " Karimeen and Scampi being fresh water fish," the chef further explains.

A `fishy' range that is soon to grow bigger, the restaurant has an interesting display counter where the catch of the day is spread out. The guest is free to choose the fish he likes and request for a cooking style, which he wishes. "We cook the meat the way the guest wants, be it grilling, braise, fry, steam or curried. They can see the entire process of cutting, cleaning and cooking the fish or shellfish. There has been very good response to this interactive method."

P.R Executive, Ms. Penny George, says, " The seafood theme buffet was the most popular one among our daily theme buffets. This prompted us to start Lagoon, a seafood speciality restaurant."

A love for seafood, fish and shellfish, reveals a very discerning eater. The `fishies' are a complicated lot. Fussy, fastidious and finicky. From checking the gills of the fish to discussing its length, size, weight and colour, they can go over raptures discussing the cooking styles. Says Jameson, who happily dishes out the fishes for his guests, "that while the foreigners who visit the hotel try out the traditional Kerala fish, locals love it grilled. We temper down the spices for the tourists while coconut based curries give the eastern flavour."

And that is what makes the Alleppey prawn curry a big hit. Ground coconut paste, turmeric, shallots, flavoured with raw mango and tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves is what makes the famed prawn curry.. Lobster Thermidor, Prawn Newburg, grilled squids with black olives and parsley are other hot favourites.

Encouraged by the going the enthusiastic chef is planning to add new recipes to the menu. Karimeen pollichattu and Meen Vattichattu are very popular local delicacies, he tells just as much as the Kalmakkai porichattu, a northern Kerala recipe is.

Clams, mussels, lobsters, squids, scampi, bekti, cutla, shrimps, mullet, choose from this big fish basket. Take your pick and cook it in your favourite style. Garnish the way you want and have a great dinner. So Lagoon is the latest exclusive seafood eatery among the few others already in town. The restaurant is open 7.30 p.m. onwards and is set to introduce a two-piece band from 15 October. So, happy fishing among friendly waters.

PRIYADARSSHINI SHARMA

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