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Jungle fare



Walk down to Corbett restaurant at The Claridges for an exclusive bite.

A TRIP to the Corbett can be filled with great trepidation. Not everyone can retain their composure after a lion's roar. To make matters worse firearms aren't allowed. With its wild trees, wooden bridges and gushing water, Corbett restaurant at The Claridges definitely bears the cachets of a jungle. Excitement here begins before the first bite as you try to find place in one of the huts with their raw wooden interior, dim lantern lighting and a lion's roar for some music. The table by the fireside seems a good bet but you are better off with one by the heater as the chimneys are not the best one has come across. Finally, the tantalizing menu passes the baton to the taste buds once again. To start with one has delicacies such as the self explanatory sole machhi ke tikkay and kachhe gosht ki pasliyan, which are tender lamb chops cooked in tandoor with coriander infused marinade. This menu from the lower Himalayas is strict to the theme, with rare exceptions such as the ajwaini lobster and pomfret chutneywali.

The crackling taste of the surkh seekh kababs with their poppy seed coating may not be the best substitute for the succulent traditional seekh kababs but are good enough for the sake of variation. The barbequed jackfruit which goes by the name aachari kathal ke tikke for their distinct pickled flavour and the paneer mirch ka roll will keep the vegetarians happy, while the non-vegetarians can march onto the spicy gosht tak-a-tak or the murgh tikka hari mirch. Whatever you choose you can be assured of the distinctive spicy flavour.

"The spices can be made milder but not done away with it. After all, it's a jungle, explains Chef Tarun Dacha, adding that spices also give a warm feeling in the winters. Interestingly, Corbett is only open for dinners and that too in the winter when the mosquitoes don't bother you. That's when you can truly appreciate a hing wali daal. Some varieties of rice and breads along with delightful chutneys like the walnut chutney leave space only for some sweets and beverages. However the beverage menu isn't Corbett specific. Besides, the sheer variety is in stark contrast to the small non-vegetarian-centric food menu. But the horseback seats of the bar are much in tune with the Corbett décor. So go ahead and have a taste of Corbett, but better be prepared. After all, it's a jungle out there.

S.M.YASIR

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