Once upon a time in Mexico
Try out salsas, tacos among other things at the Taj Banjara
WAY BACK in 1993 the first Mexican food festival in Asia was held at the Taj Banjara and now the festival returns for a record tenth time to the city. Dinner at the Waterside Café at Taj Banjara would have Roberto Rodriguez do cartwheels of joy at the plump cacti, ponchos and sombreros. While there is no sultry, smouldering Salma Hayek (hard luck boys!!), Chefs Sergio Snyder and Chef Roberto Treves will be obliging enough to turn into Mariachi and entertain you with Mexican songs. "But only if the ambience is good," warns Chef Roberto.
While the live counter offers tacos, nachos and fajitas everyday, the buffet with a soup, five vegetarian dishes, three non-vegetarian dishes, three to four salads and three to four desserts would be changed everyday.
Apart from giving the world 144 varieties of chilli, Mexico also gave us corn, beans, tomato, chocolate, vanilla, peanuts, papaya, avocado, pineapple, tobacco, cotton and rubber.
The Tex Mex cuisine, Chef Roberto explains is "not original Mexican food. It has been changed to suit the American palate. Tex Mex food uses more cheese and more oil. We use very little oil and mainly olive oil and we use a lot of coriander and corn in different forms." Chef Roberto does not wish to play favourites with the food. "Take a little of everything and what you like, return for seconds," is his motto. On the salad side one could try out the Ceviche (shrimp) or the Guacamole (avocado) salad. The desserts offer an interesting variety including Burnt Milk Crepes, Drunken Bananas (bananas flambéed with rum), Cocada Morelina (made with coconut, milk and sugar) and the innocent sounding Flan which is caramel custard drenched in chocolate Kalhua.
Salsa, Mexican for sauce - "the dance came later with the rhythm born in the Caribbean," is an essential ingredient of the cuisine. Different sauces are used for subtle variations in flavour and aroma.
On the spirited side there are tequila shots to be had with salt and a twist of lime - salt to open your taste buds and lime to close them. Chef Roberto clears all misconceptions of the worm in the tequila bottle. "That is Mezcal, a different spirit produced in Ozaca State, Mexico."
The bottom line is food, fun and fajitas are yours for the asking till February 8.
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