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A sea of food

A sumptuous spread of seafood beckons at hotel ITC Kakatiya Sheraton

Photo: P.V.Sivakumar

SOMETHING FISHY is how the goings-on at hotel ITC Kakatiya Sheraton can be best described. Fish predominates the menu at Peshawri and Dakshin - the two restaurants that have been made venue for the ongoing seafood festival.

Fish finds presence in many a form here, but appear undeniably oily and tempting in whichever form they are served. Be it the piquant prawns or crispy crabs or just fresh fish, - the delectable line-up will bait anyone, from the remotely-aquatically oriented to those hardcore `fisheaterians'.

"This is for the first time such a food festival spreading over two restaurants has been organised in the hotel," says F&B manager, Atul Bhalla. Explaining the underlying theme, executive chef O.P. Khantwal says, "We wanted to give a pan-Indian feel to the festival and include items from Peshawar to the southernmost tip." Thus, the journey from Peshawri to Dakshin - two sets of a la carte menu for two distinctly different restaurants.

Wonderful on its own and priced at Rs. 1050 - a Lobster lababdar may be slightly expensive, but is heavenly when it comes to taste. It is even more glorious to accompany it with a Masala fried pomfret and an order of Kanne Rawa, which is two whole fish marinated in traditional spices, mixed with rawa and deep fried. Chef Khantwal strongly recommends Crab Sheekh, which is skewered crabmeat grilled over charcoal fire, to accompany any meal. Unlike other crab items that entail a labour-intensive eating procedure, the Sheekh is delightfully easy and melts in the mouth like butter.

A cocktail platter containing assorted items - Samundari Khazana (Rs 2,000) serves four, and is for those who like to taste all the items.

Kalyera Masala (succulent pieces of lobster sautéed with tomatoes and specially-ground spices), Kurchile Dabdabe (tender morsels of crab meat tossed in dry masala) and Nellore Vanjram pulusu (a tangy preparation of seer fish in traditional Andhra style) are hot favourites , according to the executive chef.

Well, if the lobster is heavenly, the overall ambience is no less: esoteric lighting, upholstered chairs, brocaded bolsters, soothing music and an affecting hospitality - all blend in to provide for an uplifting air that is at once pleasant to the mind, and whets the appetite for a rare gastronomic experience. Lack of a not-fat-enough wallet may restrict the experience, but thankfully the hotel takes plastic! The seafood festival concludes on February 29.

SOUVIK CHOWDHURY

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