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Eastward ho!

Besides Mainland China, South East Asia and Japan are represented on the menu at The Cascade


IMAGINE A world without history! Though many children, who are close to a nervous breakdown, mugging up dates of battles and invasions, may root for the idea, it is not such a good thing to ignore the past. If not for anything it gives us a perception that helps us to assess a current situation. It was with such a point of view that I stepped into The Cascade, at Quality Inn Sabari, T. Nagar (phone: 28258888).

The Cascade is a milestone in the gourmet history of the city. As the pioneering stand- alone upmarket restaurant it opened the gates for the likes of Benjarong, Cedars and the like. Till its doors opened in the late 1980s, the classy Chinese eateries were only those in the five star hotels. Even better was its menu that featured Thai curries and Mongolian Hotpot in those days!

Times have gone by. Now Chennai-ites have become savvy with sophisticated palates.

So now where does the old lady stand? Variety continues to be the buzzword here. Besides Mainland China, South East Asia and Japan are represented on the menu. Phoenix prawn (Rs.120) was a good point to start the night. Fresh, plump prawns on toast, fried to a perfect golden colour. Suffice to say that every crumb tasted good.

The Japanese grill, Chicken yakitori (Rs.170), was the next to steal the limelight. Yakitori is all about timing. The man at the grill has to know when the meat is done to that state of readiness — still pink and juicy but cooked thoroughly. Obviously, at The Cascade the grill man knows his stuff.

Sadly, the romance ends here. Mixed vegetable satay (Rs.105), Beef balls in jade sauce (Rs.170), Veg chilli garlic noodles (Rs.85) and Beans Cantonese (Rs.95) couldn't rise above the mediocre. They leave you with a had-that-at-a-better-price-elsewhere feeling.

What's new here is the lunch deal. For a price ranging from Rs.100 to Rs.130, you can lunch on Garlic rice and chicken winglet, Nasi goreng and Szechwan prawns or may be the classic Steamed rice and Thai fish.

For vegetarians, at Rs.90 there are Pineapple fried rice and Gobi Manchurian or Fried rice and spicy tofu and stir-fried vegetables. There are also lunch deals that are ideal for those who want a purse-friendly quick bite.

Cascade restaurants are located at Nungambakkam, T. Nagar and Besant Nagar.

MARIEN MATHEW

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