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Delectable diversity

North meets south and east meets west at the Four Directions Food Festival at the Residency Towers


WAITERS DRESSED in traditional clothes from different parts of the country, the enticing aroma of masalas in the air and an Indian menu — the Four Directions Food Festival at Main Street in Residency Towers, brings together specialities from the four corners of the country.

"The food festival showcases our cuisine culture," says Chef Sundar. The menu keeps changing everyday, he says, adding, "This is to make sure that none of the speciality dishes are left out." It is a delectable combination of angrezi ambience and desi food.

On to the menu — salads are a healthy way to start the meal. Try the Iceberg lettuce, simple lettuce that looks healthy, or pickled red cabbage with vinegar, that makes you squint when you taste it. You can also try dal kosumbari and mint channa. For non-vegetarians, there is an innovative chicken terrine — minced chicken with seasoning. There is tossed salad, fruit chaat or plain green salad for those who are not too adventurous.

Go for a soup if you are keen on the methodical approach to a three-course meal. The kozhi melagu soup with a few chicken flakes and the corn and spinach soup that tastes more like spinach tonic might not impress your taste buds.

The main course offers a delicious variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The tangy mango rice with paneer dil bhar makes for an interesting north-south combination. For the unpretentious, there is Parsi pulao or plain steamed rice. The beans ussili, sizzling crispy patties with a tinge of dal and the kaai poo melagu pirattal, all essentially south Indian, are a mouthful for those who revel in low-masala food.

Kolkata chowmein — sounds like a plateful of noodles that travelled across borders, but ignore the name and dip in. The stiff noodles with vegetables add flavour to the vegetarian menu. Kolkata chowmein is a popular dish, served on the streets of Kolkata. "The one you get on the streets is watery and spicy. We have made it more thick to suit the occasion," says the chef.

Fish and chicken dominate the non-vegetarian section. Navrathan korma has the essentially sweetish cashew taste with thick gravy and well-cooked, succulent chicken. For those who love spicy food, there is gonkura mamisam — mutton in gonkura chutney, but it doesn't equal the original Andhra taste. "Over 40 per cent of our clients are expatriates, so we have toned down on the spices," says the chef.

Try the nice and colourful kebab only if you are keen on cheese and chicken. For fish lovers, the South Indian masala fried seer, well-fried fish with added spice, is a good choice.

Now, dessert time. Savour every moment because there is an exotic combination of Indian and international desserts. Zauq-e-shahi, gulab jamun soaked in condensed milk and malai sandwich are mouth-watering. Be it the semiya payasam or the chocolate soufflé, the desserts leave a lingering taste.

* * *

Four Directions Food Festival

The Residency Towers,
T. Nagar
Price: Rs. 300 for adults, Rs. 200 for kids
Open for dinner from 7.30 p.m on weekdays, lunch on weekends.
For reservations, call: 28156363

PRASSANA SRINIVASAN

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