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Sizzling fare

Continental sizzlers are the highlight of the on-going `Sizzler's Nights' at The Residency Tower.


THE DRIZZLE in the evening and the heavily overcast sky do not prevent us from venturing out to see what is on offer for the `Sizzler's Nights', at The Residency Tower hotel. It is a rather chilly evening; just the right weather to try out the sizzling hot fare at the rooftop Dhaba, which has a change of décor to one out of cowboy country. All around, young cowboys (waiters dressed up as cowboys) are busy laying out the place for we are a little early. The aroma of the sizzling delicacies, floating all over the place, increases our appetite.

We choose a table from where we can get a good view of the city. The darkening skyline with lights flickering on is quite a romantic setting. As we sip our mocktail of tender coconut supreme, which is tender coconut with cream of the coconut, cardamom and sugar whipped in. Meanwhile, we order a starter of kalamari (deep-fried squid).

The dish arrives after 15 minutes and is sizzling hot, right out of the tava. This is rather hot and to make up, we order a vodka each. We decide to try out the continental dishes on offer rather than the desi ones. The fish Portugese sizzler arrive a few minutes later and we dig in with relish. The red tomato sauce does not soften the raw taste of baked seer fish. It is neither too hot nor spicy. This is a Portuguese dish that the Executive Chef, Arjun Vijayan Das, has perfected while learning the ropes of cooking in Goa. "This is a complete meal in itself," he explains. The other dishes on offer are grilled fish sizzler, mixed grill sizzler, barbeque chicken sizzler, grilled spare ribs sizzler and pepper steak sizzler. The chef recommends that we order grilled spare ribs sizzler, which is made of pork. It has the kind of flavour that would not appeal to the palate of most people here. But the steak (Pepper Steak Sizzler) turns out to be very good. As we continue to devour all that we have ordered, the General Manager, N. George Mathew, says, "We wanted to give a change of menu to our regular customers. And we wanted to liven up things a bit during this rather lean period. Monsoon seems just right for `Sizzler's Nights'. The only hitch is that, in Thiruvananthapuram, we don't get all the props required to give the decor a makeover and transform it into a cowboy restaurant."


The fishes served are seer fish, karimeen (pearl spot) and prawns. Oye Balle Balle, the speciality restaurant, usually serves only authentic Punjabi food. Veggies can try out the vegetarian seekh kebab and paneer tikka, the all-time favourites of gourmands.

Although there are soups on offer we are a bit hesitant to try them out, for fear that we wouldn't be able to taste more dishes. Cream of mushroom and vegetable soup is the only soup on offer for vegetarians. We also try out a vegetarian dish, baked beans in cream sauce garnished with blanched white grapes (vegetable veronique sizzler), but hesitate to order anything else. We also steer clear of the Punjabi dishes, as we want to sample more of the continental fare. For dessert, other than the plate of seasonal fruits (mangoes are the favourites now), the chef's speciality, which he claims to be a hit in the city, is a romantically named Caribbean banana flambé with ice cream. This dessert is likely to be unlike anything you've sampled so far, and we recommend that you try it out.

For children, the chef has come up with Pokemon's Sundae, which is a take off on the popular cartoon series - Pokemon.

As we burp unapologetically (not good table manners, we know) and reach for the bill, we find that it is not too much between the two of us. All the dishes are moderately priced (between Rs. 90, for the starters, and Rs. 260 for kebabs) and quite affordable. On until July 19, the food festival would be extended if it becomes popular. The timings are between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

BIMAL SIVAJI

Photos: S. Gopakumar

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