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Zara's new deal

The lunch deal at Zara is easy on the wallet as well as on the tongue



Value for money: At Zara. Pic by S. R. Raghunathan

FREE MARKET, demand and supply; that's what was crossing my mind at lunch on Friday. It wasn't the aftermath of a book on economics or concern for world economy or anything remotely altruistic.

The thought was triggered by my stomach and wallet. Relishing fillets of sear fish in orange sauce, it was difficult to be selfless.

It was the lunch deal at Zara, Tapas bar (ph: 28111462) that aroused my interest in economics. A non-veg combo comes at Rs.199 and a veg one at Rs.175.

The starter-main course-dessert deal gets more interesting when a mocktail or a pint of beer is thrown in. Now, what can you deduce from this attractive deal? It's elementary, my dear, our conti food scene is hotting up.

The Little Italys, Newyorkers, Cornucopias and the rest are making our cup `runneth over'. Not bad for us Chennai-ites who were once stuck with burgers and club sandwiches as Continental food outside star hotels. Hey, I'm all for free market and the forces of demand and supply to play out their natural roles.

Satisfying selection

Coming back to Zara, obviously there aren't many lounging around downing Sangrias and Pinacoladas in the afternoons. Hence the lunch deals. The choices like cream of corn and chicken soup, barbequed chicken wings, lamb burgers, spaghetti with creamy mushroom sauce may show lack of imagination, still the deal is good. It is good because the chicken wings are moist and the pasta sauce is creamy and yummy.

If it is satisfaction that you are looking for, cheese quesadilla with tomato salsa can give you that. Broiled sear fish with orange sauce goes a step further. The fish is done to perfection and the acidity of the orange enhances the flavour. This is undoubtedly the pick of the non-veg main course.

As for the desserts, both caramelised banana and the crepe suzette lacked finish. The banana will be happier if the sugar is allowed to really caramelise instead of being merely tossed in the sauce and flambéing will improve the crepe.

What the desserts lack, the mocktails have. It is difficult to choose. Chikoo-black berry juice combo, musk melon-fresh strawberry coupling and canned peach-pineapple-apple whisk... all are irresistible.

Easy on the wallet as well as on the tongue; that is the essence of a lunch deal and Zara seems to have got it right.

MARIEN MATHEW

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