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Desserts delight

Indulge your sweet tooth with a spread of continental desserts


IN HYDERABAD, eat as the Hyderabadis do. That means biryani with ice-cream or biryani with more ice-cream. The bottomline: Desserts aren't worth squinting your eyes and running them down a menu, something a city foodie might do only if he's scanning for his favourite tooti frooti or a butterscotch cone topped with "little little nuts".

But for Joe Manavalan and Sharmila Narne, bottomlines don't mean a thing. Not when they can whip up luscious desserts to drool over and tuck into.

At Painted Platters, the duo is busy doing just that, offering the sweet-toothed a tantalising spread of Viennese desserts, mousses, sundaes, tortes and milk shakes. "Hyderabadis are moving beyond ice-cream.

A lot of people have been checking out Tiramisus and mousses," says Joe, a former Oberoi chef, who prefers calling Platters as India's exclusive "only dessert" parlour.

With Sharmila specialising in mousses, the menu is packed with goodies like the Mississippi Mud Pie - dark chocolate mousse and vanilla ice-cream on a crunchy biscuit base, Kir Royal - creamy champagne flavoured black currant mousse and Alhambra - cashew nut cake with chocolate and rum cream, besides other melt-in-your-mouth creations.

There is an interesting tale behind the parlour's off-beat name.

When the first outlet came up in Bangalore, décor plans hit a cash crunch. So out came mismatched table covers, second-hand books, with item lists sticking out of pages, to serve as menus and walls with artwork mounted on them. Pointing to a wall adjacent to the dining area, Joe says, "That's where we will mount paintings of artists and art students for our customers to sit back and admire. They can also buy the artwork."


The menus are funky, with one menu `book' showing Mona Lisa chomping on a chocolate, the wrapper in hand, wearing a smile that's understandably not so enigmatic.

Cutlery is another area inspired by the beauty of art. The plates have `edible paintings' etched on them, spray-painted with chocolate dust and with wisecracks inscribed on the rims to serve as food for thought. There're also speakers, camouflaged as rocks and hidden in bamboo shoots, for the musically inclined.

Most of the ingredients are flown in all the way from Bangalore, in deep freeze mode, to ensure quality. And quality there is, going by the springy dough base of the Baked Chocolate Mousse.

The sundaes and milk shakes are made from home-made ice cream.

The icing on the cake, however, is the superb spread of continental desserts that includes the orange scented Crème Brulee (baked custard served with caramel sauce) and the not-to-be-missed Tiramisu. As Joe and Sharmila put it, "Hyderabad, here we come!"

What: Painted Platters

Where: 85, Road No 3, Banjara Hills, Ph No: 55686444, 55686555

K. SACHIDANAND MENON

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