Wednesday, 01 June 2016 03:38

Majestic Mango stirs up a Spicy Magic

A summer menu with the delicious mango that must be tasted says Purabi Shridhar.

 

The summer menu at The Spice Route, The Imperial, declares open sesame to a treasure trove of winning tastes 

 On a searing hot and humid day when even the tarred roads in the capital seem to have given up the fight to stay firm, walking into The Spice Route, the South and the South-East Asian restaurant at The Imperial, is like being whisked away into another world altogether - cool and classy. Ranked as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Condé Nast and not without reason too; the Feng Shui based interior design is one-of-its-kind tracing the journey of spices from Malabar Coast in Kerala through Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia to Thailand and Vietnam in an amalgamation of stunning architectural designs. Like the décor the menu is also an equally exciting culinary journey through the ancient spice route. 

 

What is wonderful about The Spice Route is that even as it has been taking diners on an exotic gastronomic travel, it has been laying down its own memorable traditions. For over twenty years now, Chef Veena Arora has been going seasonal, winter menu for the chilly months and a summer menu for the hot Indian summers. And if it is Indian summer the queen bee of it all has to be the majestic mango and it is and how! Balancing out both unripe and ripe mangoes Chef Veena’s latest summer menu is redolent with the saliva-inducing aromas of mangoes and spices.

 

After a refreshing drink of muddled home-made ginger ale drink that washes away all heat and fatigue, we kick start our meal with the perky Yum Namuang, (Chef’s Special), a signature salad of fresh grated green mango tossed in a spicy and tangy Thai dressing that is a delightful layering of varied tastes from tangy to hint of sweet and tingling spicy. The next dish, Amba Isso Temperadu, Sri Lankan Prawns stir fried with curry powder and slivers of raw mango, as its name implies is  a wonderful dish of prawns fried in a tempura batter and seasoned with spices and delicate slivers of raw mango.  From the island country of Sri Lanka it is a big hop to Vietnam with Ga Xao Hot Dieu, Vietnamese style stir-fried chicken with ripe mango and cashew nuts, another lovely balancing of flavours and textures with spice, the lusciousness sweetness of mango and  creaminess of the cashews.

 

A fillet of sole dipped in a tempura batter and fried and served with a spicy palm sugar sauce and garnished with shredded raw mango is a scrumptious mélange of crispy and the sweetness of palm sugar tempered with the tartness of raw mango that comes as Pla-E-Saan. Accompanied by rice cooked in coconut milk with little mango pieces playing hide and seek, the unique combination is a reassertion of The Spice Route’s  pioneer position when it comes to presentation of oriental culinary expertise. The summer menu also takes one to God’s own country with its delectable Allepy Fish Curry, a dish of sole fillet and raw mango cooked Kerala style. There’s also the unusual Kaen Phed Phol La Mai, with fresh ripe mangoes and assorted fruits cooked in a Thai red curry. Simply delightful!  When its mango there can be no small measures, so we round off our meal with generous scoops of mango and coconut ice cream.

Date: 15th May to 15th July 2016

Timings: Lunch 12:30pm to 2:45pm and Dinner: 7pm to 11:45pm

Price: INR 8500 + taxes for two

For table reservations: Call 41116605

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