Sunday, May 18, 2008

Posh Spice….the spread is nice

Have you seen the ‘Tangdi Kebabs’ in Posh Spice? Caught you on the wrong foot, haven’t I? The ‘Posh Spice’ I am raving about is the classy restaurant ‘Mirch Masala’ in the Hotel Fidalgo’ food enclave…and the Tangdi Kebab? We had gone over to check the Kebab festival…the posters in the restaurant for the wine accompanying the kebabs stated…. ‘some emotions can never be bottled up’… if you feel that the emotions are bubbling over in this written article, pardon me! You see ‘Posh Spice’ has much more to recommend , than just those Tangdi Kebabs.

This restaurant that caters to the Indian palate is no dhaba. Although the three old ladies grinding the masalas in the pictures on the wall are no ‘Posh Spice’, the crisp tablecloths, the yin and yang cruet sets, even the menu is a work of art….the reason? You have a visual choice of every item featured there before you order it. The menu proclaims ‘Indian art of Rangoli – color and gaiety – eternal festival of life. Mirch Masala brings you a festival of food.’

A festival proclaims enjoyment…I leaf through the menu. I realize that they have maintained the Indian touch. The Pehli Peh or starters. We decided on the Aam ras Khatta Meeta….simply explained…mango juice with spices and mint. ‘Would this be available throughout the season?’ I ask Sunil Mathai, the Food and Beverage Manager. A very positive nod. Everything on the menu is available, anytime the customer asks for it,’ he states, ‘except maybe our Elaichi Raan…which is our signature dish. If the quantity prepared is over…it will not be available, till the next day. It is all due to the marination.’

But I have digressed…I would like to take you through the courses…you see there is such a spread. The next list of items are the Kuch Chatpate or the crunchy starters. Try the Malai Paneer ke Pakora or the corn and cottage cheese fritters. You think Joe has gone vegetarian? Think again…the other courses are still to come.

There is a host of those kebabs to come….in all shapes and sizes…these are from the Tandoor of course. Every choice of meat or vegetables…the Tandoori Jhinga, Murg Tikka Sholay, Seekh kebaba, the Paneer Boti Achaari. Or try the Tara Tara ke kebabs…no stars floating on this platter…you might see those stars a little later though…it has fish, prawn, lamb, chicken and it is more than enough for two. So if your better half would want to relish things in all shapes and sizes…just put those little tara’s in his belly. Believe me, that is what I did for Joe.

Well the choice of kebabs is enormous…but do look out for those curries. From the Machiare ke jaal se (the fisherman’s net), theTawa se Jhinga masala is awesome. You see the food is served either in those copper pots or on miniature tawas. You feel that it is specially prepared for you. And for those who love chicken, the restaurant has laid out a variety of 14 preparations. What a choice to pick from…but when in doubt for those who like the spicy variety…try the Murg tawa Masala, this comes on the black metal griddle, and those who do not like the pungent fare…try the Murg Mashooq. This is from Sunil’s recommendations. You see tips like this is very important when the choice is vast.

From the Gosht ke Deg se comes their speciality. The Elaichi Raan. It is marinated for a long time in yoghurt, to get the tenderness required. This is a fast moving dish.

Oh there is also a wide variety of ‘ghas pus’ for the vegetarian. Pardon my frivolity…today everyone is recommending a change in diet, and the vegetarian triumphs. From the Subzion ki Numaish…besides old favourites like the Aloo preparations and the cholay’s, one should try the Paneer Muttar Tawa Masala (cottage cheese and green peas cooked with spices and coriander). You see this hotel had a ‘vegetarian week’ a festival of sorts, a short while ago. A little bird told me that one is being planned in a month’s time. No not vegetarian this time…just keep looking.

As usual I look towards the ‘Sweet Finale’. ‘Lets have some ‘Meethi Baten’?’ I urge Joe. Well after a spead like that, I cannot blame him for the bemused expression on his face. ‘Meethi Baten?’ he echoes, ‘here in the open restaurant. This is not the place for it.’ We seemed to be talking at cross purposes. I was thinking of the desserts listed on the menu under the heading, while he has taken the words literally. His Hindi must be improving. My blood seems to start warming up…..but luckily the Food & Beverage Executive comes to our rescue. ‘Try our Kulfi…its comes all the way from Mumbai.’ Well his remedy worked. The Malai and the Kesar Kulfi…Mmmn……the cool rich creamy concoction vends its way down…the hot temper caused due to cross communication giving way to a feeling of delight.

You see that poster in the restaurant is absolutely right. ‘Some emotions can never be bottled up.’ When you ‘Bend it like Beckham’ ask Posh Spice if you have a doubt.

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