Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Royal Salute

Where in Goa, would you get ‘the Royal salute?’ In the heart of the capital. The place? The restaurant ‘The Royal Salute’ at the Hotel Delmon, for a perfect blend of business and pleasure.

We decided to meet with the Vice President Mr Shailesh Sanzgiri, to find out more about this customer segmentation. Most restaurants would perhaps focus on either business or pleasure…but here was a combination of both.

Seated in the cool environment, the outside heat did not have a chance to penetrate within, the white walls with its Indian motif’s and the bright Orange tablecloths added to its pleasant aesthetics. Yes one could imagine conducting business in this place over a quick lunch. ‘How long is quick?’ I ask Mr Dias the restaurant manager. ‘My promise is within 30 minutes,’ comes the prompt response. Well that sounds feasible, people normally get an hour for their lunch break.

So what is on the menu. A wide variety of Starters, Soups, Goan, Continental, Indian, Chinese, Malvani, vegetarian you take your pick. Little bit of everything to satisfy the taste of all our customers,’ explains Shailesh.

So we decided to explore and sample the fast moving specialties. The starters arrive. Prawn snowball…it really snowballs in your mouth….crispy and tantalizing with the tomato sauce. Another favorite is pepper chicken crispy crunchy and crackling.

Of course there is also a host of other starters like fried chilli chicken, Vegetable Hara bara kebabs, Paneer tikka….

The main course also deserves mention. For those who would like to pamper their tastebuds with local fare, the rawa fried fish, the Goan preparation of roast chicken, the mutton roganjosh is good. But for those who would like to be more adventurous the Malvani Cuisine is really worth a try. Similar and yet so different from our local cuisine, the Malvani preparations very rarely use fresh coconut. If necessary, they use dry coconut with lots of onions and red chillies.

The Kombdi with Vada, Sukha Mutton with vada and the sungta Masala with vada feature prominently on the menu. The Vada’s around five in number with each potion, is made with a mixture of flour and pulses. They also have a special weekend, wherein different preparations of Malvani cuisine are showcased. This happens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some of the items are Bharlela Bhangda and Tisrio masala. What impressed me was that the center bone of the bhangra was removed to make way for a delicious stuffing of dry coconut and spices.

So what made this a family restaurant, besides the all time favourites. I glance through the menu again. This is definitely a place to make the children happy. Right from the mocktails called Cinderella and Mickey mouse, to a variety of kiddies favorites of Kentucky fried chicken, chicken lollipops, crispy Onion rings and the ever popular fried rice all found under one roof, this summer holidays the kids are sure to have a treat.

Another feather in their cap with reference to family dining, is the wide variety of sundaes made out of pure natural ice ream like Custard apple, black currant, strawberry sensation. So if you want to give your kids a treat, there are the single, double and the triple sundaes. The names itself stimulate the taste buds…from Arabian Delight to Black Currant Temptation.

As we leave the restaurant, Mr Dias is at the entrance to give us ‘the Royal Salute’. The Salute might be royal but the prices are economical. With the summer holidays on, and the sun getting the temperatures to soar to unbearable limits, the package of all time favorites wrapped in cool surroundings could be just the right way to spend the vacation and keep the heat at bay.

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