Spit roasts to kofta, tuck into festive feasts in Delhi

December 24th, 2010 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

By Madhusree Chatterjee
New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) They are a family of foodies, but corporate communication executive Geet Srivastava, his wife and parents have sent their cook on leave for the festive season. That’s because eateries in Delhi are dangling enough delights to keep them satiated from Christmas through New Year.From spit roasts, tapas and sangria to honey glazed lamb and chicken consomme to mutton kofta, there’s a lot on offer.

“We want to dine at Olive Beach on Christmas,” Geet told IANS. The eatery he has chosen was set up in 2007 at Diplomatic Enclave in Chanakyapuri and it has fallen back on thousands of years of history to draw its yearend menu.

“The yearend has two big events - Christmas and the New Year. Christmas is food-focused while the New Year is more party focussed. We have harked back to the classical Western meat-based recipes and organic platters which are very basic in nature to reflect the spirit of winter,” chef Sabyasachi Gorai of Olive Beach said.

The show-stoppers of Olive’s Christmas feast, Gourmet’s Carol Dec 24-25, are the spit roasts and wooden oven roasts.

“I will roast a suckling pig seared on iron spit with Y-shaped balancing on either sides on a wood fire just the way you saw in the Asterix comics. It is an ancient Roman and Greek roast that was mastered by the medieval English chefs to roast their game birds and deer,” Sabyasachi said.

He has researched his roast from Asterix comics and old European cookbooks. Accompanying the suckling pig will be turkeys roasted on classical Italian oven. Both the dishes are first-timers on the Olive menu.

The restaurant will also serve an array of both vegetable meat soups in Japanese fire-proof paper pots, lightly cooked corn-fed organic chicken, baby lamb meat balls and sauces, fresh organically grown vegetables and handmade pastas from Italy.

The wine will be Italian and French, though the wine bar at the Olive Beach will host a selection of tapas menu and sangria, the indigenous Spanish brew.

A Christmas meal for two cost nearly Rs.2,000 (excluding taxes) while the tab for the New Year’s eve party dinner will hover around Rs. 8,000.

For those with a growing palate for tapas menu, the capital has spread a virtual feast from Spain.

“The last time I visited Spain in 2009 I lived on tapas and sangria,” Zara Sheikh, a capital-based designer, told IANS. She does not mind a tapas fare on Christmas.

Aman, the gourmet restaurant at Lodhi, will offer unlimited tapas with premium spirits and cocktails from Christmas eve, along with live jazz music.

Tapas refers to a wide variety of appetisers and snacks in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold - such as mixed olives and cheese - or warm such as chopitos which are battered and fried seafood.

However, the special dinner at Aman includes continental exotica like honey glazed lamb, chicken consomme, porcini tortellini (an Italian dish of cheese or pesto filling), wild mushrooms veloute (sauce), truffle oil, grilled truffle and potatoes, zucchini timbale (with spinach, lentils and tomato sauce).

“The focus is one variety this season and a touch of the West for cosy family meals,” a spokesperson for the Radisson MBD in Noida told IANS.

At S 18, the Radisson coffee shop, the buffet spread for Christmas will feature 100 dishes while the master chef Sim at RED, the Oriental eatery at Radisson, will lay the best of Singaporean cuisine. At Made-in-India, the royal buffet will host “futuristic Indian dishes” of innovative kebas, biriyanis and a wide variety of curries.

A meal for two could dent the wallet by nearly Rs. 4,000.

The Infusion Kitchen and Lounge has cooked up a Indo-European fusion fare with the desi dal makhani and paneer contrasted by Anglo-Indian specialties like masala chai mousse, Dijon tandoori chicken salad, mutton kofta, spaghetti, soups meat and vegetable starters.

This season, the hamper at the luxury chocolate boutique Bruijn in the capital and in Mumbai is high on nuts and rich chocolates, all made at home.

“We add our own touch of modernity while retaining their sublime taste and authenticity. Our packaging and outlook is chic, elegant and modern but our chocolate and nuts recipes have been unfiltered down the years. It is a a challenging job,” Mandavi Kanchan, the founder of Bruijn, said. A hamper costs Rs. 500.

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