Courtyard Marriott puts together an event for connoisseurs who want to dine on Sri Lankan fare
Nearly two decades of experience in the hospitality industry shows through when I speak to executive chef Ashok Eapen. Heading the operation at Courtyard Marriott located near the airport, he’s clear that their Flavours of Ceylon is not a full-fledged food festival.
“Being so far outside the city most of our customers are regular travellers. Our aim is to bring a little change to our usual buffet dinner menu with a few Sri Lankan dishes,” says Ashok, about organising the first food promotion based on a region at the property since he joined a month back.
We start the meal with a bowl of thick pumpkin soup and an interesting channa sundal with balanced flavours of curry leaves, mustard and grated coconut. Then it dawns on me why the chef chose our neighbouring country to woo in regular buffet customers—the dishes will definitely appeal to the South Indian palate.
The appetiser Ashok serves is devilled chicken, a dry preparation with hints of spices like coriander and cloves. “Western street food is mostly appropriated for hotel kitchens. In this part of the world, it’s wiser to serve authentic dishes,” says the chef, serving us three platters—a kalupol chicken curry, elumas mutton curry and Sri Lankan crab curry.
The thick gravied traditional chicken dish with a pleasant tanginess will appeal to the Malayali palate and so will the staple crab with an ingrained taste of seafood preserved in a salty gravy. The sour mutton platter pairs well with kiribath, a sticky preparation of rice and coconut milk.
If you’re a vegetarian or just someone looking for a break from all these spicy delicacies, the chef’s slightly sweet white jackfruit curry using medium ripe fruit is a great choice. I also figure that I can down large amounts of rice with traditional accompaniments like sambol namely seeni, pol, katta and lunu miris. The desserts that capture my interest are gooey mango sagoo custard and a double-boiled custard named vattalappam.
At Momo Café.
From 7 - 11 pm till July 28.