Vindaloo for the win
It is a bustling Saturday afternoon at The Kitchen, the buffet restaurant at The Raintree Anna Salai. The restaurant kick-started their themed culinary experiences last week, where region-specific cuisines are exhibited as a part of the main buffet. It is spread over a period of three weeks (the menu changes every Sunday), and we are here for a preview of their Goanese Fiesta which begins on Sunday. Featuring about 15 to 20 classics like the ever-famous vindaloo, they have a live seafood BBQ grill to heat things up and a tender coconut mocktail counter to cool it down.
Seafood clearly takes centre stage and we begin our meal with a prawn balchão, a sweet-and-spicy Goan pickle, which we’re informed serves both as a starter and a main course, by Executive Chef Litwin Shanjit. The salty prawns add just the right hit to the sweet-and-spicy gravy, making it the perfect appetiser. At our query about a vegetarian alternative, the chef obliges with a potato and cauliflower version of the same, which however pales in comparison to its shellfish counterpart. As the cliché goes, no Goan meal is complete without vindaloo, and our falling-off-the-bone, slow cooked mutton vindaloo served with Malabar parotta, doesn’t disappoint.
Later for dessert, there is a fantastic pillow-soft bibingka, that boasts of an astounding 36 layers of rice flour cooked in coconut milk, eggs and sugar. But it was the dodol, rice flour cooked in jaggery and nuts that hhaveus hooked. For this reporter, it was a hark back to a non-descript bakery in small-town Kerala, buying kilos of black halwa – for the flavours are almost identical.
On from May 21 to May 27. Dinner only. Cost of buffet is Rs 1,600 + taxes. Details: 43939999