The great Indian summer is not always about the hot, humid, and dusty weather; rather this is the time when people relish some of the great fruit baskets as well. If I talk about the flavour of the season, it has to be Mango. Whenever I talk about mangoes, a bundle of treasured childhood memories just transport me to my summer vacation days, when I enjoyed running in the mango orchard at my Grandmother’s place. The pleasure of plucking those ripe mangoes and enjoying them sitting under the tree just comes alive .
I could not skip this opportunity when I got an invite to relish the New Summer Collection Menu by Chef Veena Arora at Spice Route Restaurant , The Imperial recently. Chef Veena Arora has been creating this summer special menu at Spice Route restaurant for the past two decades. The menu includes delicacies from Kerala, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand but with a twist to it. Chef Veena Arora blends different flavours to give a new twist to these existing cuisines.
She does it every year with the Summer Menu where she uses both raw and ripe mangoes in her fusion food platter. It is amazing how she blends mangoes so creatively in the famous Summer Collection Menu each year.
According to Chef Veena Arora, “Summer Collection menu has been close to my heart since the time The Spice Route opened doors, and invokes timelessness for me, each time I start planning it. Inspired by fashion fraternity, the menu is whipped up to dish out something unique for the patrons from the landmark kitchen of this world famous restaurant. The interesting raw and ripe mango based South-East Asian recipes are refreshing like the advent of summer ought to be and a celebration of the season of course. Most of them are my own creations, wonderfully complemented by rice, chicken, prawns, sole fish, veggies and exotic spices.”
I started with Yum see kler, a salad made of spice carrot, raw papaya, and raw mango having a refreshing flavour with a tangy twist. Mixed with palm sugar and peanuts, this was absolutely mouth-watering in the summer. Next was Amba Isso Temperadu, which is made of stir fried prawns cooked with chilli powder, turmeric, onions, bell peppers, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, curry leaves and raw mango. The distinctive flavours of curry leaves and tangy mango blend perfectly with juicy prawns to give a unique taste to your mouth.
I was presented the famous Aambalam katrikai, a traditional dish from Kerala which is typically prepared with fried eggplant, though Chef Veena twisted the dish with coconut and mangoes in it, which goes perfectly with Mango Appam and Jasmine rice. I also enjoyed Alleppey Fish Curry which is made of Sole fillet and raw mango cooked in Kerala curry. Interestingly this is introduced for the first time by Chef Veena Arora.
Pla-e-saan tops the chart for me . The crispy sole fillet, served with spicy palm sugar sauce and shredded raw mango on the top makes it simply delicious. It gave me unique flavours which was more than satisfying. To add to your spicy cuisines list, I enjoyed having Ga Xao Hot Dieu . The Vietnamese styled stir-fried chicken cooked with ripe mango and cashew nut, giving a strong flavour to your taste buds.
What could be a better way to finish your lavish lunch than VEGAN ICE CREAM, which is basically coconut ice cream served with sticky rice, garnished with peanuts, chia seeds and diced bread.
I have to admit that I relished each one of the recipes by Chef Veena Arora at The Spice Route restaurant on a hot summer day. Besides the mouth-watering summer collection menu , I was completely intrigued by the interior of this restaurant which is listed as one of the top restaurants in the world for its visual depiction of art and culture.
The courtyard of Spice Route simply transports you to the wonderful world of Southeast Asia with traditional Thai sculptures, from the Chiang Mai region in northern Thailand. The is truly an outstanding visual spectacle. The Spice Route reflects the journey of spices from the Malabar Coast in Kerala through Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand to Vietnam. Designed by Rajeev Sethi, the celebrated cultural czar of India, The Spice Route is considered as an architectural marvel which offers an exceptionally beautiful yet unique dining experience. The specially curated Summer Special Menu by Chef Veena Arora is another reason to visit The Spice Route.
I would say that Spice Route of The Imperial is not just another restaurant, but a perfect destination where art meets food.
Treat yourself with famous Summer Collection Menu by Veena Arora at The Spice Route, The Imperial, New Delhi.
SUMMER COLLECTION AT ‘THE SPICE ROUTE’, THE IMPERIAL , DELHI
Date: 15th May to 15th July 2016
Timings: Lunch 12:30pm to 2:45pm and Dinner: 7pm to 11:45pm
Price: INR 8500 + taxes for two people
For table reservations: Call 41116605
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