If you are a person who get ‘food craving’ attacks very often, relax it is normal. It differs from person to person – from chocolate to meats, from sweets to seafood. But not answering your food cravings is a cardinal sin (I just made that up but it might be true).

I get cravings all the time, yesterday my taste buds wanted the goodness of sea and guess what, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton is hosting Coastal food festival at their restaurant Asia Alive. Without any further ado, I decided to explore scrumptious creations from India’s coastlines with a lavish dinner buffet spread at Asia Alive.

As you enter the restaurant, you can see the wonderful set up and never ending buffet spread in mud pots. Right from the traditional attire from coastal regions worn by the serving staff to the aroma different varieties of fish and jhaal muri, the whole vibe around the restaurant was just infectious.

We accelerated on this coastal journey with Seafood Saaru from Karnataka. This soup is perfect amalgamation of everything tasty you can find in the sea with the likes of prawns and squid. I couldn’t have imagine for a better start to a meal than this bowl of goodness. It captured all the essence of sea.

After the wonderful soup and before the main course, we were served four appetisers, two each for green and red: Kothimbir Vadi from Maharashtra, Seviya Pakoda, Koli Sukka from Mangalore and Masala fried Fish from Kerala.

Kothimbir Vadi was a ‘wow’ dish out of these four. An absolute favourite on the table, it just flew off the plates in the mouth of the fellow diners. Kothimbir Vadi are basically coriander fritters and is one of the favourite Maharashtrian snack. In the first look, it resembles dhokla to a great extent.

Another favourite was Koli Sukka, a perfect representative of Mangalore which is known for its fiery spice and mouthful flavours. This delicious coconut based chicken dish is made to tease your taste buds.

And of course, the different varieties of fried fish is something which cannot be debated. People who swears by seafood will understand what I am talking about. Just dive in as soon as the plates are placed on the table.

The main course spread of both veg and non-veg combined is humongous, fourteen items to precise. It is obvious, I did not taste everything on the menu. Having said that, there were few things that left me in awe.

Here are my top picks from the main course:

Daab Chingri

As I write about it, I am salivating. Yes that’s what daab Chingri does it to me. For people who don’t know what daab Chingri is – It is a traditional Bengali preparation of prawns cooked in mustard and filled inside a coconut to get a amalgamated essence of mustard and coconut cream.

Travancore Panni Curry

It has been only a year or so that I have started eating pork but I am already in love with it. The meat pieces was as succulent as it gets. The goodness of coriander, black pepper powder and cumin seeds provides that powerful punch and makes this dish standout. I suggest you eat this panni curry with fresh and hot appam.

Thalassery Chicken Dum Biryani

Thalassery is a commercial town on the Malabar Coast in Kannur district, in the state of Kerala and is known for its biryani. Unlike others, Thalassery biryani usually uses Jeerakasala rice instead of the usual basmati rice. The fried onions adds so much flavour and taste to this biryani. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this is one of the better biryanis I have had in a long time.

Kanchkolar Kofta

Another Bengali dish on this must have list. I have a soft corner for Bengali food and it justifies why. This Kofta made out of Kanchkola (raw banana) is something one should definitely try. It is a traditional Bengali dish, cooked almost in every Bengali household. This goes well with both chapattis and basmati rice. The amalgamation of different ingredients like cumin, garam masala, sugar and red chill among others pushes the boundaries of flavour to a whole different level.

Jhaal Muri and Bengali Sweets

People from Bengal swears by Jhaal Muri, a spicy street food snack made by puffed rice. What else do you want when you get jhaal muri which replicates the one from Bengal to a great extent. Plenty of ingredients and spices are used like sev, peanuts, boiled potato, tomato, onion, green chilli, cucumber, mustard oil, cumin seeds powder, black salt, mango powder and red chilli powder. I am very sure I have missed to list of few more things.

Did anyone say best is saved for the last? Well said. Everyone who has the sweet tooth would have gone crazy eating these Bengali sweets – kalakand, kala jamun, payasam, chandrakala and rasmalai. Well, enough said.

What: Coastal Food Festival
Where: Asia Alive, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton
When: Till 31st Day of March
Cost: 1099++
Rating: 4/5


Dreamer, Blogger, Writer, Foodie, Movie buff, Public Relations. Contributor for The New Indian Express and recently started a news publishing website 'Unkrate'.

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