Con-fucius & fusion 

Confucius- a Chinese teacher and philosopher once said “With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow- I have still joy in the midst of these things.”  Obviously he didn’t have a chance to experience the Fengli su created out of the genius of Chef Anupam Gulati for the new menu at Wan Hao the Chinese restaurant at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa.

What is the Fengli su? Simply put it is a Buttery pineapple heaven served with vanilla bean ice cream. Simple enough? As you dig in with every bite you notice a fresh salsa of torched pineapple carefully drizzled with rock salt and fresh red chilli with vanilla bean essence extract. All this carefully nestled within a choice of ice cream- might i suggest the Caramel almond to go with that sweet tang flavor. And a delicately placed buttery pineapple compote baked in a ‘nankhatai biscuit‘ might I add. A cookie for all the westerners. One of the biggest temptations you might face if you love your food is the disheveling of the creation so delicately placed in front of you. Its quite a blend and melange of fusions of our neighbor to the north the Big Red dragon spouting all the fire nestled within the salsa and the Indian touch of our beloved ‘nankhatai’-our shortbread biscuits so popular around tea time snacks. The word Nankhatai is derived from Persian word ‘naan‘ meaning bread and ‘Khatai‘ from an Afghan word meaning biscuit.

Fengli su

Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography

What are you waiting for? In the words of the wise one “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” and this I choose with glee. Hence I choose unto thee.

Cheers to U.s.a 

It’s 5pm and i frantically get a call from the Marriotts requesting my time and palette to attend the ‘Cheers’ American Whiskey tasting event that evening two hours hence. Given the rigidity of events taking place in Goa some would say that the season never left and is still in full swing. Juggling and reorganising schedules is an art, one which I never perfected. So I sheepishly call my host and decline with profuse apology in tow to make it upto them with a cherry gateaux cheesecake. More on that later.

I scurry across in time to meet the host of our event Shatbhi Basu an expert mixologist and lover of all things Whiskey. A woman after my own heart indeed. And to my delight the topic of the hour were an education on my favourite two men Jim Beam and Jack Daniels. 

What followed through the night was eventful to say the least. Try 5 shots of neat sampling some of Jim Beam & Black and Jack Daniels and Gentleman Jack and you would know my palate was thirsty for more. Mind you these were 10 ml shots at best yet it made my head swirl 10 feet high. 

The night wasn’t done to say the least. A vertiginous Union of whiskey infused crushers to peanut butter and Nutella shakes with cardamom hinted apple cider with anecdotes of the origin of these famous brands was something one had to focus on with the tenacity of a high rope acrobat crossing over a snake pit with his eyes blindfolded. He would probably have better luck succeeding with his task. 

With a teleportation to the limestones of Tennessee and the oak casks used it was walk down history boulevard. 

Three cheers for this fabulous night. 

Hic hic hurrah!!!!

Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography  

 

‘Roti pe Boti’ 

Literally translated the phrase means ‘Meat pieces on an Indian bread’

This is a serving of succulent intensely marinated mutton pieces with a after zing of freshly chopped chillies and herbs which is first slowly steamed in its own juices and then slightly grilled before the marinade is added. It’s accompanied by ‘green chutney- a spicy mint based sauce’ with some freshly chopped onions and lime for that extra tang. 

‘Roti’- derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Rotika’ meaning ‘bread’ is a standard flat bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour widely consumed in the Indian subcontinent. It’s layered and has a flaky crunch after taste of burnt embers eminating from the crust leaving you for more. It is said no one can eat only one when freshly pulled out from the ‘tandoor’ -Indian baking oven with coals’. 

A normal Indian household has this as mostly an occasion celebratory meal. 

This dish prepared is a fusion blend presentation which could be deciphered and eaten as an Indian pizza for less messy rapid consumption or perhaps a wrap like a taco.

Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography  

 

The Bell Jar Salmon 

This concept of redefining fine dining took my breath away (literally speaking).

 Infused in a bell jar with aromatic flavours ranging from citrus to cinnamon and chives with a cheese after taste hit my senses the minute I opened it. 

The Virgin olives and feta cheese melted my senses numb to the point of no return. Just the perfect starter to an amazing 10 course tasting of fusion cuisine from around the world. 

An evening well savoured. 

 Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography