Va­ri­ety Ga­lore

If you are look­ing for a mix and match fare then Food­lands is the place to be. It has ev­ery­thing that an au­then­tic North In­dian eatery has along with some flavours from South In­dia too. This week taste of In­dia beck­ons.

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - STORY ASHISH DUBASH AND ONEZA TABISH • PHOTOGRAPHY SHABIN E.

For many things in life it is said that one should wait for the right time. Not quite sure what made the ‘right time’ ar­rive so late but some­how a visit to Food­lands re­mained de­ferred for years un­til it fi­nally hap­pened last week.

Hav­ing passed by this restau­rant ow­ing to it be­ing lo­cated at the heart of Al Khuwair, it was easy for us to lo­cate the place and soon we were ush­ered to the quaint cor­ner, the fam­ily sec­tion of the restau­rant.

Sip­ping the re­fresh­ing mock­tail of orange and pineap­ple juice that was served upon our arrival we started with ke­babs, it be­ing the most favoured choice when it comes to starters.

Served in both veg­e­tar­ian and non veg­e­tar­ian op­tions the plat­ter had plenty to choose from. We started with Crispy Palak Fry that is deep fried gram flour coated spinach leaves, Veg­etable Am­rit­sari; cheese stuffed mixed veg­etable pat­ties, Pa­neer Reshmi Ke­bab; cot­tage cheese slabs mar­i­nated in mus­tard and spices and grilled to per­fec­tion, and Aloo Til­wada or stuffed pota­toes grilled with tan­doori spices and coated with toasted mus­tard seeds. Ke­bab con­nois­seurs would agree that when it comes to ke­babs, veg­e­tar­i­ans al­ways be­come a loner in the meaty en­vi­ron­ment but we were bowled over by the at­ten­tion given to the veg­e­tar­ian side too.

The sub­tle flavours of the spices gave a great start to the non veg­e­tar­ian starters that fol­lowed. They were Creamy Gar­lic Chicken, Grilled Chicken Ke­bab pre­sented in sa­tay style, and Mex­i­can Pep­per Prawn in which jumbo prawns were mar­i­nated in Thai chilli paste, pars­ley leaves, and pep­per and then grilled. This was served with a tar­tar sauce dip.

Thyme Grilled Chicken; bone­less chicken pieces mar­i­nated in rose­mary, thyme, cream and pep­per were char­grilled and served with a tomato, pars­ley, and chilli flakes dip. The ke­bab plat­ter had Murgh Rozali, Dahi and Luc­knowi Ke­babs. Rozali Ke­bab were chicken pieces stuffed with mut­ton mince and then grilled.

Af­ter a hearty ke­bab binge it was time to shift our at­ten­tion to the main course. Since Food­lands is known to serve cuisines from both North and South In­dia we started with Butter Chicken and Pa­neer Pasanda with naans. Both these creamy, tomato and cashew in­fused cur­ries were vel­vety in tex­ture and flavour­ful. Subz Bhuna Palak with mush­rooms and corn was an­other veg­e­tar­ian main dish which was very delicious.

When it came to the south In­dian del­i­ca­cies it was a de­light to be served some tra­di­tional dishes. It was also time to clear the mis­con­cep­tion that south In­dian food mainly re­volved round idlis and dosas. The south­ern In­dian plat­ter had some beau­ti­fully pre­sented au­then­tic cur­ries from Ker­ala.

We started with At­tirachi Tawayil Kuthi Porichathu. It might sound like a tongue twister for those who are alien to the lan­guage but it is mut­ton fried on the tava with sliced co­conut and a dish meant for those who have a palate to savour spices. The mango pulp dip was a great ac­com­pa­ni­ment. We also had Beef Koot­tularthu; cooked with sliced onions, spices and roasted with dry co­conut, Che­meen Kizhi; prawns which were sautéed with onions in a thick gravy, and Fish manga curry made with king­fish in co­conut milk, raw mango, and spices along with steamed rice. These were served with the tra­di­tional Ker­ala paran­tha, ap­pams, and Tha­lassery Chicken Dum Biryani. We de­voured in de­light as we sipped kiwi straw­berry mo­jito which had chopped kiwi and straw­berry bits in straw­berry syrup topped with soda. Mango lady that had vanilla ice cream, with mango pulp with crushed mint and ice caught our fancy too. Green mango was a re­fresh­ing med­ley of lime, co­rian­der, gin­ger, raw mango with a mild kick of green chill­ies.

The mixed bag of rich and spicy food left us staggering and we de­cided to burp it off with fried ice cream and falooda.

If you are look­ing for va­ri­ety all un­der one roof that’s easy on the purse too you know where to go this weekend.

LO­CA­TION Opp. City Sea­sons Ho­tel, Al Khuwair 7:30am till mid­night +968 2448 9888; +968 9911 7821

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