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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Japan Vs China- The Food Debate, Pan Asian, Chennai

Vegetarian vs Non vegetarian
Paneer vs Tofu
North Indian vs South Indian
Coffee vs Tea

and now, things are going global. Yes, we are talking about the big debate between Japanese Food vs Chinese food. I was wondering what this was all about, what ITC Grand Chola was hoping to accomplish. Little did I know I was in for a visual and sinful treat. 

They had flown down a Chinese Chef , pitted him against our very own Chef Vikram and the debate was on. I have been to Pan Asia twice before and both times, it has been quite a memorable experience. I have tried dishes filled with new flavours and textures, so I knew tonight was going to be no different. Just dint expect the surprise I was in for! 

And this Debate was going to pawn all other debates, beating them hands down. It had the Oomph. The food was paired with Whisky, and no small brand, it was Johnnie Walker. 

We were shown a menu, a set menu, one side of it belong to Japan and the other side to China and the dishes were paired with different kinds of Johnnie Walker whisky. After a brief round of introductions and hellos, we settled in and the evening just flew by.  When our orders were being taken, I somehow went with the Japanese menu, but luckily friend chose the Chinese and so we got to taste both  the dishes. 

The 1st platter, the amuse-bouche was quite a visual treat, and then my taste buds did the tango wit every sip and bite. There was a mini martini glass with a drink [yuzo and vodka] and the rim was filled with celery salt. Then there was a soup spoon with little green balls that were basically celery, and a crisp tofu skin[sansho crisp] and a sake?white wine soaked cherry tomato. Every mouthful was like firecrackers in the night sky. The Celery salt was the highlight. Oh, how can I forget the glass of Rising Sun that I sipped on. Johnnie Walker whisky blended with Egg white, soya sauce and Wasabi mix. Loved it, absolutely loved it.

I knew then the party had begun! The soup was another treat- Edamame, beetroot, truffle in a subtle Broccoli broth and a ring made with rice and another Japanese ingredient. Reading the word "Truffle" brought memories of the movie "No reservations" and of shows I had seen where a dog was used to sniff it out in the wilderness. What amazing flavours. As the soup arrived, so did the 2nd drink, this time a Johnnie walker blend with Oolong tea and sugar syrup, served in a long stemmed Martini glass. Moving on, the starter I chose was Confit Green Apple Carpacio served with plum tomato ice, gold label sichimi emulsion. Carpcio was yet another dish I had heard and seen on TV, so trying it out was a new experience and Yes, I loved it. What a blend of flavours and textures. The Whisky paired with this was Johnnie Walker Double Black label, such a smooth drink. 

Following this, came the main course- Grilled Artichoke hearts served alongside sticky rice, tobajan miso, water chestnuts. The drinnk for this was Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, yet another smooth drink. The dish was just amazing, loved the crunchiness of the Water chestnut [infact we had a debate amongst ourselves wondering what veg that was].  And then, it was time for dessert. We were all grinning and having a lovely evening. Once again, I went with the dessert on the Japanese section of the menu and boy oh boy was I happy. My dessert was Johnnie walker whisky soaked  pear slices served with probiotic yoghurt ice cream. A vanilla milk of sorts was poured over the pear slices and boom boom the flavours took me to heaven and back. I am not joking nor am I exaggerating. I loved the creaminess and smoothness. This was served with the finest in Johnnie walker, the Premium drink.

Wait, Chef Vikram had yet another surprise in store for us. We were served another dessert, a dark chocolate one[75%], his signature chocolate preparation. He came over, chit chatted with us, asked for feedback and mentioned this dessert was just something he put together, no big deal... :-) What a humble man!! We also spent a few minutes chatting about some of his other creations and the Sunday brunch that he promised was going to be a one of a kind experience.  

This Chinese/ Japanese set menu is priced around Rs 2500 [and if you include the Whisky, it would be Rs 4000ish].. 

PS: Here are my earlier posts

ITC Grand Chola
#63, Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai,TN,600032
Ph- 044 2220 0000

1 comment:

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