Crime does pay

Published: Nov 23, 2011, 11:26 IST | Rocky Thongam |

Think a lady carrying a Chloe' bag can't hold a conversation about crime? At the right restaurant it happens

Think a lady carrying a Chloe' bag can't hold a conversation about crime? At the right restaurant it happens

DISCUSSING gruesome murders on a November brunch! Not quite gentlemanly you would argue. Especially, when you are breaking bread in the company of two graceful ladies who happen to be the editors of popular fashion magazines. But it happened. The ladies listened in rapt attention sipping their mulled wine, while a tale of kidnapping incident unfolded (of which your truly was an unfortunate victim). Not to be outdone they had their share of crime thrillers to narrate. So how did the conversation which should have lingered around Louboutin and Domenico Dolce veer towards gangsters and serial killers?

Lamb dumplings with wood smoked barbeque sauce

I say, anything can happen over a good brunch. We were part of the chef's table at Shiro as the Pan-Asian restaurant in Hotel Samrat dished out a menu for the season. The last time I was here at 'the castle' a few months back, it had decided to dish out a monsoon menu. The heads of the brand in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have 100 handpicked dishes or more which they keep rotating after studying the performance for a few months. And for a foodie it's always an introspective journey to revisit a restaurant and check if he did justice to his readers when he wrote about it last time.

Sweet chilli potatoes

This time Executive Sous Chef Parampreet Luthra was on a war footing. Korean, Vietnamese or Thai, this warrior chef wanted no hostage this time. Heat a wok, swirl around some oil, stir fry your ginger, garlic and lemon grass, add prawns, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves and voila! you have your Prawn with kaffir lime. Only Parampreet does it better here with his own twist. Then try and duck the Chicken and asparagus in ginger lemon sauce assault and you'll fail miserably.

Whoever came up with the idea of pairing tender chicken pieces with the spring vegetable low in calories but rich in vitamins, calcium and magnesium needs a seat besides Mark Zukerberg. Unfortunately, a breach in the castle's wall was the Spicy yaki soba noddles. Derived from the traditional chow mein, I'm assuming it was included on the menu to keeping in mind our fondness for fried noodles but for me it stood out like a sore thumb in the scheme of things. Interestingly, one of the ladies who had a fondness of food with thick exoskeleton ordered Crab cakes. Not on the new menu but this American dish earned their goodwill, when I tried it myself I found that it made for a perfect starter if you you wash down with some good old whiskey.

So did Shiro pass the litmus test yet again? I'll be forced to say 'yes'. The 'serene lighting and cascading water falls' lend an interesting ambience in the evening but a sober brunch also is possible here. Their upcoming plans of making it a classy arty place in for the coming month proves the managers are still taking back to their wives the woes to reinvent the joint periodically.

The owners, in-laws, chefs and their humble underlings are still wrecking their brains to come up with new things to keep the mood upbeat. And if everything fails, it still dishes out food which can help you thrash away stereotype, chauvinist opinions about female company. If not for anything else, a thumbs up for  adrenaline- rushing, gritty and rousing conversations over a glass of mulled wine.

At Shiro, Hotel Samrat, Chanakyapuri
Timings 12.30pm to 3.30pm (lunch) 7.30pm to 12.30am (dinner)
Meal for two Rs 4000 plus taxes
Ring 26876310

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