Chefs at Paprika fishing for compliments (Eating Out With IANS)

By V. Jagannathan, IANS
Thursday, October 28, 2010

CHENNAI - If the thought of over a dozen fish varieties cooked as starters, a side dish and curry is making your mouth water, then the chefs at Paprika restaurant here would be more than willing to oblige!

The nine-day seafood festival at Paprika, located in Courtyard Marriott Hotel here, was announced as stylishly as their offerings - with newspaper advertisements and posters showing the chefs on a catamaran, dressed in their uniforms.

The fest is offering eight types of marinations, Indian and Western, for starters as well as a side dish for the main course and four curries made with fish of your choice.

Placed at the Paprika entrance is a small wooden boat - termed as seafood market - showcasing the day’s catch. Diners can see lady fish, nethilli, tiger shark, grouper, king fish, black pomfret, and others laid out on ice.

Shell fish like tiger prawn, lobster, oysters, mussels, crabs, squid, clam and their accompaniments are the ready-to-eat items kept alongside.

“The idea behind displaying the raw fish varieties is to enable the guests to order their favourite fish, with the marination and the curry he would like to have,” executive chef Suresh Thampy told IANS, while preparing prawn grilled in lemon, butter sauce and pepper.

Thampy takes care of the Western cuisine, and his deputies Amit Dash and Somu prepare the north and south Indian varieties.

According to Thampy, the restaurant’s regular dinner buffet spread was not disturbed for the festival that is on till Oct 31. Instead, a wide range of seafood was now available for the diners.

Somu displayed seafood made with different marinations - red chilli, methi, mint and coriander, malai, kozhi vada, achar, chettinad and ajwain.

“What you will miss here is the dried fish. We decided against it, as some guests may not like its strong smell. However, we have hung different varieties of dried fish in the kitchen area,” he said.

For the more adventurous, hot and spicy starters like chettinad or red chilli marinated prawn or sear fish are the perfect options.

One can go for meen moilee, chettinad and pepper based curry that goes well with steamed rice, and marinated fish varieties as the side dish.

Chef Dash recommends malai prawn for starters, and rohi fish curry and steamed rice for the main course.

He said the restaurant is working towards a new menu, and some the items currently on offer may be included in it.

Available only for dinner, the buffet costs Rs.1,700 per person (with liquor) or Rs.1,200 otherwise.

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