Food from the Land of the Free
Forget the calories and enjoy yourself at the American Food Shindig, on at the Radisson
Pic. by K. Pichumani
Substantial helpings: It's traditional American flavours at this shindig
THESE ARE people who deep-fry slabs of chocolate. They coat Mars bars in batter and dunk them in boiling oil, so they can eat them hot and gooey off a stick. They make piles of pancakes, layer them with chunks of melting butter and drape them in thick maple syrup. They like cookie dough so much, it's now a best selling ice cream, with hunks of unbaked dough between frozen vanilla.
Obviously, the Americans really enjoy their food. Which probably explains why American food has so much variety.
Forget the cheese laden pizzas and meaty burgers that masquerade as original Americana in most part of the world today: there's a lot more to the food of the Land of the Free.
Especially today, when cultures from all over the world Chinese, Mexican, Greek, Italian, Thai, Japanese, etc. are finding their way onto American dining tables.
Lot of research
So when Elango Rajendran, Executive Chef of the Radisson, decided to hold an American food festival at the Garden Café, the hotel's coffee shop, he said it took a lot of research, and the toughest part was narrowing down their choices so they could fit them all on one menu.
While the Radisson's collection does include the obligatory Pepperoni pan pizzas and half-pounder burgers, they have also included a healthy helping of traditional America in their `American Food Shindig.' Creole crab cake with mustard and Cherokee pepper soup feature in the `Starters' section, for instance.
Not that we ate anything that healthy!
"Calories, calories, calories," snorted Chef Elango, "Everything has calories. Just enjoy your food." He then proceeded to order potato skins, which were fried to a crisp and then loaded with crumbly cheddar cheese. And to accompany them, fried chicken wings, sticky with barbeque sauces and served with a thick cheesy dressing.
We skipped the pasta-pizza-burger route and headed to the more traditional section of their menu, which lists meat loaf with Creole sauce, casseroles and quiches.
But the good Chef had his own ideas. And they involved buttermilk battered half chicken and lots of French fries.
The chicken arrived hot, crisp and golden, along with a helping of mashed potatoes and one sprig of thyme to ensure we got our vegetable quota. They also dished up a Pascado abueletia, fish baked with lime and rosemary.
The food is simple, the flavours basic and the quantities are, of course, substantial. The smoothies, however, are a let down and waste of good stomach space essential if you plan to complete the course with dessert: all American Peach cobbler, sweet, tart and crumbly.
The festival is on till March 13. Call 22310101 for reservations.
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