Occasional bursts of sunlight flatter to deceive and the rains continue to maintain a cool atmosphere over the city. This is the time when food lovers may find some solace in a cup of hot coffee or a nice hot meal to take advantage of the weather. And residents of the city who choose to get out of the cold by stepping into the Avenue Regent hotel over the coming days will be pleased to see the large sign outside announcing a steak and sizzler festival at the Springs restaurant located in the hotel.
The restaurant lives up to its name, with a light green shade establishing itself as the dominant colour, gracing everything from seat backrests to napkins. The festival is a dinner only affair (7 p.m. – 11 p.m.), and the ambient light is provided by solitary candles on each table. The large variety of steaks available are served with a complementary wine courtesy Big Banyan wines, which coupled with the candlelight and the view of MG Road offered by the corner tables make for a great setting for those of a romantic disposition.
Joshua E.V, the sous chef at the restaurant, explains that the steak and sizzler festival is the most eagerly awaited event for regular patrons of the hotel, with tables being filled to capacity and requiring patrons to make reservations in advance. 'We pay special attention to feedback from our guests. This year the menu has favourites from last year and some new additions that we are sure will make an impact,' he says.
The feedback must be good, for the spread on offer is quite extravagant. The Moroccan Chicken Supreme is a lemon flavoured grilled chicken preparation; the Herb Roasted Chicken (one of Joshua’s recommendations) is an oven roasted chicken with herbs. Pork lovers can choose between Barbeque Pork with spare ribs or Oriental Roast Pork for those wanting a more meaty flavour. 'We have gone for some combinations as well,' explains Joshua, 'There is a special Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin, which is a fillet steak wrapped with bacon and served with green mustard. Seafood lovers can try the Seer Steak or Grilled Jumbo Prawns or go all the way and try the seafood platter.'
Plenty of choice
Meat lovers have options like the Pepper Steak and Sliced Beef with Burnt Garlic (a pan fried sliced steak stewed with oriental sauce). And if that still does not sate the appetite, try the Mixed Grill, with chicken, beef and chicken wings topped with a fried egg. Vegetarians can sink their teeth into the Veg Sizzler or try the Cheese Steak, which has grilled aubergine and parmesan cheese stuffed inside cottage cheese.
Joshua explains the importance of choosing the right fillet for making steaks, 'For a good steak, it is important that the meat be tender, to ensure the juicy taste of the final product. Since it is difficult to get top notch products here, we take extra care to make sure our meat is at par, and generally everyone who comes here has been quite satisfied with the food,' he says.
Our steak with red wine reduction arrives with a display of sizzling meat and pouring smoke, the small slices of beef accompanied by potato wedges, vegetables and some garlic bread on the side (standard for all steaks). The juicy beef is well complemented by the slight tang of the wine that teases the taste buds. Joshua explains that wines served are matched to the type of meat and that the first glass is complementary.
The meal can be given a sweet finish with some dessert from the regular dessert menu, the Mexican chocolate in cold custard sauce being one of the highlights. The round chocolate in a sea of white custard is a revelation in taste; though it can be so filling it makes you wonder when you will be capable of consuming food again. Then again, sometimes it makes sense to just sit back and enjoy the simpler things in life.
The steak and sizzler festival is on for dinner till August 11.