Man vs Food

Loading up mouthfuls of flavour,restaurants in the city serve extra large servings of food,dessert and beverages.

Written by Joyce William John | Published: April 20, 2013 11:57 pm

Loading up mouthfuls of flavour,restaurants in the city serve extra large servings of food,dessert and beverages.

It’s humungous,it’s bordering on crazy and it’s ruling some of the best menus in town. Jumbo-sized food is the big thing,quite literally,giving foodies in Pune a mouthful. From extra large servings of dessert to burger,tea and even vadapav,chefs are offering a range of dishes that toe the fine line between overwhelming and scrumptious.

At Olive Bistro,the fittingly-named Insanity cake is the highest-selling dessert. A crunchy base made with cornflakes,oats,oatmeal and hazelnut is topped with layers of soft cocoa sponges,a genoise sponge,light dark chocolate mousse,citrus orange,white chocolate mousse and raspberry mousse. Slices of apricots caramelised in honey sit right on top over a layer of whipped vanilla double cream to complete the decadent dessert. The chef serves it with a chocolate and hazelnut drizzle,garnished with thyme to cut the richness. The combination of flavours and textures ensures there is never a dull moment in the indulgence.

“I wanted one dish that stands out both in flavour and proportion on our essentially bistro-style menu. We tried a combination of different pastries,multiple sponges and chocolates and got to the Insanity cake,” says Mayank Tiwari,Chef de cuisine for Olive Bistro and Olive Bar and Kitchen,Mumbai.

The chef is categorical that when it’s extra large portions one is dealing with,the proportion has to be perfect. “There should also be a balance between flavours so people come back for it. If the dish is monotonous,no matter how cost effective it is,people won’t like it,” says Tiwari.

A passing glance at the WTF Burger at Burger Barn Cafe is enough for you to know that it is clearly for the mighty hearts and stomachs. Launched almost a year ago,the burger was meant to be a crowd puller. And from the word go,the burger has done just that with people lining up for the burger challenge to raze it in 30 minutes flat. Weighing two kg,it has all the chicken patties on the menu with stuffing of fries,sausages,coleslaw,sliced cheese,mozzarella chesse,grilled onions,barbecue sauce,mayonnaise and mushrooms.

Pawan Nandwani,founder and proprietor of The Burger Barn Cafe,shares the secret of its success. He says,“The first and last bite taste completely different,with a range of other flavours in between. That’s the key for any large serving. Various flavour profiles are needed so that one doesn’t get bored.”

Presenting the burger is a challenge in its own right. Held together with skewer-kind sticks,the burger is not the prettiest thing on the plate,admits Nandwani,adding that they have managed to make it look appetising nonetheless.

For patrons who care two hoots about size,Burger Barn is set to bring on another jumbo dish — Ultimate Sizzler. “It has a choice of base. The biggest being the Surf & Turf,which consists of chicken,fish and prawns. It’s topped with a full portion of fries,grated cheese,homemade cocktail sauce,grilled onions,herbs and chilli flakes. Served along with sauteed herbed vegetables and rice,it’s a massive meal,” says Nandwani.

Served in a nine inch-deep bowl-like mug,the Chai Latte at Mocha Cafe Bar is another serving that runneth over. Milky and thick,the masala tea is a brew to enjoy with long,aimless conversations. Gaurav Gidwani,executive chef of Mocha Cafe Bar,says,“The serving is meant to make people indulge,unwind and stick around.” Assistant head chef at the Pune outlet dispels any doubts that for the city size matters. “People have tea in regular-sized cups all the time at their homes. This,however,is very different. We have great demand for it,particularly from elderly people.”

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