February 27, 2009 4:07:09 am
The all-new B Lounge rolls out theme-based cuisine culled from Cairo
First things first. The dusty drive to Zirakpur in the middle of the afternoon was completely worth it. The all-new B Lounge tucked away in Hotel Bristol throws up a pleasant surprise with its themed lounge that brings in the best of Egypt! Having had enough of Continental,Chinese and Mughlai fare,the new cuisine does offer a refreshing change. Thats exactly what we had in mind too, steps in the hotels managing director Sunny Virk as we take a look around the new place that also boasts of their new restaurant Peppers. But first its the lounge that we head to. Dont go expecting pyramids in the corner but yes theres an understated elegance to the place with plush seating,little candles burning alongside Mashal-like lights and earthy tones running right through. It was on a visit to Cairo that I first tried Egyptian food and completely loved it, mentions Virk as we lend an ear to him and the Egyptian music filtering in. Staying true to their theme,the lounge will only serve authentic Egyptian fare. Theres an uncanny similarity between Indian and Egyptian cuisines. They use our kind of ingredients but Egyptian food is high in nutritive value as its either baked,poached or roasted, explains Virk. Tempted we turn to the menu. The names of the dishes might sound foreign but a closer look at the description of the dishes will tell you its not fussy food.
All the sections,be it the starters,main course or even the desserts bring in a selection that would best suit the Indian palate, pitches in CEO,R S Rawal. So in come healthy salads and starters which are tossed up in olive oil and bring in a liberal use of feta cheese,hung curd,olives,exotic greens,chickpeas,dates and all. While we are all used to one type of Hummus and Pita bread,we offer a range to choose from, chorus the two. If you are a salad person then the Dates and Lettuce salad comes highly recommended as does the chicken Souvlaki and Kofta Bi Fama that makes the most of sesame and feta cheese. All the food is pre-plated, Rawal adds as we notice the well-stocked bar. The main course offers seafood,chicken,lamb and vegetarian dishes. Do try Asafer Bil Murghabiah that offers grilled chicken marinated with chickpeas and served with Tahini sauce. All the dips are made from hung yoghurt and therefore are very healthy, adds Virk who also suggests a vegetarian delicacy Khushri.
With the lounge open from 11.30 to midnight,theres finger food also on offer and some Egyptian sandwiches. Round up with Egyptian sweets like Baqlava and Basbusa. And while you are there,do check out their all-new other fine dining restaurant Peppers that plays up Indian Colonial fare. The menu boasts of Indian dishes during the days of the Raj and here too we have a theme, sums up Virk who is hoping to spread the Egyptian theme to other cities in Punjab as well. Dig in!
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