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A good buffet spread at The International Hotel

The Great Spoiler: It is great to be the first for a buffet. To run the spoon through the artfully designed dishes.

It's hot: the chutney and preserve section

Really that is not kichadi but pachadi: The bittergourd pachadi is an interesting idea

If there is one dish that I like at The International Hotel it is their Seafood Au Gratin. That afternoon I had that yearning for the cheesy gooey melt with its small bits of seafood- squid and all. The rings of squid or sear cube nudge against the softness of your inner cheek and urge you to sink your teeth into them while the cheese spreads slowly over your tongue. The texture is amazing against your palate. It was one of those moments when I just had to have the au gratin with warm buttered rolls. And believe me I am not even pregnant to have that sudden onslaught of yearnings. But I guess it was one of those moments.

But what greeted me at the Coq D’Or restaurant was a spread of the buffet. We were the first to arrive. There is a certain delicious appeal in running the spoon through the neatly arranged dishes and delicately moulded desserts. To ruin the look of the chef’s stylish creation belongs to the first customer: the great spoiler. I forgot my yearning for the seafood au gratin and settled for the buffet. I was not going to give up this rare privilege of being the first on the spot. And there I was running around clicking a few pictures before I set out delightedly nay wickedly to ruin every artfully done dish.

The buffet had three cuisines jostling for space on the crowded tables-the Chinese, the Keralan and the Continental. If you are clueless about the dishes it can confuse your tastebuds coz it is kind of weird if you take a portion of avial or pachadi (the card read kichadi) and have it with a roll that is appealing placed nearby. Or worse, if you mix the noodles with the sambar. Since we all have a fair idea of these cuisines and know how to co-ordinate them properly we have no problem but what if a foreigner who has never done any of these cuisines walks in? An alien walks in? No one had thought of that.

And since I am no alien I did not ruin the noodle with the spicy sambar. I went straight for the salads: cold cuts, Russian salad, the very Keralan coconut flavoured onion salad and a cabbage salad. The salads were good. The roasted masala fried fish- where the fried fish gets soaked in masala- though it had a greasy spicy look that can put you off- was delicious so was the beef.

Then I did a Keralan round: a little bit of rice, fried bittergourd pachadi was a completely new flavor, avial, sambar and chutneys.

For dessert I settled for vanilla ice cream and fruit salads. There was, of course, the mousse, the payasam, the caramel custard etc...
Rate per head: Rs 350 + taxes.


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