Traditional food goes strong this Christmas

  • PTI

    December 23, 2015 | 02:44 PM
Traditional food goes strong this Christmas

Despite a host of new and fancy innovations rustled up by various eateries across town, traditional dishes and recipes that spell cakes, mulled wine and turkey roast continue to be perennial favourites for Christmas.

As the city gears up for the festival season, various eateries in the city have put in great efforts with special menu and fascinating decor.

With its variety of cakes such as plum, fruit mince pie and ginger bread pudding, Wengers, one of the city's famed bakery still adheres to its much loved traditional fare but in a new packaging.

On Christmas Eve, the bakery is offering customers pudding shaped as trees, stars, locks, books and corns.

"People love the traditional items that they have been eating for many years. They come here for the age-old recipes that we are offering from the last 90 years," says Charanjeet Singh, Manager, Wenger's.

Another popular bakery, Elma's Bakery has laid out a sumptuous Christmas menu with a three course meal.

"While the bakery offers traditional dishes like Turkey, Rosemary Lamb, Salmon fillet, the place also serves a mixed bag of wines including mulled wine and Hot Toddy among other wine available," says Shubham Dhingra, Manager, Elma's.

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's first restaurant Jamie's Pizzeria in India, which opened recently at the Ambience Mall in Gurgaon has a special treat for customers.

The restaurant lays out a lavishly crafted Christmas menu with Whole Roast Baby Chicken, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, Pan Fried Sole Fillet & Baby Shrimp and the very famous Plum pudding served with a boozy sauce.

Customers also stand a chance to win gifts like drinks, deserts, starters, cook book etc.

The Imperial has put together a menu spearheaded by executive Sous Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula.

The exotic spread features Roast turkey, Brussel sprouts, pork loin in a blanket, bread stuffing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce on the Western Roast station and selection of international cuisine like Shepherd's pie, Grilled chicken, celeriac, blue cheese crumble etc.

Desserts like spiced apple mousse, traditional plum cake and plum pudding with brandy anglaise have been put together with classic wines.

Making use of the seasonal ingredients, the Dramz Whiskey Bar and Lounge in Mehrauli near Qutab Minar, has organised a five course pre set dinner.

Curated by Chef Pankaj Sharma, the menu has a host of dishes Crumbed Asparagus with Hollandaise Mousse Prawn, Overnight cooked leg of Lamb, Sauteed Pokchoy, Garlic Mash and Red Wine Jus, Roasted Chicken, Giblet Gravy, Apricots and Quinoa.

Sharma says that even though traditional dishes have their own charm, people do want to try out new things.

"Traditional dishes have their own charm and they play with your memories, it is emotional. However, now people are becoming more open and are willing to register new and unique experiences.

"Our experience is that about 40 per cent of our customers are willing to accept the new and innovative approach, and this is an encouraging percentage to go ahead," says Pankaj Sharma, Chef Dramz Whiskey and Bar.

Recreating the nostalgia of childhood, Cafe Dalal Street has a host of traditional dishes for their customers this Christmas eve with the first beer being charged at Re 1.

The place has laid out a four-course menu with Dalal Warm Christmas Punch, traditional roasted chicken with Sage and caramalised onion and roasted potato, seasonal vegetables with palm brandy sauce topped with a special Plum Cake with Brandy Sauce as the dessert.

"People love to have traditional Christmas dishes because it gives them a flavour of the festival and also a sense of nostalgia of how they used to celebrate it when they were young," says Vidit Gupta, Owner, Cafe Dalal Street.

In a bid to revive the childhood menus, Desi Roots has installed a Bioscope to showcase a yesteryear movie to all its patrons.

"The idea is to take patrons back to days when watching a movie scene enacted on a bioscope was more exciting than watching a 3D movie in a plush multiplex today. In our fast moving world around us, we've forgotten the joys that these simple activities used to give us. Desi roots wants its patrons to relive those golden days," says Chef Santa Gupta, Desi Roots.

Aunty Sam's Christmas table at Desi Roots includes recipes and dishes that cover the diverse Indian Christian community, Anglo Indians, the Syrian Christians amongst others.

The menu comprises items such as Uncle Special Potato Mince Rissoles to D'Souza House Sardines on Toast. From Philip's Macaroni Pie to Syrian Fish Moilee' to Peter Coconut Chicken to Garlic and Parsley Mish Mash Potato besides Plum Cake and Spice Pice Apple Slice Pie.

"Tradition is at the heart of Desi Roots menu. The idea is to churn out delicacies that are part of our growing, dishes and flavours that one never forgets albeit presenting them in a style which is contemporary.

"There is no intent to create any fusion of flavours but in the way modern serving techniques could be blended in so that the humble traditional dishes can be accepted and devoured in a nouveau setting. We want the young to know that 'traditional is cool'," says Chef Samta Gupta.

Meanwhile lifestyle food superstore Foodhall has come up with a unique idea of organising House Parties with an array of dishes for guests with a personalized-chef-at-service.

The menu contains Moong Dal Cheela Rolls with Spicy Raw Papaya Filling, Seafood Ceviche in Cucumber Cups, Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Ginger Soy Sauce etc.

The food, as the organisers claim is gluten-free, dairy free and is made of ingredients rich in vitamin.

To mark the beginning of the festive season, The Suryaa, another restaurant organised Bake and Take at Ssence for the guests to bake their own cakes with the mixture of dried fruits, varied spices and delicious berries that was prepared by them earlier.

Radison Blu, Paschim Vihar has planned a Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Lunch with decoration in accordance with the festive theme. Sticking to traditional flavours, Chef Vikas Pant, Executive Chef, Radisson Blu Hotel, Paschim Vihar is of the view that guests prefer traditional dishes more than the improvised version.

"Festive season is the time when people get to enjoy these traditional delicacies. Guests enjoy traditional menu more over the improvised version. We also feel that the traditional dishes can never be replaced as they have feelings attached to it," says Vikas Pant, Executive Chef, Radisson Blu Hotel.

The buffet menu comprises Roasted Turkey rosemary potatoes and peaches served with cranberry sauce, glazed ham with granny smith apple salsa, country style chicken liver pate and smoked chicken cold cut, Turkey ham with snow peas and cranberry sauce, roasted sliced lamb leg with mint and sesame jus, Honey and lemon glazed roasted spring chicken with herb butter, X-Mas Pudding with Brandy Sauce (Hot), Yole-Log among others.

Newly inaugurated Boutique-Studio-in-Bar Junglee Billee has laid out a "Christmas Special Gastronomic Experience" including traditional dishes ranging from wine poached pears and blue cheese, roasted succulent turkey with all trimmings.

"It is true that majority wants to stick to traditional dishes. But Delhiites are very open to experimenting the new taste and experiences. Our specially designed Fresh A'la Carte Menu is designed to tantalize the traditional palette," says Amit Aggarwal, owner, Junglee Billee.

Barbeque Nation, which has a countrywide presence and organises annual theme party around this time has for this year kept its theme 'Bollywood Disco'." 

"We have different dishes whose names are inspired by the Bollywood songs such as 'Jimmy Jimmy Chingra Prawn', 'Disco Khisko Pineapple', 'Emotional Atyachar' to name a few.

"Besides this we also have beverages like 'Chhammak Challo', Om Shanti Om and mocktails like Gulabo and Baby Doll," says Praveen Gonsalves, Regional Chef, Barbeque Nation.

To meet demands for traditional dishes, the place is also offering traditional dishes such as Roast Turkey, Plum Pudding with Sabayon sauce etc on Christmas Eve and on Christmas. 

The city gears up for the festival with its variety of cakes.