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Taste this!
Chef Shaun Kenworthy checks out the fare at the fest; (below) student-chefs serve up the goodies at Khaddyotsav ’08 at Nicco Park Wet O’ Wild. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

College fests don’t have to be about song, dance, trivia and talk. Khaddyotsav ’08, organised at Nicco Park Wet ’ Wild by the Institute of Advanced Management in association with t2, was proof enough that they can be yummy in another way entirely. In its ninth edition this year, the food festival’s theme was Pearls of Asia and revolved around Pan-Asian cuisine.

With dishes from six different countries — Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand — students had their hands full. The team for reception and guest service, decked in colourful Chinese silk dresses, welcomed guests, while the kitchen crew rustled up the varied fare.

The starters list saw exotic items like Gyoza (Japanese steamed dumplings served with sambhal or soy sesame oil), Thai fish cakes (shallow fried small fish coins) and Vegetable Tempura. The tempting spread of salads saw more uncommon names like Som Tham (raw papaya salad), Thai Beef Salad and Seafood Salad with Hoisin dressing. And if starters and salads weren’t enough to fill you up, the spread of noodles and rice dishes for the main course left one spoilt for choice.

From Nasi Lemak (a Malaysian-style coconut rice) and Nasi Goreng (mixed fried rice with seafood, sausage and bacon), the choices were mind-boggling. And you could watch the budding chefs in action, too, with separate live counters where food was prepared before the crowd.

How did the students feel, serving and cooking while everyone else did the eating? “We’re here to serve. It’s fun watching people enjoy something that we worked so hard over,” smiled third-year student Ashish Kumar Singh, at the helm of the salad counter.

It is a lot of fun, echoed Shilpi Singh, in her first year of college and was busy setting banana slices ablaze for the Martaman Banana Caramel, an Indonesian dessert.

The most interesting innovation displayed at the fest was a rather odd cocktail called Shing Ching Ping, which apparently means “It’s crazy”! Greeted with this concoction of vodka, beer and Sprite, we agreed whole-heartedly!

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