The Telegraph
Saturday , July 5 , 2014
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Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, July 4: From the pitch to the platter, World Cup has hit a feverish high with the appetite of the gourmets skyrocketing for both delicacies and football. Following the trend of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack too has joined the gastronomic revelry.

With the Fifa World Cup fever already reaching its zenith in Brazil, a rich variety of dishes named after various football players are driving the soccer fans in Cuttack crazy. Golden Spoon, one of the best restaurants in the city, has now turned host for the soccer fans by offering them special screening of the World Cup matches along with a wide range of delicacies.

One can go for the Messi’s corner (steamed chicken roll with sweet and spicy kung pao sauce), Ronaldo’s favourite (chicken chunks marinated in sour cream), Van Persie’s penalty (grilled king prawns), Neymar’s dribbling (stuffed potato with cottage cheese) or the Thomas header (boneless fish chunks marinated in garlic, sour cream and grilled).

“We have come up with a food fiesta and designed a special menu to catch up with the soccer mania and provide a rainbow of packages for the fans, especially with the World Cup quarter-finals already on. This will continue at our restaurant till the final game on July 13,” said Pravas Pani, CEO of Golden Spoon. He added that the food festival had been organised for foodies to celebrate the greatest show on Earth.

A spread of food and drinks to match the World Cup hype in the twin cities. Pictures by Badrika Nath Das

The fans can enjoy the matches on a big screen, while they will be provided with mughlai, tandoor and continental food items named after the footballers.

“We are offering nearly 15 special dishes for the guests this football season. The fans can enjoy the dishes at costs ranging from Rs 180 to Rs 450,” said executive chef Rajesh Das, adding that the entire restaurant had been decorated with flags of various countries participating in the World Cup.

“Watching the matches is certainly difficult for us as they are screened late night and we usually see the recorded matches the next day. We are now able to see our favourite matches, while enjoying some mouth-watering dishes at the restaurant,” said Abdul Wahid, a visitor.

The Telegraph had earlier reported about Hotel Hindustan International and Mayfair in Bhubaneswar making similar arrangements. HHI has put up a huge board intimating its customers about the schedule of the tournament. They have named their sumptuous dishes after famous footballers. While the chicken tangri kebab here is called Neymar, the mutton gilafi kebab is called Messi. Now, that Italy and England are out of the tournament, people may not be particularly interested in Balotelli (pomfret dilnashi) and Rooney (bali prawn) too much.

Likewise, at Mayfair’s pub Cellar you can munch a Messi (mutton patties) or grab a Neymar (salad). While the HHI is offering a 10 per cent discount on drinks and snacks, Mayfair is giving a “buy one, get one free” on all cocktails and mocktails. Both the hotels have LCD televisions and projectors and have put up football nets to engage the foodies in some footwork.

“Foreigner guests watch the games more keenly than our Indian customers. Margaritas, tequilas, and sex on the beach are the most popular drinks right now,” said Amaresh, a bartender at Cellar. In-house DJ Ravi belts out tracks such as Waka Waka, Ole Ola and Wavin’ Flag adding to the mood. The a-la carte snacks and drinks at both hotels will cost between Rs 250 and Rs 1,250 exclusive of taxes.

It is lovely to know that many restaurants in the twin cities, especially Bhubaneswar, are celebrating the spirit of the World Cup with special food festivals. That time should not be far away when we actually boast of a sports bar or a pub that celebrates sports all round the year
Shirshendu Roy

cricket commentator, Cuttack

It’s a great time for those who love both good food and football. There’s nothing better than digging into sumptuous dishes and watching terrific game play. It is like tikkas meet tiki-taka!
Sabyasachi Sahoo

student, Bhubaneswar