Amazing taste of little Hanoi
Last Byte/Ravi V.Chhabra
For a saporous Vietnamese fare, head straight to Oriental Octopus at New Delhi's India Habitat Centre (IHC) and at Oriental Octopus, Savoy Suites, Noida, before the 30th September!
Bringing alive the tang of the Orient, the promotion showcases the best of Vietnamese cuisine with an active backing by the Embassy of Vietnam as the country celebrates its 62nd National Day - Sept' 2, 2007. The menu for the promotion has been carefully crafted by Old World Hospitality's Sr. Sous Chef, Nitin Pal Singh with a specialization in the Oriental gastronomy from IHM, Bhopal.
Start your meal with a platter of fragile Vietnamese rice paper wraps and a fragrant Vietnamese mince sweet corn soup garnished with fresh coriander leaves and shrimps. Try out the traditional cold chicken salad blended with authentic herbs and spices.
Truly, a great way to work up an appetite! The main course has an extensive selection including vegetarian prawns in sweet and sour sauce and Hanoi cold chicken platter with green peas, chicken ham and dill leaves (a speciality from Vietnam's capital, Hanoi) among others.
Vietnamese food has a unique flavour with very little calories, said chef Nitin Pal Singh with a warm smile. The generous use of fish sauce, fresh vegetables, herbs and spices including lemon grass and lime is unmistakable in the cuisine's taste. Among the dishes I liked most were the Bun thit nuong - one of the more popular and simple Vietnamese dishes, basically a combination vermicelli plate and Gi cun or spring rolls, also known as Vietnamese fresh rolls. They are rice paper rolls that often include shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped up and dipped in Nurac Cham or peanut sauce.
Spring rolls almost constitute an entire category of Vietnamese foods, as there are numerous kinds of spring rolls with different ingredients in them. Most importantly, the cuisine's niche being oil-free with ingredients dashed in from Vietnam, you will savour the flavour sans the local tampering to suit the palate. After gorging on a delicious spread complete with the aroma of the east, one wonders why Vietnamese cuisine doesn't figure in the top of Oriental food chart in India's food-centric region!
A hugely successful effort by Mr. Rakesh Anand, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Old World Hospitality and his team for having picked a cuisine that is rather new to the Indian palate and serving it in its authentic best. For all food connoisseurs of Delhi, Oriental Octopus' Vietnamese fare is a must-try! Conclude the lavish meal with a cup of creamy mango jelly-pudding and let the taste of farm-fresh mangoes linger on! Next time, don't be surprised if the restaurant churns out a few delights from the kitchens of Cambodia and Laos!
PS: This Oriental Octopus at Savoy Suites, Sector 16, Noida, plays wonderful recordings of jazz and is open for lunch and dinner, between 12 noon to 3 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm.