Cinnamon Grand showcases the best of Pakistani cuisine

Saturday, 5 November 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Cinnamon Grand transformed its iconic Courtyard Restaurant into a scene straight out of an Arabian tale for the Pakistani food promo which is currently been held as part of the World Spice Food Festival 2011.

Legendary Pakistani Chef Amir Khan who has picked up the tricks of the trade at several leading hotels including the Marriott England, Bradford England and Pearl Continental Hotel added his innovative touch to every dish in the vast range of dishes available for one to sample from.

Colourful tapestries adorn the walls of the restaurant, lit by the glow of the intricately worked lanterns placed on each table which adds to the ambience and provides the perfect backdrop when enjoying the seasoned and spicy cuisine which samples an array of Persian, Turco-Mongol, Afghan, Sikh, Arabic and British dishes.

Although not completely foreign to our Sri Lankan palate, the spread explores the tastes of civilisations long gone and is definitely one that will be enjoyed by even the most fastidious food connoisseur.

The meal commences with a round of traditional drinks such as chai, sherbet, lassi and squash, backed by a selection of exotic cocktails served by waiters clad in conventional Pakistani garb. A vast selection of bread which includes chapatis, tandoori roti, paratha and naan made out of wheat flour and freshly baked in an open clay oven daily to basmati rice pulao and the sumptuous biryani, especially the popular Murgh with pickles, complements the array of meats cooked right there at the many action stations set up.

Barbecued Peshawari mutton, boneless Bhawali and Lahori meat selections on skewers and grilled lamb kebabs and tikkas prepared at the carving stations are simply delicious, especially when paired off with the spicy condiments available.

For vegetarians and the health conscious, dishes such as vegetable kebabs and Lahori dishes like Punjabi Bhartha and Harybhary Tinday, cucumber Kuchumer salad and the diced capsicum and coriander amongst other things found in the Lal Lobiya salad will prove to be perfect and balances out the heaviness of the rice and meats.

Other main courses include chicken Karahi and Lahori Nihari, which is the short loin of beef cooked in Pakistani spices with reduction of sauce. Vegetable curries and korma complement a recent offshoot of Pakistani cuisine called Pakistani Chinese cuisine.

One can take a breather before heading over to the desserts which simply should not be missed by sampling some of the shisha available or adorning oneself with elaborate Mehndi, done by a henna applier stationed at the entrance of the restaurant in a beautifully decorated corner.

Sweet, hot and cold desserts such as gulab jamun, kheers and even falooda make the perfect finish to the spicy, heavy main courses.

The Pakistani food promo will be on until 9 November and is priced at Rs. 1,750 plus taxes per head.

Pix by Shashika Ranasinghe