Words and pix: Ambica Gulati
Hungry kya? Too late to find food? All solutions can be found at The One. Yes, The One in the heart of the city located in Le Meridien and known for its fish and chips. This is the hotel’s 24X7 always something delectable to eat place. It has an open seating arrangement which gives it an airy and spacious feel. There is a bar too, besides the regular coffee. The buffet spread is lavish and it has some really different dishes. I found some unusual ones such as one made with only broccoli and another mutton and methi.
But what I had here were some rotund, called bland, but is a really very versatile vegetable—the little mushroom. Le Meridien believes in promoting arts and its art in food as well that stands out here. The hotel undertakes ingredient-based fests quite frequently.
The menu included the many forms of mushroom, from soup to salads, to pickles, to finding its way inside the chicken breast, even on fish and in sauces. Executive Chef Karan Mehta said that he was influenced by an Italian chef and the recipes go back 35-40 years. Chef Mehta likes simple, straight food and makes it a point to eat at least one meal at home.
But what he fed us was an interesting array—I liked the flavours of the Classic Mushroom Cappuccino. It was a soup served with garlic bread! Another not to forget dish, which I wish I had noted the recipe of was–Pickled Mushrooms, fennel bulb, toasted walnut, blue cheese crumble, chilli mustard dressing.
I though the chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms could have been softer, but I dug well into the Kaffir lime scented Sea Bass, mushroom soil (Lemon asparagus veloute, cepes, mushroom foam). There was Parfait, Lasagne, Quesadilla and everyone’s favorite comfort food– Tandoori Shroom Burger.
Well this array made me realize that there’s more to this rotund vegetable that just the curried matar-mushroom and onions. In fact the Chef suggested that we make mushrooms without any vegetable which has strong flavors so that we know we are eating mushroom. Its best enjoyed with white wine. Once you let the mushroom, mushroom on its own, it tastes yum and it works well in many ways.
Mushrooms are a rich source of vitamin D and B, strengthen the immune system, help fight free radicals, are rich in selenium, and make for low calorie food. In short, mushrooms are healthy.
We also ended our meal with some sugar-free sweets and green tea. This makes me wonder if the Chef would come up with mushroom tea next time at The One. But I would love to know which ingredient he is next cooking with.