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All that glitters...

india Updated: Mar 16, 2009 18:50 IST
Vidhi Bhargava
Vidhi Bhargava
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Move over truffles and caviar, gold is set to be the most expensive food in the world. Priced at around Rs 15.6 lakhs for a kilogram, gold is several times more expensive as compared to Rs 4. 4 lakhs for a kg of beluga caviar and Rs 6.6 lacs for the pricey white alba truffles.

Even as the price of the yellow metal touches an all-time high, Mostly Grills is serving it up on your plate. The restaurant at The Orchid, Vile Parle, is hosting a Gold Food Festival, using the precious metal in a number of dishes. The festival is on till March 22.

Unique concept
Executive chef Sanjay Bahl explains, “Food is all about innovation. We are constantly looking for ways to create something novel and using gold in food is a unique concept. Besides Ayurveda extols the virtues of gold. It works as an aphrodisiac and is good for the general well being.”

The festival menu is limited with just six dishes. The reason, chef Bahl clarifies, is due to the delicate flavour of gold leaf. He says, “Gold leaf has to be used very carefully. It has to paired with foods that have a subtle flavour, like pomfret, chicken, mutton and paneer. Most vegetables have their own distinct flavour and seafood like prawns have a nutty flavour that may mask the metallic feel and taste of gold.”

Subtle flavour
Many believe that gold leaf is tasteless and used purely for aesthetics. But in reality it has a subtle flavour that can easily be masked by spices, which is why most dishes uses it judiciously. The menu includes mostly small bites that can be paired with Gold Label whisky. The star of the meal is the Jaweri Macchi marinated with shreds of gold, yogurt and mild spices. The fish is then baked and cover with a thin leaf of gold.

Drenched in a saffron-spiked marinade, cooked over coals and covered in a thin sheet of gold the Kesari Paneer is enticing, specially for vegetarians. The Sikandari Raan, layered with a thin film of the yellow metal, is the only main course dish on the menu.

Despite the presence of the most expensive ingredient, the prices at the food promotion won’t really burn a hole in your pocket. The Sikandari Raan, the most expensive dish, is priced at Rs 950, followed by the Jaweri Macchi at Rs 650. The Kesari Paneer and Murg Dhungar Jaipur costs Rs 400 and Rs 450, respectively. Not a bad bargain considering it’s gold you are eating.