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Grubshup: Some 'fishy' affair is this

Archna joins Kuchipudi dancer Kaushalya Reddy and food connoisseur Sunita Kohli on an exciting culinary journey.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2006 20:06 IST
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Getting a jet-setting dancer to go eating out with you to an unexplored restaurant can be quite a task.

But Kuchipudi dancer Kaushalya Reddy likes adventures and so a lunch date with her at Ploof in Lodhi market seemed exciting.

We wanted to complete the party with Sunita Kohli, interior designer and chairperson of the National Museum for Women in Arts.

Given Kohli’s schedule, we were a little apprehensive about her consent, but she surprised us and agreed.

So there we were, ready to surf the gourmand’s universe at Ploof. Goodies galore The menu at this restaurant is pretty exhaustive and we left it to Kohli to help us wade through the morass of names from all over the world — France, Japan, Thailand and much more.

Kaushalya said she would savour anything that Kohli and the chef, Manav Sharma, would choose. “That is one thing which I can never do — choose. I leave it to my daughters,” said Kaushalya.

But Kohli had a completely different take on food. “I love to cook and I love to explore new places and try out new dishes,” she said. So, with Kohli on the job, we soon had an array of food lined up — Prawns Karwari, Asparagus and Smoked Cheese Rolls and Thai Corn Cakes for starters.

The two couldn’t stop raving about Prawns Karwari (done in Konkani style). And Thai Corn Cakes set the two talking about how Indians too prepare innumerable dishes with the bhutta. “My sister, Radha, makes it with mashed corn and it’s a little more spicy,” said Kaushalya.

Soon arrived the Seafood Sushi Platter, Sauteed Asparagus and Mushrooms and the hot, steaming, Roast Garlic and Mushroom Cappuccino. Kohli, with a discerning eye, picked up her chopsticks, mixed the wasabi in soya sauce, dipped and popped the sushi into her mouth. After a pregnant pause, Kohli declared, “It’s just about OK.

Not bad, but not great either.” The soup however was amazing, and the quantity enormous. Had we all decided to savour the last drop, we would have had to skip the main course completely.

A packed lunch Kohli’s pick for the main course was Himalayan Rainbow Trout with lemon and olive oil, pan seared North Sea King Scallops, Singapore Chilly Crab Sala Pao and Braised Abalone with stir fried Pak Choi. Kaushalya was floored, “The main course is the best thing here,” she said. Kohli agreed.

The only problem — none of us had any room left for dessert.

ESSENTIALS Ploof, 13 Lodhi Market Tel: 26642552 SK’s fave food: Roast garlic and mushroom cappuccino KR’s fave food: Prawns Karwari (in Konkan style) Best main course: Himalayan Rainbow Trout Price: Approximately Rs 1,500 for two