Guide to the World's Best Cuisine - IndianFoodsGuide.com
Whats the largest Indian restaurant you have been to? 100 seats, 200 seats...maybe 300. Well, the largest Indian restaurant seats over 800. Aakash Restaurant in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire seats about 860 guets at a time and is housed in a 19th century chapel. Apparently, the chapel was rundown and in derelict state until one of the original restaurant owners decide to take it over and renovate in 2001.
Today the restaurant offers a 5 course Indian buffet prepared by 5 Star Chefs. They have over 30 dishes in the buffet. The buffet costs 9.95 on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday and 13.95 on Thu, Fri and Saturday. They have a good Ala-carte menu with items like Coconut Mint grilled Pomfret, Fish Tikka, Lamb chops, a host of Biryani's and a good selection of vegetarian dishes as well.
The economy in this country is going through tough times with business shutting down every day, but it seems that Indian restaurants in Irving are bucking the trend. In the past 3-4 months, the Irving area has had 5 new restaurants open up in an already competitive Indian restaurant landscape. Each restaurant is trying to offer something different.
Its a competitive market with close to 50 restaurants. Lets hope they all make it.
Ashton's Indian Ocean restaurant beat another world record this week as part of this yearÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s Tameside Food Festival.
The Indian Ocean team cooked 640 naan breads in one hour, obliterating the target number of 400, set by the Guinness Book of Records. The feat was achieved by a team of five chefs using traditional tandoor ovens under the watchful eye of specialist chef, Akram Jat. The temperature inside a tandoor reaches up to 400C meaning the team really had to keep their cool.
The two official judges were John Fellows from the Willow Wood Hospice and Mark Garner, Managing Director of the Planet Confidential Group which publishes Manchester Confidential online magazine. Harry Kelly, a veteran athletics coach from local club East Cheshire Harriers was the official time keeper and made sure everyone knew how much time was left. The evening was held to raise money for the Willow Wood Hospice, and the naan breads were donated to the Salvation Army Hostel in Manchester along with curry for 300 people. Guests were treated to the latest Punjabi and Kashmiri dishes prepared by their award winning chefs.
Nahim Aslam, owner of the Indian Ocean, said "I knew as Harry began the last minute countdown we had not just broken the record, we had smashed it. I am absolutely delighted that we have broken another record and raised money for Willow Wood at the same time. Special thanks go to the judges; John Fellows from Willow Wood, and Mark Garner from Manchester Confidential. They really got into the spirit and helped us get the record. It is becoming quite a tradition here!Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
*Images and Press release from Indian Ocean Restaurant
Last week, we had published an article about Anaarkali Butter Chicken which at Rs 6000 for a portion for two is probably the most expensive butter chicken in the world. One of our readers was fortunate enough to get to eat this preparation and has been kind enough to share his opinion of this marvelous creation. Enjoy!!
The world's classiest butter chicken and other gastronomic adventures- by Narendra Shenoy
On Sunday, I had The World's Classiest Butter Chicken.
This was courtesy my brother in law Ajay Sharma, who serendipitously discovered it on Facebook and was intrigued by its price. For the site says, in the most apologetic manner, that it costs Rs. 6000 per portion and very sorry but that's what it costs. They don't offer much of an explanation other than that they use fine ingredients including Evian mineral water (which tastes terrible on its own, if you ask me) and Hunt's tomato paste (which I have never heard about).
There were a few who, very rightly, ranted on the Facebook page, that they must be out of their mind to price, at Rs. 6000, something like a butter chicken, excellent specimens of which are available for Rs. 200 or less a portion.
As if in anticipation of these kind of responses, the site actually suggests two places which serve excellent butter chicken (Moti Mahal and Mughal Mahal) where the stuff is way cheaper. It's just that OUR butter chicken is Rs. 6000 per portion, they say. They don't say "period" after that sentence but you can just sense it.
Ajay, of course, gastronome that he is, promptly became their fan on Facebook and wrote them an appreciative comment. And lo, they decided to gift him a sample of their Butter Chicken - one portion flown in from Hyderabad (where it is made, and where it is sold) for his exclusive enjoyment.
I rushed to sample the stuff as soon as I heard about it, partly because of the fact that I was getting it free and partly because I was very hungry, the missus having decided basically to starve me, over the last few weeks, with egg whites, celery, iceberg lettuce and other things currently banned under the Geneva convention.
At Ajay's house, I ran into the founders of Anaarkali themselves. A youngish couple, one Mr. I. B. Saxena and Ms. Padma Prasad, they had personally carried their culinary masterpiece with them. I was touched.
They were extremely reticent and seemed embarassed at all the gushing appreciation about their business spirit that Ajay and I were heaping on them. Eventually, we got them to talk a bit about themselves and found out that they cooked it themselves. Personally. No cooks, lackeys, assistant vice-presidents, nothing! Moreover, they're pretty successful businesspeople in everyday life, worth many doubloons and in no n eed for the moolah they must be earning from this venture, if indeed they earn any. Amazing!
Anyway I'll cut a long story short and say that the butter chicken was awesome. Superb. Excellent. Definitely the best butter chicken in the world!
Ok, I'm probably not the world's leading authority on butter chicken, my earlier experience of it having been the "Lalit" butter chicken of Goregaon West. Lalit, a fine restaurant in my opinion, interprets "butter chicken" as "butter 50%, chicken 50%". This makes it yummy but unidimensional. Anarkali's version, on the other hand, is a lot more sophisticated. It has many nuances of flavour, with ingredients like saffron and olives finding their way into the plot.
Comparing "Anaarkali" to "Lalit" is not fair. It's a bit like comparing Laurence Olivier to Akshay Kumar. But like all bourgeois, I could not but ask myself the inevitable commercial question "Is it worth Rupees Six thousand"?
The answer, dear reader, is a resounding "yes"!
Provided, of course, that it is somebody else's Rupees Six Thousand.
No, I'm being mean there. I would pay 6000 for this butter chicken. It would have to be an occassion, though. The chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, perhaps. Or appointment to the casting department of some prominent bollywood production house.
Something befitting the Classiest Butter Chicken in the world.
Article contributed by Narendra Shenoy.