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Cooking with the Masterchef

Cooking with the Masterchef
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The good part about Sunday brunches is that they are perfectly in sync with the lazy Sunday mood. The bad part? Only if you need to rush to office after that. Even then, I was quite looking forward to checking out the Masterchef Australia menu at Shiro. With the show grabbing enough eyeballs even in India, it seemed like a good idea to figure out what they tasted like in real life, done by a chef in the city.

As I walked into the deserted lobby of Hotel Samrat that houses Shiro, the mood was pretty desolate with hardly anyone around. As I climbed down to enter Shiro, the place was buzzing. From business crowds to couples to aunties with kids in tow come for their kitty parties, they were all there — forming a raucous jamboree together.

Shiro serves Oriental cuisine [some of the best sushi in town] and the décor leaves nothing to chance to make you feel that. From huge statues which look part-Egyptian and part-Oriental, to busts of Buddha all over and red silk drapes and crystals — it is almost garish and seems like the interior designer has tried to hard. The music too is a mish mash of the 70s and the 80s Western pop, nothing to do with the rest of the place or the food. Sadly, Shiro Delhi doesn’t live up to the chicness of its Mumbai counterpart. The serving staff deserve special mention, though because of their knowledge about the dishes and the ability to make you feel at home.  
 
The food though, doesn’t give you too much of a chance to complain. The starters are a part of the buffet and seemed to be so popular among the guests present that often I found the serving bowls to be empty. The soup, Chicken and vegetable Pho Ga, was blah but the appetisers like Otak otak kukus [steamed fish mousse in banana leaf], Hanoi crisp parcel [see recipe] and Sui mai [assorted dumplings] were quite good. These dishes were also showcased in the TV programme.
       
The sushi, too, kept the Shiro flag high. While the starters themselves were quite filling, I tried a bit of the main course — steamed rice with Chicken massaman curry [Thai curry flavoured with tamarind and coconut milk] — and found them quite likeable.

Worth the shot, if you don’t mind the décor.

DETAILS

At : Shiro, Hotel Samrat, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri
On till : 26 August
Timings : Noon to 4 pm
Phone : 26876310
Meal for two : Rs 2,000+taxes
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