A meal with a view
Offering authentic pan-Asian food, Sampan is a must visit for those looking for a great meal with a view, says SHALINI SAKSENA
It is a sight not many restaurants in the Capital have. The life-size glass facade at Sampan at Suryaa Hotel gives a panoramic view of the city. For those probably living in south Delhi may even be able to spot their home. General manager Pankaj Mathur tells you that it is the view that awes the clients. “Of course, the fact that our pan-Asian menu is extensive and great adds to the overall experience at Sampan which showcases the tagline of our hotel — service so memorable,” Mathur says.
The menu has the name and the dishes that chef Tenzin will prepare and serve. Chef Sanjay Thomas, director, Food and Beverages, tells you how for all guests who come — especially women — “we ensure that they are not at sea with what they are eating. We place the name of the host and the dishes that will be served in an order. This way, one knows exactly what one is eating”. Thomas, who has worked with some of the best kitchen in the world, points out that the new menu took a long time and care to prepare.
For those who are not too keen on trying sushi, the Kagi age roll (vegetarian) filled with crispy tempura is quite an option. It is the dish to try as a precursor to savouring sushi. The good part is one doesn’t need the sauces — soya and wasabi — to add to the flavour. The good thing about this is that it has no seaweed or rawness of the veggies.
It would be advisable to ask the chef for his signature dishes. That ways one gets to eat the best of the best that Sampan has to offer. Next, are the Ladhaki momos — whole wheat flour steamed lamb dumplings. Though not many these days want to eat red meat, these dumplings are extremely moist and the flavours subtle, spices too overwhelming. If you are a vegetarian, go for the baby bak choi and water chestnut.
Though soup fills you up and takes away the main course or the dessert, the tom khai gai soup is a must try. The Thai coconut flavoured chicken hot soup will really open up your taste buds. Though it is hot and spicy, the flavours burst in your mouth. This is the high point of the meal.
Chef Thomas says that most ingredients to prepare these dishes are available in Delhi; those that are not available are ordered from outside. The guests today have an arrived palate and can make out the difference,” Thomas adds.
As a starter he recommends the chilli mountain chicken and three treasure vegetables —honey glazed lotus stem and water chestnut. To wash this down, the bar at Sampan makes a great Mojito. Despite the fact that it is a cocktail that many are tired of having, it is refreshing.
For the main course, go for shredded chicken in mala sauce and Asian lamb with vegetables. Each dish has a distinct character and style to it. The meats are cooked to perfection — not too chewy, dry or undercooked. The sauces go well with Cantonese fried rice and braised buckwheat noodles with vegetables.
The vegetarians can go for eggplant and potato and Chinese greens with burnt garlic. One will find that the vegetarian dishes have more tang to it that the non-vegetarian dishes.
For those who have a sweet tooth, the chocolate lave cake and honey roasted almond darsan with vanilla ice cream are not to be missed.
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