Express News Service

A cut-out of a London double-decker bus beckons diners to ride straight into the restaurant and on a miniature Hollywood Walk of Fame. Walk a few more steps and you feel like you have landed in New York. From teppanyaki to fish and chips, Crowne Plaza’s Edesia is bringing its diners some world-famous street food as part of the Around the Globe Food Fiesta.

The all-day dining restaurant at Okhla has just celebrated World Tourism Day with a cyclic menu that features iconic dishes from different countries and inventive twists to well-known street eats. TMS went to check out their dinner menu on a weekend.

Each of the makeshift stalls put up around the dining area has delicacies to offer. At the Lebanese shawarma stall, while the chicken can be seen on the traditional rotating spit, the buns seem to resemble the American burger buns, rather than the pita bread-like wraps that are more commonly used to serve shawarmas in India. 

“The wrap-like shawarmas are Middle Eastern in origin. These bun-like shawarmas are exclusively Lebanese,” explains Ashutosh Bisht, the executive sous chef and the curator of the festival. The Bunny Chow and Fish and Chips deserve a special mention. While the African Bunny Chow will remind diners of the Indian pav bhaji, fish and chips, ubiquitous on London streets and in its pubs, is a welcome addition to the street food menu here. Edesia’s version is served in recycled bamboo papercones, rather than newspapers. 

The food gets ‘Oriental’ further on, with stalls of Bap Burgers and Okonomiyaki. The Bap Burger is an innovative twist from the chefs of Edesia, with bap – Korean for rice – replacing the burger buns around the patty. Okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake from Japan, is a delicious dish–‘Okonomi’ translates to ‘as you like’ in Japanese and ‘yaki’ means ‘grilled’. The dish is prepared with a variety of ingredients and can be served in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The Okonomiyaki is served with a side of Japanese mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce.

Belen Cabana from Galicia, Spain, was at the fiesta with her friends. She likes the festival for the diversity of the food offered. Her favourite? “It would have to be the barbecue stall that is serving different chicken and lamb,” she says.  Those who are not very experimental can try the best street food that India has to offer. There is a stall dedicated completely to panipuris, chaats and tikkis. The Indian influence continues in the dessert section too. While granita is originally an Italian dish, its method of preparation will draw comparisons to the Indian chuski. 

Nikhil Bhatia, chef-in-charge of Edesia, says, “Granita is basically frozen fruits. Fruits are cut into pieces, frozen overnight, and then the ice shavings are collected in a cup to make granita.” While the name sounds unfamiliar, the dessert is prepared by chuski makers from around India, in the much familiar chuski machines.

However, the most popular stall amongst the guests was the Turkish ice-cream cart. Turkish ice-cream is made from goat’s milk, resulting in a texture that is thicker and chewier than ice-cream made of cow milk. But it was the vendor’s quick and gravity-defying tricks with the ice-cream scoops and cones that made him a hit with the guests. In the week ahead, Edesia is planning meals around khao suey, doner kebabs and more. “The Turkish ice-cream will of course be a constant,” says Chef Asutosh with a laugh.
 

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