When we look at a dish the sight in itself of how the dish has been presented influences us. However in food tasting that in itself does not become the main criteria. To our brains taste is a fusion of sight, smell, and taste.
Jitendra Soni the innovative chef at Waikiki with an experience of 14 years in the hospitality industry certainly tempted us with some very new and interesting concepts and recipes that evening. Fusion he called it. Recipes from different parts of the world were fused together to make a delectable dish. Glad I was hungry and hadn’t eaten anything all evening. I had a huge menu of about 30 odd dishes to taste from.
There was a fusion of the West and the East, the Far East and India.
It’s like fusion food. He infuses flavors into an already existing recipe and makes it new and different to taste. Knowing of the chatpata Indian palate he endeavors to add this chatpata to his dishes.
I left the selection to Jitendra Soni.
Chicken Meat Ball Soup
Thai style Chicken Meat Ball Soup is infused with the Thai style meatballs. The meatballs are made of chicken mince and have been flavored with Thai herbs, Thai curry paste, and some Indian spices.
The Indan spices to the Thai dish created a desirable fusion.
The meatballs were succulent …and yes at first I kept wondering how it would taste. This certainly was something new for me. I had heard of meatball curry which is a famous EastIndian dish. But let me tell you I enjoyed every spoonful after the first. When you first sip at it the tanginess of the soup gets to you. However, with every sip you begin to enjoy the flavors.
Mushroom Cappuccino Soup
A shiitake mushroom soup blended with button mushroom, flavored with rosemary, black pepper, and salt…comes to you with a layer of foam made of cheese and hence the cappuccino title. Parmesan cheese is mixed with hot water and cream to get the foamy effect.
You have an English and Chinese fusion taking place here.
Normally served in an Irish glass so that the guest can see the layers of the soup. I missed seeing these layers as they needed to bring in more Irish glasses. I drank from a regular soup bowl. The flavorful soup made up for the loss.
I loved this soup. It is not like the regular mushroom soup. But the texture was nice and buttery. And oh so subtle were the flavours. If I didn’t have to taste the other dishes I would have drunk the whole bowl.
Chicken Seek Kabab Man chow Soup
This soup is infused with some tandoori seek kabab with a traditional man chow soup and some boiled egg. The Indian seek and the Chinese man chow is not a fusion that pleased my palate.
Although there are many who may have enjoyed it. The soup on its own without the seek kabab was nice. The kabab needn’t be a part of the soup.
Tomato Cappuccino Soup
What a delicious soup. Thick and creamy, blended to perfection is this tomato soup, made from roasted tomatoes. As you sip at it you get the subtle yet distinct flavors of basil, pepper, and fresh oregano. Blended to perfection.
I loved it. I enjoyed the tanginess that came from the tomatoes. The fusion here was one I would call for every time I went there.
Jitendra was very clear in telling us that every dish made at Waikiki has no monosodium glutamate (msg) in it. Whether it be Thai or Chinese.
Curry Leaf Prawn
I was first served the Curry Leaf Prawn. A Thai style dish infused with some Malabar Shri Lankan spices.
I could have eaten all the prawns on the dish. The prawns were cooked to the right texture. Coated with a thick sauce made of coconut milk, curry leaf powder, Thai chili, lemongrass, kafir lime, and galangal, this is a must try as a starter. The plating of curry leaves gives you the feeling that you are going to taste only curry leaves. However, the blend of flavors was a pleasant and enjoyable surprise.
The Malabar fusion with the Thai..who would have thought of it!
I realized that every dish served to me had some Thai or Chinese origin to it. Jitendra tells me that these originals have been fused with flavors to make a new and different dish that one cannot get even on google. The staff has been well trained.
Cottage cheese and Cilantro melts
The grated cottage cheese is infused with some cilantro, green chili, black pepper, and salt. The dish is very simple to look at. The patties are well laid out and each patty is topped with some tomato concasse.
A bite into the patty tells you of the expertise the chef comes with. The mixed cheese patty leaves a nice after flavor on the palate. It is not spicy to taste in spite of the green chili.
Chicken Lollypop Melts
One was expecting to see the regular orangy batter coated Chinese style chicken lollypops to be served. What was served was something very unlike the chicken lollypop. It is actually tandoori chicken that has the looks of a lollypop without the batter.
So the flavors are Chinese but cooked in a tandoor and not fried. Definitely a healthier option and sure light on the intestines. Must go for this if you are thinking calories!
Why didn’t anyone think of this fusion before?
BBQ Chicken Supreme
Finger linking barbeque sauce!! Loved the smoked charcoal flavor given to it. All homemade. No BBQ sauce from the shelves.
The thinly sliced supreme pieces of chicken are marinated in some garlic and thyme and pan seared. A coating of this delectable sauce adds the flavor to this mouthwatering starter.
Whatever this fusion was it certainly was the best!
The Five Spice Chinese Pot
Smoked bell pepper sauce in which all the exotic vegetables have been cooked, is a sauce that can be used with chicken or any seafood.
This is a dish that is served with chili garlic rice or chili garlic noodles. It can also be had with some steamed rice. The choice is yours.
Gajar Halwa in Spring Roll
I certainly could not have another morsel of any other dish as tantalizing as it may have seemed. I was bursting at the seams. But Jeetendra insisted that I have some dessert. So I called for gajar halwa in a spring roll!
And was I glad!
The combination was enjoyable. The covering was thin and crisp and with every bite, you could taste the gajar halwa. The slight saltiness and sweetness of the crispy covering was a perfect end to a perfect tasting.
I got into a conversation with Jitendra Soni. He needed to be told of how the new fusion food went well with my taste buds.
Being a food consultant he works on a different menu for each of his clients. He has created in the process approximately 2000 dishes from this creative mind of his. Waikiki is fortunate to have him as their food consultant and promoter. He also conceptualizes rocking events at Waikiki and is the one who brings in all the fabulous DJs who rock it at Waikiki.
The hostess and host Preity Mody and Vishal Mody along with partners Reeshab Gupta and Nishita Mantry Gupta were eager to know my feedback. All I could say was Brilliant!
I look forward to meeting the other partners – Kapil Pashankar and Rahul Bora. It is a place I would certainly like to frequent. Its warm and welcoming ambiance, and delicious food keep calling.
The place was packed and each one swayed, jumped, danced to the vibrant music that was played by Dj Smitz.
Your next party place should be the ‘Waikiki.’ With its new infused menu on the table, and the charm that one is infused with at the place….Waikiki is definitely a choice to make.