Classic vs Contemporary, 601, The Park

Food brings about many debates! Authentic or tweaked to the market? Fusion or Classic? Modern or Classic? Original recipe or Modern Twist? Classic or Contemporary. These debates rage on forever and like most debates, there is never a winner! Canon or Nikon? Nope, no clear winner!

Then one smart alec chef decides to put on the plate! BOTH! I mean, no this or that. This AND that! Every single dish on the (festival) menu has two versions of dish on one plate! While I've been seeing a lot of interesting food promos at The Park recently, today I've been kicking myself for not attending those! Clearly, their Chef Saravanan has few tricks up his sleeve. He is already a mini celebrity with a TV show for himself on Sun TV, and gladly, I got a chance to meet him. It was the first day of the festival and the orders were delayed because they had an overwhelming response!

Obviously! If you are giving two dishes on every plate, this is something indeed! We started off with the simplest of simple salad! The Caesar! The original was simply the original. Some lettuce strewn and some dressing tossed with loads of parmesan cheese! It was classic, but the modern take was fabulous. A poached egg with a parmesan dressing on lettuce and I don't have a picture of that! Crap! Classic 0, Contemporary 1.

Next up was the soup! A lobster bisque! Classic was classic! Fantastic Lobster Bisque with a nice smoky flavour, but the modern take was brilliant too! Served with a little biscotti with meat and foam on top, you tend to think if this is a clever way to take a dig at the purists! Simply present them with the outdated form of food and a modern take right next to each other and with a IN-YOUR-FACE presentation, they are bound to take a view! Draw here. Classic 1, Contemporary 2

Three main courses (two of us and we shared each dish). Salmon was the only one that didn't vary too much between classic and contemporary. I guess you can't do much to a piece of fish flown in from Europe! So no points for either. Classic 1, Contemporary 2.

I definitely wanted to try the Shepherd's pie. Whoa! Classic was classic. Beautiful tenderloin topped with mashed potatoes!Yum till we had the contemporary version! Meat rolled inside thin potatoes! Whoa. It wasn't a deconstructed dish, it was a completely new dish altogether but retaining not just the essence, but the entire flavour of the original. Classic was good, but contemporary was brilliant. Classic 1, Contemporary 3.

Prawn Gravy. Mini dosa with a brilliant prawn gravy was the classic version which was yum as all of the classics were! The modern was a beautiful take. A rice pasta with the prawn gravy on top. Beautiful idea and a great way to bring a South Indian take to a modern presentation with the rice pasta, but the classic was classic! Modern simply did not kick classic's @ss here! Classic 2, Contemporary 3.

Dessert was a beautiful Lemon Merengue Pie! The classic was yum, the contemporary was yum and the flavours were all the same! So draw! Classic 3, Contemporary 4. A few more dishes on the menu and only then we will know which is the clear winner, but the winner is the concept!

Pricing is very nice. The starters were priced at Rs. 275 and the main courses between 425 and 575 and considering you get two dishes (smaller version) in each dish, a nice meal for two will cost under Rs. 2500 for a three course meal. The festival is on till the 26th, but I am more interested in what this chef is going to bring out next! Wouldn't mind going back for another cup of the Lobster bisque!