Alongside the vibrant and happening Manipal lifestyle, the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) never ceases to amaze. By presenting ‘Uptown Funk’, a filmy, 2 day long simulation with ‘a touch of fusion, a symphony of flavours from Italy, France, China and India with a pinch of funk’, WGSHA yet again raised the bar in the field of culinary skills on the 16th and 17th of April after 6:30pm.
With plush interiors, a breezy open lawn, jazzy lights and live music, the ambience was just perfect to say the least. Expecting more than 500 guests at the Fortune Inn Hotel lawn, WGSHA was more than ready to cater to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
The chief hosts for the evening, Daanyaal, Adnan and Rakshit put up a wonderful show with the rest of their teams. The appetizing six course menu hit a home run with its variety and taste, giving all the guests a big bang for their buck while they chose one item from each course.
First off, guests were offered their choice of two thirst quenching mocktails: ‘The Candy Crush’ and ‘The Virgin Kiss’. A refreshing ginger watermelon cooler topped with a watermelon slice, ‘The Candy Crush’ easily piqued the interest of most guests present there because of its ingenious, candy-infused lollipop stirrer which I’m quite sure revived a lot of childhood memories.
‘The Virgin Kiss’, on the other hand, brought forth a mischievous contrast between bitter dark chocolates and sweet peppermint, all entangled in an attractive bluish hue.
‘Let’s Nacho’, the soup for the day, was as interesting its name suggested, teasing the taste buds of all eaters with the subtle essence of legumes, sour cream and cheese interspersed with a nacho-filled tomato soup. ‘Vote for Poutine’ followed the mocktails and consisted of French fries laced with gravy and liquid cheese served in a cute paper cone.
The entrées were unique and sumptuous. For vegetarians, ‘The Bao Factor’ gave a new twist to the traditional Chinese Baos (Soft buns), introducing a filling of paneer tikka and pickled vegetables and topped with a butter spread. For non-vegetarians, the choice was even tougher as they had had to choose between two equally tempting dishes: ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Selfie Pods’.
‘Silence of the Lambs’ catered more to those who have a penchant for fine dining and the mutton enthusiasts. The pulled lamb slides with a dash of mint Pesto sauce and sprinkled with pickled vegetables definitely created a buzz around the lawn.
Meanwhile, ‘Selfie Pods’, not far behind, got the contemporary and McDonalds lovers excited as it incorporated its ‘shake-shake fries’ concept except that here, the fries were replaced by beer batter-fried members of Cephalopods (Octopuses and Squids) along with a garnishing of tartare dip. A shake-shake bag along with home-made Peri-peri spices could be availed from the attendants.
Such a lavish spread was enough to fill the stomachs and earn the satisfaction of all guests, but the party didn’t end there. To get all guests ready for the main course, there was an interesting palate cleanser- ‘The Cutting Chai’. Basically a Lemon Tea Iceberg sorbet, it tickled all taste buds, reminding them that there’s more to come.
For the main dish, vegetarians could go for the ‘Where’s My Cheese?’, an exotic pizza-cum-calzone bread filled with sun-dried tomato salsa and creamy pesto sauce. The tangy flavour of tomatoes blended perfectly with the subtle flavour of pesto, creating miniature flavour bombs in the mouth.
The ‘Wrecking Ball’, one of the best dishes according to a lot of guests, invariably brought delight to those who ate it. This filling dish of chicken moneybags oozing with butter came with a lip-smacking combination with saffron pulao and masala fried items.
And to top it all off, the most loved dish in the simulation, ‘Dark Vader’ came along to give a wonderful end to a grand meal. This unique dessert was a combination of two of its kind, the fried-dough Churros from Philippines and the famous chocolate mousse from France. The soft, crunchy taste of churros blended with the mushy consistency and chocolaty taste of mousse, bringing a satisfying smile on people’s faces.
Each dish in the simulation had a unique and personal touch to it, which is a rare find elsewhere. It is well worth to experience it for oneself.