CRAB FACTORY FOOD FESTIVAL
by chef rishi & Team
spice junxion, taj deccan
There is no two ways in eating sea food and mainly crab. I personally love munching on sea food but crab always poses challenge to me in terms of getting more than messy but is a bit challenging on it. Sea food lovers do know the joy as well as the mess you relish while dining with crabs. Its a skill that many like me explore or even show interest. Being a sea food lover myself, I restrain many a times eating CRABS due to this challenge and today I feel how much I have lost to create such CRAB-tastic memories. This whole crab festival notches up when Hyderabad's 5-star property Taj Deccan is currently hosting "CRAB FACTORY" at Spice Junxion for month long promotion.
You get to see live crabs being picked up on your order and your choice of recipe from their comprehensive menu (last but one pic) or if you have any other personal preference. Priced at 3.50 INR / gram, its then weighed and with a wait time to prepare, the dish is made fresh and hot for you. Chef Rishi Manucha engages about the recipes and how each dish differs from another and yet the menu gives you everything for a proper dining experience. Live Crabs, fresh food, amazing signature dishes, crisp menu, sharp flavors and above all delicious KAKINADA CRABS (fresh catch every day) - What else do you need !!!!
Chef Rishi introduced himself along with his crew, he walked us through the ideation of this festival and the need of customers to be aware of this festival. What I personally loved is Chef's insight into this festival detail to detail. His experience was evident in the way he explained the whole process and we knew we were in for a treat.
As chef mentioned, fresh catches are sourced from Kakinada on daily basis and orders until stock with live stock experience. Guests can see live catch of these crabs from the water tanks, weighed in front of them. They can pick any dish from the set menu which ranges mostly south Indian and Goan as their spice levels elevates crab meat by itself. If you have a specific crab dish in mind, Chef and his team are also open to cook the same. The weighing process is simple with 3.5 Rs per gram basis and you decide how much is your dining requirement. Since it is prepared fresh , wait time of 20-25 mins is eminent during which Chef is to engage them on their experience. What I loved is the customer's choice to pick up the meat weight and pay only for it and also try different dishes if you are not so keen to think through a dish of your choice.
For not so crazy foodies like me in terms of eating crab, they also serve Tawa crab for order where you don't have to battle it out with the shells and get yourself messed up more than normal. Its priced at 1500++.
We started off with CRAB CHETTINAD which was evident to be cooked with perfect aromatic chettinad spice mix and coriander leaves stood testimony to it. This curry was simple, subtle and sharp tones in flavors and as you devour into the crab meat, it was absolute symphony. The cook on the meat was spot on that curry and crab gave a home run in the first dish itself. It was followed by ALLEPEY CRAB CURRY from the land of coconuts. Made with red spicy gravy with kodampuli and raw mango, the kerala style curry was brilliant again with that raw mango flavors creating a unique sharp flavor on the meat.
CHILLI CRAB was next in the menu from Sri Lankan cuisine which again colorwise looked so appealing. The srilankan spice and soya sauce combination was completely different from other crab dishes we had and went amazingly well with malabar parotta. Next was CRAB GASSI , a well-known Mangalorian delicacy made with coconut and pods. The sharpness from the pods and the unique coconut-ty flavor from the shredded coconut was evident in every bite and curry indeed was different from others.
Half way through the menu, each blogger's hands were soaked in crab meat juices and as messy as it can get but none was complaining about. The table was completely silent in relishing the quality crabs on different sauces and it already proved the quality of dishes served by Chef Rishi. We then continue with pace with GOAN CRAB CURRY from the land of beaches.I loved the toasted onions and a tint of jaggery in it. You can feel and taste the freshness of the crabs and the Goan feel in each bite. Next we moved on to the most tempting of all CRAB GHEE ROAST. You just cannot go wrong with this dish. This dry roast was filling our space with the rich aroma of ghee and once served, we just gorged into the same. With hot steam rice, your food coma is sorted out. It was that brilliant. Next came in TAWA CRAB a simple crab meat tossed in Indian spices, the only dish that came as a savior for us that we don't had to battle with the shells and just enjoy the simple and scrumptious crab all the way. Finale was our own regional KAKINADA PEETHLU IGGURU. The coastal regional delicacy cooked with excess Andhra spice and tamarind , chilli and tomatoes , the dish was a perfect marriage with malabar parotta again.
Overall as Chef vouched on each dish qualifying itself and different from one another, the dishes indeed proved to the same which I was quite skeptical as crab always taste the same but the curry base did make the difference and indeed we could relate and taste each dish on different flavor contrast levels.