This food festival was the first of its kind for me as other than kimchi, I can’t say I have had any Korean food. And Syn at Taj Deccan ensured it was as authentic as you can get. The menu was curated by Mrs. Sang Hee McAllister, the wife of British Deputy High Commissioner, a Korean national herself, and she also shared recipes for the dishes that are generations old.
The menu included six varieties of kimchi alone, attractively laid out in a burst of colour and flavours. The green of spinach vied for attention with the red and yellows of the peppers offset by the pale cabbage khimchi. Other dishes included in the spread were Prawns and Bulgogi sauce, Ansim pyenchae and the well-known Kimchi Salad (Spicy pickled cabbage).
Mrs McAllister informed us that commonly used ingredients in Korean cooking include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste) soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang (fermented chilli paste).
From the kimchi spread I tried the Spinach Kimchi, the Water and Green Onion Kimchi and the mustard sauce that came along with it. The sauce was unusual and a tasty offset to the flavours of the kimchi. As for the rest of the lavish options, I tried the Crumb Fried Chicken and Fish – known as Chicken Kas and Sensa Kas respectively, served with a sweet and sour spicy sauce; the Chinese Cabbage Kimchi, the Fresh Jumbo Shrimps Tempura, a delicious Stir fried Chicken in Korean Chilli paste, and the Jabche – a Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles.I also had the Sukjunamul — a side dish made with bean sprouts.
There were several varieties of fried rice and a noodle dish made with transparent noodles. These noodles are a must have and are a perfect accompaniment to the chicken and prawn with the sweet and sour sauce. And for those who love their meat, there are several options like lamb and beef besides chicken and fish. The Korean festival is on till the 18th of the month and is being offered as a set menu at lunch and a buffet at dinner. Given that there are over 300 Korean families in the city, I am sure the festival is a big hit. Hopefully some of the dishes will find their way to the permanent menu of Syn.