Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Dimsum and mango dishes: Awesome!
While the dimsum, soups and grills festival is held at the hotel's Chinese restaurant Sian, the mango dishes are offered at the Buzz all-day diner
 
One would never have thought that a range of dimsums followed by grilled items and a main course with mango as a key ingredient would result in a satisfied burp!
 
But that is what one can experience at Taj group's The Gateway Hotel IT Expressway Chennai in the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) around 20 km from here.
 
While the dimsum, soups and grills festival is held at the hotel's Chinese restaurant Sian, the mango dishes are offered at the Buzz all-day diner.
 
"In both the festivals we have made several changes in the menu," executive chef Meril Antony Aricatt told IANS.
 
"We found that grilled items were moving fast. We thought that these would go well with dim sums and soups and added them to the menu this year," Aricatt said, while placing a bowl of seafood coriander thick soup.
 
The talk turned into the changing role of a star hotel chef.
 
"An executive chef combines the functions of a mini-CEO (responsible for the restaurants and other spheres of activities relating to food and beverages), a human resources manager, a motivational speaker, a guest relation manager - but he should also be a team player," Aricatt said.
 
"The ability to cook good food is now taken for granted," he added.
 
By this time, the dimsums started arriving at the table.
 
Dimsums are steamed small-sized dumplings and generally come in four avatars - open faced, half moon shaped, bow shaped and pan fried. The stuffing could be vegetarian or non-vegetarian, Aricatt said.
 
"We make our dimsums with a mix of potato and corn starch. In some restaurants, dimsums (if part of buffet) come with a maida covering, but if they are ordered a la carte then different flours are used," he said.
 
For vegetarians, broccoli and corn chingkao, golden garlic spinach dumpling, corn and water chestnut dumpling and szechwan vegetable bao are on offer.
 
These can be taken with different dips, but mustard sauce and a spring onion dip are recommended.
 
According to Aricatt, getting and retaining good talent has become difficult, though aspirants always want to be associated with a good brand like the Taj.
 
Youngsters look at TV shows and think that cooking is a glamorous job. They do not realise that celebrity chefs who come on television have done hard work in their earlier years.
 
A chef primarily has to cook, which includes cutting, cleaning and other processes as well as standing before the stove, Aricatt said.
 
"I have a team of 50 people and the attrition is around 15 percent lower than many other properties in the city," he claimed.
 
Queried about the growth prospects for a chef, Aricatt said that there is no growth without mobility.
 
On the grills side, the vegetarian items are tofu, broccoli and zucchini in spicy hoisin sauce with soft noodles; shitake mushroom, zucchini and eggplant with teriyaki sauce and grilled cottage cheese steak with soya chilli ginger.
 
The non-vegetarians have a choice of tomato egg drop soup or chicken coriander clear soup or chicken sour and pepper soup.
 
The dimsum range consists of chicken and lemon grass dumpling; curried chicken bao; tenderloin chives chingkao and prawn hargao to be gobbled up with or without any dips.
 
Non-vegetarians can opt for various grills - char-grilled chicken skewers with teriyaki sauce or the Korean barbeque grilled chicken and seafood lovers can opt for grilled prawns with wasabi mayonnaise or snapper fillet served with hint of ginger and mustard dip.
 
It was time to devour the main course - the dishes made with mango.
 
A cold soup - ginger spiced mango and apple soup with olive mango tapenade crostini - preceded the main course.
 
For non-vegans, the karimurgh (though not a very spicy chicken dish giving out a raw mango taste) goes well with a tandoori roti.
 
Similarly, vegans and non-vegans can relish the baked cannelloni with wilted spinach and ripened mango, cherry tomato confit and parmesan crust.
 
The sweet tooth can go for mango misu (mascarpone cream, cat's tongue, blueberry compote); fresh mangoes with ice cream (the coconut flavoured ice cream should not be missed out) or the mango rasmalai.
 
FAQs:
 
* Where: The Gateway Hotel, IT Expressway Chennai, on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) around 20 km from Chennai
 
* The soups, dimsums and grills at an average would cost Rs.1,400 (veg) and Rs.1,600 (non-veg) for two at Sian.
 
* The mango mania food festival at Buzz would cost around Rs.1,600 for two.
 
* The festival dishes are available for lunch and dinner at both the restaurants till May 31.

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Global smartphone growth to further slow down: IDC
The global smartphone growth is expected to slow further, said a latest mobile phone forecast. It adds that smartphone shipments are expected to grow 11.3 percent in 2015, down from 27.6 percent in 2014.
 
This could be the first year smartphone growth in China will finish behind the global market which could affect Google's Android mobile operating system, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a statement.
 
"China has been a critical market for Android smartphone shipments in recent years, accounting for 36 percent of total volume in 2014," said Ryan Reith, programme director with IDC's “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker”.
 
“As reported earlier in May, smartphone shipments in China actually declined year over year in the first quarter of 2015, showing that the largest market in the world has reached a level of maturity where rapid growth will be harder to achieve,” Reith said.
 
As Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) shift their focus from the domestic market to the next high-growth markets, they will face a number of challenges, including competition from “local brands”.
 
IDC expects this year to bring two notable milestones. 
 
First, this will be the first year in which China's smartphone growth, forecast to be 2.5 percent, will be slower than the worldwide market. 
 
Second, and somewhat related to the China forecast, Android smartphone growth is also expected to be slower than the worldwide market at 8.5 percent in 2015. 
 
Both trends will persist throughout the forecast period which now goes to 2019.
 
While overall smartphone growth will continue to slow, many markets will experience robust growth in 2015 and beyond.
 
The worldwide shipment volumes are forecast to reach 1.9 billion units annually by 2019, IDC noted.
 
Apple faced a similar situation in 2012-14, when its year-over-year growth rates were slightly below the worldwide market.
 
But its recent shift in product line to bigger screen models with a broader country reach has had an immediate impact on volumes.
 
IDC expects iOS smartphones to grow 23 percent in 2015 and remain above worldwide market growth rates throughout the forecast.

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Panel set up to recommend PPP model revision
The government on Tuesday set up a committee to recommend measures to "revisit and revitalise" the public-private partnership (PPP) mode of infrastructure development as union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech, a statement said.
 
The committee will be headed by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy chairman and former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar and will comprise of members from banks, transport authorities, economists, lawyers and others.
 
The Infrastructure Development Finance Company will be providing secretarial assistance to the committee, which will analyse the risks involved in PPP projects in different sectors to suggest optimal risk sharing mechanism and propose any modifications to the contractual arrangements in place.
 
Its functions will also include recommending measures to improve capacity building in the government for effective implementation of PPP projects and review the experience of the policy.
 
The minister, in his budget 2015-16 speech to the parliament said the major issue involved in the revision of the PPP model is rebalancing of risk.
 
The government has given the power to the committee to consult various stake holders in the private sector, government sector, legal experts, banking and financial institutions and academia while firming up its recommendations. It has to submit its report within three months of being st up.
 

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