Food

Stirring The Pot @ VR's Mantra

Counting Down To The 20th Staging Of The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards, Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

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Co-principal of VR's Mantra Vijay Sadarangani is a happy man. He has reconnected with his passion:Food! Like many after graduating from university, he sought a job that paid well rather than allowing his heart to lead. That changed three years ago, however, when he opened Sky Bar and Grill. “I was able to add Indian cuisine to my menu options as I found a chef who had the same passion as me to provide a taste of Indian as had in India,” he shares with Thursday Food. His passion for food is infectious and in between forkfuls of Kesar Paneer Tikka we delight in our journey stirring the street food pots of India. “You are getting the real taste of Indian food,” our culinary guide adds. “Our food is not customised to meet the taste buds of any one individual but to give the natural taste of food. We only use meats and produce that is grown in Jamaica. I believe that the meat purchased in a box will not do justice to the taste I want to bring on your table, as in India I don't remember ever having food at any of my favourite food joints that served boxed meat or frozen vegetables.

“I have a few farmer friends in Jamaica who actually grow a few herbs for me and I have a few that I grow at my house so that my restaurant can provide the natural taste of India.

“We make all our Indian breads without eggs, we only use snapper fillet to make our fish dishes, we make our yogurt and all our sauces in-house thanks to the number of Indian grocery stores on the island and the availability of so many herbs and spices in our markets.”

There is so much to discover... “Indian cuisine is not just one type of food. If you go north, south, east, west or central India every region has its own cuisine. What I offer at my restaurant is a taste of foods from all different regions. Every now and then we do specials at the restaurant with themed nights from different regions of India.” There have been three themed nights thus far and all have been great successes.

In a space that occupies 1,046 sq ft and sufficient seating for 58, has a natural breeze and a jaw-dropping view (the only one that affords a view of the airport and the bay), a great team of wait staff and chefs and good food, we leave the final word to Sadarangani... “The best Indian food in India is not had at any fancy restaurant but on the actual streets of India or small food joints. That's the taste that we have worked on to bring to the table right here in Jamaica at our restaurant.”

What's your verdict? We look forward to hearing from you...

VR's Mantra

19 Queen's Drive, Montego Bay

Tel: (876) 616-2362/3

e-mail: mantrajamaica@gmail.com

Opening Hours: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

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