One Asia Marriott: Ginseng For Dinner

Ironically in India, even the restaurant’ named Ginseng don’t serve dishes with the ‘real’ ingredient. India is yet to find a way to introduce this rich Chinese and Korean herb into its kitchens. Therefore, I was overwhelmed when Executive Chef Vivek Kalia from Indore Marriott accepted the challenge to cook with this rare rootstock I bought from Singapore. Chef Kalia extended his support in designing an exclusive menu – that was devoured by my mother and me. My last article speaks about my Ginseng purchase on Genting Dream Cruise and what tempted me into buying this multipurpose medicinal root. Today, I will tell you how this powdered root, was put to experiment inside the One Asia kitchen.

One Asia Ginseng Dinner

The first time I relished a Ginseng dinner was at Silk road, a Michelin-starred restaurant on Dream Cruise. And so I had a slight idea of what kind of dishes it can be, added-to! Chef Kalia, however, had his own suggestions, and they did turn out well. The limited-edition Ginseng powder we were using today; blends well with any clear soup. Employing Chef Chet Singh’s assistance, Chef Kalia worked out a clear chicken soup for the first course. We chatted as he cooked, and he told me that his experience with Ginseng goes back to the times when he worked in Thailand.

Known to bear Ayurvedic benefits, Ginseng, the extract of ‘Terminalia arjuna’ tree bark, is illegal to harvest outside the country of its indigenous origin. That makes it a rare ingredient! In addition to boosting metabolism, Red Korean Ginseng also strengthens the immune system, fights several diseases, cures diabetes and enhances brain function. It was exciting to watch Chef Kalia create a remarkable menu out of this mega healthy root. For the 2nd-course, Chef Kalia prepared sauteed skewered prawns with a ginseng batter, and for the third course, a caramelised dessert with crushed Ginseng candies.

Ginseng Butane torch Magic

The dessert was caramelised, with a butane torch, and the chef let me caramelise one of the desserts to get an up and close experience with the creative cooking. Finally, the moment arrived when we all sat across the dining table to taste an all-new Ginseng meal created by Indore Marriott. (The first of its kind in Indore!)

Indore Marriott Jitendra

The evening kicked off with Jitendra, the beverage manager and Abhijay, the mixologist serving us exotic signature cocktails of One Asia. Infused with, Asian herbs, these cocktails were a refreshing delight on a hot summer day.

One Asia Indore Marriott

I ordered deluxe scotch inundated with herbed ice cubes while my mother settled for a refreshing gin cocktail with a sprinkle of aromatic herbs. The drinks were accompanied, by crispy guacamole, the crunchy avocado tortilla chips.

South Korean Samgyetang Soup

For the 1st-course, we relished the signature South Korean Samgyetang soup garnished with exotic veggies and Ginseng. My mother dug the hot steaming bone-in chicken broth, brought to us in customary Asian pots. I, on the other hand, would have liked my soup to be with boneless chicken as bone marrow likely suppresses the Ginseng flavour. Although, what I also love about this soup is that it is packed with shiitake mushrooms and goji berries, making a great meal in itself. The Ginseng did add a unique zing to the soup but, even without it, this South Korean Samgyetang would positively taste incredible. (Boneless, of course!)

Mango Sushi

Marriott Indore Mango Sushi

Following the soup arrived, the first tidbit – the Mango Sushi. The Japanese Mango Sushi is one of the best refreshing appetizers to savour on a summer evening. The mango sushi rolls at One Asia were a mouthful of flavours with a creamy texture. The overall taste varies between the sourness of the vinegared rice and the sweetness of the fresh seasonal mangoes. My mother is not a sushi person but, she loved this one as much as I did. The mango sushi had nothing to do with ginseng, but the chef wanted us to taste it, as it’s a summer speciality that you just can’t miss.

Cantonese Siu Mai Dim Sum

Indore Marriott Siu Mai Dim sum

For the second course, we also got to taste a wonderful spread of partly revealed Cantonese Siu Mai dim sums that allow you to get an impression of the aromatic ingredients. Wrapped under a delicate covering, the chicken and shiitake mushroom filling tasted great.

Jumbo Prawns on a Charcoal Grill

The last appetizer we sampled, today, was satay Jumbo Prawns served on a tiny portable charcoal grill. Throughout China and Southeast Asia, skewed prawns are coconut coated and then presented on a charcoal grill. I was delighted for One Asia to have replicated the same experience for us in Indore. I love prawns, and I have to admit that each bite of these marine crustaceans entreated a sweet nostalgia of Southeast Asia.

Sichuan Silver Pomfret and Yangzhou Prawn Rice

For the main course, we glutted two eminent Chinese wok dishes – Sichuan silver pomfret and Yangzhou prawn rice. Tossed with exotic veggies, these two dishes fitted perfectly with today’s menu. One of the other days, I will visit One Asia only to feast upon these two. It was that good!

One Asia Silver Pomfret

Over the main course, Chef Kalia told us that in India, Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha in Sanskrit) belongs to the same family as the Chinese Ginseng. A great alternative to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cooking with Ginseng was an incredible experience that gives me confidence that chefs at Indore Marriott are well-employed to take on any customised order and deliver it to suit your taste.

Ginseng Tub Tim Krob

Marriott Indore One Asia Chilled Jelly Dessert

But, it’s the signature dessert, the Tub Tim Krob, that smashed us with its ginseng notes and a rich-buttery texture. Ginseng Tub Tim Krob was specially curated for us by executive chef Vivek Kalia, and this dessert brought a perfect dinner to a conclusion. On the whole, dining at One Asia turned out to be crème de la crème! Or, as it spells in Chinese, “Me Me Dá.”

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