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(Pix by Kelum C Nelumdeniya)

Sugar-free chocolate mousse was not strictly sugar free. It was made with special diabetic sugar instead. The mousse cylinder had outer walls made of a thin sheet of chocolate. The middle was filled with the mousse and dusted on the top with dark chocolate powder. However, it tasted more like a milky chocolate ice cream. The light flavour of mousse mingled well with the darker tones of the chocolate wrapping, a less sweet, milkier affair that would be favoured by the dairy lovers

Food has long since ceased to be just a form of nourishment. Today, it is a hobby, a simple pleasurable delight to indulge in.

At times, certain health conditions oblige one to adhere to special diets, depraving one of the more enjoyable aspects of food. At least the diabetic food enthusiasts now have an opportunity to partake in a wider variety of dishes and not feel guilty, with the new diabetic menu introduced by the Cinnamon Grand. The menu has a select range of appetizers, soups, mains and desserts and is available in all restaurants of the hotel.
My particular choice of restaurant was Chutneys and on that particular Thursday it was almost empty during lunch time. The few partakers proved to be mainly made up of the elderly segment of the society.

With its alternative bright and subtle coloured chairs and glass walls, the restaurant has a modern outlook for an Indian diner. The trees and the garden, with its ponds, pool and many flowers make for a tranquilizing view. One can simply loose oneself in a reverie, sitting in a comfortable chair, if not,  for the moderately high noise level and clutter in the restaurant.

I was unfortunately denied the opportunity to comment on the speed at which orders come to table. Since it was noted that I would be present for lunch, the hotel staff had taken the liberty of ordering for me, overlooking the fact that I might have my share of preferences and food allergies. I sincerely hope, for their own sake, that they are much more considerate when it comes to their customers.

Grilled chicken Caesar salad was the select appetizer. The salad dressing comes separately so that it could be avoided by those who wish to. It consisted mainly of croutons, chicken and lettuce. Croutons were baked rather than deep fried, to reduce the oil usage. The non greasy, thin chicken slices were hard and tasted more like bacon. The croutons were fresh and crispy, with a subtle sweetness that surfaced towards the end. With the salad dressing, both chicken and croutons were a gentle tickle on the taste buds. It was a mélange of meaty, sour, cod liver oil-like, sweet and fishy flavours. It was quite a pleasant dish altogether.

Poached salmon with horse radish sauce made a colourful plate. It featured an aesthetic arrangement of carrot, broccoli, asparagus, tomato and mashed potato, surrounding a sizable slice of rosy salmon on a puddle of horse radish sauce. In order to create a diabetic-friendly dish, the portion size has been reduced by half. No starch or sugar items were used. The salad mainly consisted of vegetable and salmon. Poaching has the advantage of using no oil, a plus for those concerned about their lipid intake.

The salmon tasted smooth and soft with the strong, sour horse radish sauce. The broccoli had an indistinct betal-like fiery flavour. Mashed potato was a delicious cream with buttery touches. The oil and sour flavour of tomato complimented it all well.

Sugar-free chocolate mousse was not strictly sugar free. It was made with special diabetic sugar instead. The mousse cylinder had outer walls made of a thin sheet of chocolate. The middle was filled with the mousse and dusted on the top with dark chocolate powder. However, it tasted more like a milky chocolate ice cream. The light flavour of mousse mingled well with the darker tones of the chocolate wrapping, a less sweet, milkier affair that would be favoured by the dairy lovers.