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Where When How May/June 2017 : Page 113

BRINGING THE FLAVOURS OF CHINA TO THE TROPICS THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS MAY BE YOUR VACATION DESTINATION… but now that you’re here, prepare to take your palate to places you never imagined. Here, a gastronomic melting pot of international cuisine coexists with our own wonderful, local Caribbean flavours, making this a singular and unique culinary des-tination in its own right. First, to Chopsticks for a cross-country Asian adventure… and later, to experience the intoxicating and exotic cuisine of India at Garam Masala (page 124). At Chopsticks, the Asian-inspired décor is stunning and dra-matic with a striking colour palette of ebony black, vibrant red and brilliant white. Stylish recessed lighting and bamboo sticks create a bold and hip edge in the air-conditioned dining room. Evenings take on a faraway aura in the tropical gardens of the courtyard, or enjoy the street front terrace and its casual vibe all beneath a ‘sky’ of dazzling white paper lanterns. A fusion of several authentic Asian cuisines are prepared by Chef Pharsuram and Chef Jhaman. Both chefs honed their skills working at The Golden Dragon at the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi, and have trained under various Chinese Master Chefs. General Manager, Ajay Vyas, meticulously and thoughtfully plotted our courses and libations for this evening’s far-flung culi-nary adventure. He always takes pleasure in the chance to share his vast knowledge of the cuisine, its history and culture. “It’s what I really love, it’s a passion,” he confesses. Having worked for a five-star Indian hotel chain, Taj Hotels, Palace & Resorts for 14 years in nine exotic Asian destinations certainly provided for an extensive edification. He originally came to the TCI for two years… that was six years ago, and counting! As General Manager of four restaurants, he’s incredibly busy, yet extremely hands-on and acknowledges the importance of a great team, including Restaurant Manager, Mahesh. As Ajay primed us for our first courses, we enthusiastically devoured a bowl of very crispy and seriously addictive prawn crackers served with three sauces; Spicy Sriracha, Jalapeño & Vinegar, and Dark Soya. He proposed a very crisp Voga Prosecco, a perfect aperitif for the kind of flavours we were about to experi-ence. Those flavours began to arrive, like Crispy Tofu Szechwan. While many think of tofu as a modern food, Ajay explained the first recorded history of tofu was 2000 years ago, in the Han Dynasty. Rich in protein and low in fat, we agreed that this was the most fabulous tofu we’d ever had, with my fellow diner decidedly declaring, “I would eat tofu every day.” The aromatic sauce had a nice bite to it, but it was not overpowering. Full of flavour, and a perfect complement to the crunchy fried rice noodles. The Salt & Pepper Garlic Shrimp was a delicious delicacy rep-resentative of Southern-style cooking. Ajay explained the origins came from a seafood rich area close to the Yangtze River, where fragrant spices are more popular than heat. With deft determination, my chopsticks were first to plunge into the Northern-style BBQ Ribs. Smoked for five hours and STORY BY MANDY ROSTANCE-WOLF ~ PHOTOS BY LISA ADARA PHOTOGRAPHY Visit the Turks & Caicos Islands at MAY/JUNE 2017 • • • • • 113

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