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Features

The traditional statement

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Create drama on your table with pots, pans, wagons and even syringes

Remember the resurgence of the ketli (the traditional Indian kettle)? Without that in your kitchen decor or part of your party, your style quotient was questioned. So much so that even poolside grill brunches at star hotels also thought it necessary to incorporate it into their styling. When so much was happening, would artists have stepped back? Art exhibitions saw a new canvas. The kettle. Flowers were grown in it. The kettle was a gift everyone was doting on in social media. If you ask whether the kettle’s time’s up, I would say not yet. This aluminium kitchen appliance is still making news.

Serving food has taken a whole new turn in every casual dining eatery. Aluminium mugs are stars at beer parties, old fashioned chipped enamel mugs and bowls are back in use, add to it the use of stone and wooden plates or even better a miniature pani-puri tokri.

Did we forget the pot-bellied traditional steel chembu with a tapering neck and wide edge used to drink water in homes? Don’t be embarrassed to serve water in them anymore. The humble steel chembu is the new star at bars. Basically anything that looks traditional and is not made with cheap plastic is the way to go.

Saying which, take-aways at juice bars and clubs are also looking up. Apart from delivering drinks in reusable glass bottles, there are re-useable sachets where your alcoholic drink can go with you.

There seems to be a reason this change in serving utensils? Apart from the appeal, “It is also to meet the Indianess of the food or drink we are serving. Using metal to serve spirits mixed with natural flavouring agents could be reactive. So one should know what is going in the drink. While deciding to use any metallic utensil, one should make note of the ingredients that go into it. We also use copper mugs, but the copper is only a plating on the body. The space that holds the liquid is food grade steel or aluminium,” says Sharad Arora, Manager Operation, United Kitchens of India.

Look around and you will be surprised at the ways food serving is making heads turn. From edible cutlery to wooden utensils made of neem wood, the serving game sure is much talked about topic. All one needs to do is think and desire and sooner than you know, it is already in the stores.

Remember the miniature buckets used to serve curries and dals? To make things look more interesting, menus were changed to include daal-balti or veg-bucket. Similarly railway mutton curry comes in a toy wagon. “Adding fun elements and drama does improve the dining experience, provided the food is tasty and hygienic. To go with our Parsi theme of the restaurant, cutlery used to serve food includes the old steel tifin boxes which are much loved by our regulars. Personally I would rather have chai in an old cutting glass tumbler than in a cup when I am not fine dining or sipping English tea over a business meeting,” says Shaaz Mehmood, owner Soda BottleOpenerwala in Hyderabad.

No matter how old you are, when you get to squirt out liquid chocolate in to your ice cream with big syringes you will definitely think it is a must to upload a photo on Instagram and drown the post with as many hashtags as you can think of for maximum traction.

By the way while all this looks nice and adorable, it is also environment friendly. So while you are being super cool with a chembu or chugging milkshake out of a bottle, ditch the plastic straw and use something more sophisticated , stylish and natural -your lips.

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