Across India one food trend is drawing the crowds in. A form of cooking that is fiendishly difficult to make money from for restaurant owners but if done right can be a money spinner, as long waiting lists at the sizzling shack in Delhi or Kobe sizzlers in Mumbai or the sizzler at the President hotel in Dehradun attest.
The reason we love sizzlers so much meaty taste or if you are a vegetarian the pepped up paneer right in front of you on that burning hot plate. It is the best dish to get over the horrid memories of Covid and even with the convenience of Swiggy this is a definite dine out. You just can’t order a sizzler in.
The real great thing about the sizzlers is that it sets all the senses in turbocharger mode. The nose tingles even as the ear picks up the sizzle and mind fires the pituitary glands the saliva flows. It’s a biology class like no other and the tenderloin or hamburger steak depending on which restaurant you are at makes the kitchen to fork wait impossible to endure! The sense of touch is hard to restrain but comes with an ouch!
Now the restaurant business is one of the toughest in the world with the highest fail rate. However if it works, well it sizzles, this is why you have a handful of them.
The reason is immense complications to serve the perfect sizzle. Even seasoned chefs struggle with something familiar to batsmen on an uneven pitch, timing
The dish has to be served right away just off the hob like you know, ASAP. This is the only way you can maintain their sizzle and work the heat. This requires very vigilant timing and quick coordination between the kitchen and serving staff. For you it’s ordering that shashlik and sipping the beer but for the restaurant it’s a lot of steps and flawless coordination that ensures satisfaction. Be sure to leave a generous tip at the table!
The other complication with the yummy sizzlers is that they need to be cooked at a very high temperature to ensure that they sizzle strong. Cooking the dish evenly without overcooking or undercooking different parts requires years of training and the trick is to have quick hand-eye coordination with the right temperature meeting the correct press or flip of the fillet. As any seasoned chef will tell you, that’s easier said than done. That is why you rarely see sizzlers in masterchef presentations on popular food shows.
Restaurant that primarily serve them need to spend a lot more money on ventilation as that sizzle produces an olfactory inferno and needs to be dissipated while having the air conditioner on.
So as the runaway success of restaurant like the sizzling shack near in Delhi underlines, Indians love their sizzlers but you are unlikely to see too many restaurants jumping into the fire. All the more reason to remember Naresh Kapoor, an entrepreneur who brought sizzlers to the masses way before it became the rage that it is today. He founded Gola sizzlers back in 1988 and the chain is expanding furiously.
While beer is the pairing of choice with sizzlers, if you are going with lamb sizzlers I like South African Two Oceans Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruity smoothness compliments the sizzling meatiness and soothes the tough feel. So this weekend when entertaining try the combo.