Skip to main content

The 2015 Agenda

Wake up, Bombay! I am making a list of top 10 places I want to eat at in the New Year, and the first 3 entries are from Delhi. So how I am making this list, you ask? There are some old favourites I haven't visited for years and would like to experience again. For the new restaurants, the list is based on how much buzz I am hearing, and how exciting I find their menu to be. So, ranked by how excited I am to visit these places, this is my 2015 agenda:

1. India Accent, Delhi: In a small botique hotel in the completely unfashionable corner of Delhi, chef Manish Mehrotra has created a restaurant that's now universally accepted as India's best. The food is part grassroot Indian, part European fancy plating and I really can't wait to try out their tasting menu.

2. Soda Bottle Openerwala, Delhi: A few years ago, Dishoom opened in London as a quintessential Bombay style Irani cafe. It's quirky, it's charming and it's far better than anything Bombay has to offer in this department. Soda Bottle Openerwala is doing to Delhi what Dishoom did to London with a modern Parsi cafe.

3. Farzi Cafe, Delhi: This is another one of the Dishoom ripoffs but Farzi Cafe takes the concept up by another notch with its modern, molecular gastronomy inspired dishes. There has been talk of playful dishes that take you back to your childhood and general deliciousness all round that I can't wait to try.

4. The Table, Colaba: I ate at Table the week they opened and loved everything from their crispy polenta squares to unique mocktails. The restaurant has seen several menu changes since then, and even Chef Alex went off to intern in a Michelin star restaurant for a while. He is now back with a lot more experience, so the meal could only be better than my last time there.

5. The White Owl, Lower Parel: I haven't been to the White Owl, which is technically a micro brewery and not of interest to me but I am hearing such great things about the food that comes with the beer, courtesy chef Kshama. Need to find out if the food is truly great or is it that there are so few women in fine dining that even ones slightly above average get noticed.

6. Joss, Santacruz: I was pretty neutral on the old Joss in Kala Ghoda. But the new one seems to have a jazzed up menu and a chocolate dessert that is built right on your table. Something of an Alinea touch there, and definitely the one to try.

7. Neel, Mahalaxmi: I know, I know, Neel has been around forever and there is no excuse for one not having eaten the brilliant awadhi food there. So I'm gonna get course correcting on this one rightaway.

8. Spiceklub, Lower Parel: Pao Bhaji Fondue, naan pizzas and pani puri shots served with syringes - this is the kind of food that gets my attention.

9. The Birdsong, Bandra: Healthy eating options seem to be on the rise in Mumbai. Of all the ones I haven't been too, this one seems to be the prettiest and the one with the nicest menu.

10. Amadeus, Nariman Point: For some reason, tapas have never taken off in India. The only restaurant holding the Spanish flag for the last several years is Amadeus inside NCPA. I've had a brief visit once, a couple of years back, but it's definitely due for a revisit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Tales of A Female Nomad

This month, our book club goes on a nomadic tour. We traveled with Rita Golden Gelman, a writer who sold everything she owned after the shock of a divorce and became a nomad. Not a tourist, because Rita stays away from everything that a tourist does and instead, tries to live the lives of people she visits.

From Mexico to Israel to Galapago Islands, Rita goes the way least traveled, always preferring to stay as a boarder with natives. And sometimes, going to places not even locals will go, places so secluded yet beautiful that Rita's description takes your breath away, urges you to become a nomad yourself.

Yet even nomads sometimes find their roots. Rita found hers in Bali where she spent eight years. Starting as a boarder with a prince, she eventually became a part of the family. I instantly knew I wanted to cook something Indonesian. I picked Nasi Goreng, the Indonesian fried rice.



There are as many recipes for Nasi Goreng as there are cooks. Some use tomatoes, others tamarind.…

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Announcing AWED : Britain

Before I ate my first Italian wood fired pizza, before I went to that swanky Japanese sushi bar for the first time, or the neighborhood Chinese joint, the first non-Indian cuisine I encountered was British. Not real food, mind you, but the tempting, oh so delicious descriptions in my favorite novels. From Enid Blyton to Jane Austen to P.G. Wodehouse, every favorite character in every favorite novel seems to have food on their mind.

Yes, British food gets ridiculed a lot. But forget their main course dishes for now, and think of the full English breakfast and the elegant afternoon teas. Then try imagining the world without cucumber sandwiches or potato chips and you will realize you can't do without British food.

Which is why when I saw that DK was looking for hosts for her monthly event AWED (A Worldly Epicurean's Delight) and there has never been a British AWED, I promptly signed up.



The rules are simple really:

Make any vegetarian or vegan British dish (eggs are allowed in A…