Monday, January 12, 2015

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.

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