19 July, 2016

Restaurant review: Indian Accent

Indian Accent, a restaurant inside hotel Manor in Friends colony is undoubtedly the best Indian cuisine served not just in Delhi but in India. 
Brainchild of Chef Manish Mehrotra, Indian Accent has been recognised globally by diners and critics alike and is the only restaurant from India on the prestigious S. Pellegrino World's 100 Best Restaurants List. It also has the privilege of being the only restaurant in India to feature in the World 50 Best Restaurants 2015. National acclaim was marked by Indian Accent being deemed the Best Modern Indian Restaurant (Times Food and Nightlife Awards 2013) and ranked as the No.1 Restaurant in India by TripAdvisor. It is now also at Le Parker Meridien in New York City and the restaurant has been well received. The Chef has just come back after spending 6 months there. The menu is little different there. They have tasting menu- 3 course and 4 course. 
Chef Manish displays a brilliant stroke of creativity by creating a unique amalgamation of the freshest local produce and combining traditional tastes with novel ingredients from across the world. This unique marriage of global ingredients and techniques with the flavours of India produces amazing dishes. Chef is extremely polite, friendly, warm and knowledgeable.  He is super impressive and you can see and feel his passion for his work. No wonder the restaurant has done consistently well for seven and half years now. It has very regular clientele. Chef believes that his work should speak for him and not his social media or videos. He has maintained this consistency.

There is a fantastic aroma as we enter the restaurant. Extremely hospitable staff greeted us. We were well escorted to our table by very polite and smiling staff.
The d├ęcor is simple, clean and very Indian- complete with genda phool (marigold flowers), diyas (lamps), basic furniture that is simple and elegant.
 The six course Chef Tasting menu where each course is paired with a selection of wines from India and across the world, offers the complete dining experience of the restaurant.
Seasonal, organic (where possible) and fresh local produce join unusual ingredients from world cuisine to create a menu that will excite the adventurous, yet satisfy traditional tastes and evoke nostalgia. This is our attempt at proposing Indian food for the twenty first century – a unique marriage of global ingredients and techniques with the flavours and traditions of India.
It is a very fine dining and very correct restaurant. Quality of staff and even customers is extremely elite. It is a family dining place. There are warm yellow lights, subtle paintings on the wall. There is no music that I hear. At least not a loud one. You can eat in peace and chat. For tasting menu and for savouring such fantastic food and wines, you need minimum 2 and half hours. You really need to relax and enjoy the food and wines prepared and served here very lovingly. Go to this wonderful restaurant when you really want chilled out dinner and want to appreciate the food.
They offer fantastic selection and very apt recommendations of wines to go with your food. The wines are paired well. Indian food is paired with new world wine. Not with heavily bodied wines. Indian food is flavourful. So you need a contradiction to Indian spices. It is a myth that Indian food could not be paired with wines.  But Indian accent is breaking that myth. Even with dishes like fish with tamarind, coconut milk, spices, duck, mango curry, etc. wines are paired well with.'
The lady attending to us told us that recently, she was in Austria, in a restaurant where they were serving only Austrian wine. She found this so good and hoped that some day, hopefully we could do the same in India with Indian food and Indian wines. 
In Indian Accent, they have selection of wines from Alsace in France, New Zealand, Germany and even from India.

To start with we got Blue cheese naan topped with coconut and cashew nut dip- Ah! Loved it- It was delicious. Great starting.

We also got Green pea shorba with hint of garam masala on top just to start.

These were perfect portion sizes- small and cute that leave you wanting for more.

To start with, I was served, Villa Maria- very fruity and sweet wine from New Zealand. Very dry wines do not go well with me. It was really nice. 

Next on the list was  Burratta papdi chaat.  Instead of yogurt they used burratta a kind of cheese. This was incredible. Fantastic, sexy, creamy, cheesy, that melted in the mouth. It had a tinge of walnuts.

I was savouring the best Indian food, cooked and served with so much love, affection and to the perfection.

Next we were served Egg plant cornetto with tomato pickled chutney- in lay man’s term- baingan ka bharta. There is moong daal namkeen in the base of the glass.
For non vegetarian, the option was Duck khurchan cornetto with golden garlic yogurt and chili chutney. It was meant to be eaten like an ice cream cone.

It was very innovative and thoughtful creation, served and presented beautifully.

 Full vegetarian menu is for Rs.2995/-  and non vegetarian is for Rs.3095/-Add Rs.2695/- for 6 glasses of wine per person. both in vegetarian and non vegetarian.

Next on our plate was baked aloo methi chilla, chilli potato grits- layer slices of potatoes filled with methi etc. It was excellent- simply melting in mouth. 
The non vegetarian option was tandoori bacon prawns, wasabi malai. Bacon inside the prawn with wasabi was excellent. Prawn and bacon are classic American combination. The ceramic, black dishes in which they were served, seemed warm to touch.

My next course was beetroot and peanut butter tikki, caper wasabi chutney, quinoa puff. Ooof! it was heavenly delicious. It had crunchy peanuts and incredible flavours. Imagine and amalgamation of nutrition and flavours of beetroot, quinoa, peanut butter and wasabi. What a great combination.

For non vegetarian, the option was meetha achaar spare ribs, sun dried mango, toasted kalonji seeds.  It was spectacular. Normally you get a rack of ribs in normal American gringo restaurant. But here you get a good portion of meat on single rib and flavoured with lots of mango and kalonji seeds. Very well paired with red wine. The rib ended clean with no effort as you can see in the picture.

Our next dish was Khandavi ravioli with goat cheese. It had fafda on top. Masala fox nuts (phool makhaane as we know them in hindi) with pine nuts. It was softer inside. So just to give crunchiness, there was fafda on top.
Subtle delicious flavours were combined together. It was excellent tiny portion.

Each dish in menu is paired with different wines that they recommend.

Chef gave me stuffed morel/gucci/variety of mushroom with walnut khasta on the side. Gucci is expensive and it tasted insanely delicious. It melted in the mouth.

For non vegetarian, we got soft shell crab with flamed roast coconut and tomato pickle chutney- to be eaten with a plucker (tweezer). Such an awesome dish that you must try.

Now we got Mango and cranberry sorbet for cleansing your palette before the next food. What a delightful and tasteful experience it was.

In the video you can see, how I was served stuffed tandoori paneer with aloo rasa curry. The non vegetarian option was tamarind glazed fish with coconut barley on side. There was also Gucci pine nut pulao with black gravy daal and wasabi cucumber raita – lovely flavours of clove and ilaichi (cardomom) and gucchi. They get Guccis from Jammu.We were also served truffle oil drizzle mushroom kulcha and applewood smoked bacon kulcha.

I liked little pauses in between each dish. Each dish was perfectly timed and served well. We could chat, digest and be ready for the next dish. The service was neither too fast nor too slow. Just perfect.

In video and in pictures below, you can see our desserts-Besan laddoo tart with mithai cheese cake with flavours of cardomom and saffron and a dash of tulsi leaf. 
Then there was walnut chocolate brownie with layer of boondi laddo cheese cake.
Mishti doi cannolie.
Trickle tart filled with dhoda barfi- served with home made vanilla ice cream. 
Not to miss daulat ki chaat. You must see in the video, how it was served so well. It was light as air.

We witnessed so much art in the food- like a masterpiece. It was rich in flavours, art and imagination. It was pure, everyday art. You eat it and then create it again. Something done with so much care and patience. This was a time when I did not know whether I was in a museum or in a restaurant. Total salute to Chef's creations.

Last we were given- School days memories on chaarpaai. It had  Fatafat, aam papad, ram laddoo /imli goli, rose petal chikki.

Not only that, they gave us a tiny box to be carried home- for at night when you are hungry. What a nice gesture. I did not see a single customer who was not super happy.

It is a restaurant that you MUST TRY, MUST VISIT- again and again and again. Highly recommending.

Coffee in the end.

Me at work, diligently writing the notes for my review.

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