Indian Accent has lengthy been touted as certainly one of India’s greatest eating places, and through a latest journey to New Delhi, I merely needed to attempt it for myself. I used to be notably excited to dine right here, as previous to this go to, I’d by no means had a fantastic eating expertise based mostly round Indian delicacies earlier than.
When the chance to make a journey to India to go to my household offered itself, I swiftly secured my reservation at Indian Accent, and eagerly awaited the expertise from that time ahead.
Indian Accent – About the Restaurant
The status that surrounds Indian Accent is effectively deserved, because it places an creative spin on Indian delicacies by elevating conventional flavours with an array of methods and substances from across the globe.
Indian Accent has obtained quite a lot of accolades lately, having been awarded the title of the “San Pellegrino Best Restaurant in India” by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for seven years in a row and ranked because the “Number 1 Restaurant in India” by Condé Nast Traveller. Other accolades embody recognition from Times Magazine, who famous Indian Accent as being “Amongst the World’s 100 Greatest Places”.
Fortunately, you don’t must fly midway throughout the globe to dine at this prestigious restaurant, as there’s additionally a location in New York City.
Indian Accent – About the Chef
Behind the menu, Chef Manish Mehrotra is very revered and critically acclaimed in his craft.
Considered the pioneer of creative Indian delicacies, he’s treasured amongst probably the most thrilling cooks on the earth, most notably for his fashionable tackle Indian meals in a refined and stylish setting.
He started his profession in Mumbai, becoming a member of Ananda Solomon’s group on the Thai Pavilion with Taj Hotels. In 2000, Chef Mehrotra joined Old World Hospitality, the place he has remained for the final 22 years.
Chef Mehrotra’s menu is a recent twist on Indian delicacies, incorporating seasonal produce melded along with uncommon substances from world wide. The displays include an thrilling and adventurous aptitude, one which delivers conventional flavours with a touch of one thing new, one thing surprising, and one thing actually pleasant.
Indian Accent – Booking
Reservations may be made by calling or emailing the venue, and there’s a 1,000 INR ($17 CAD) per particular person deposit that’s paid on the time of reserving.
Indian Accent – Location
You’ll discover the New Delhi location of Indian Accent at The Lodhi Hotel, a property which is a part of the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program.
From the skin, you’ll head up a small set of stairs right into a reception space.
The area then opens up right into a lounge, the place there are a variety of comfy seating preparations dotted round some statues. You’ll additionally discover extra seating and a personal eating area upstairs.
Inside, the bar glows with heat lighting and wooden accents which might be additional expanded within the physique of the restaurant. It has a contemporary look, with glossy traces deepened by the wood partitions and flooring, in addition to stone accents.
The bar is situated in the principle eating space, after which the restaurant additional expands into two slender eating areas with an out of doors water characteristic in between them.
Seating is elegant, but comfy with regal-looking cushioned armchairs to make you are feeling like royalty.
When making your reservations, inquire about having a desk by a window, so you’ll be able to gaze out on the water characteristic flanked by fiery torches for a pleasant view. This is the place we have been seated for our dinner, and it added to the nice and cozy atmosphere within the restaurant.
There’s additionally a personal eating space accessed by way of a hallway with tall glass panes and wood flooring.
Indian Accent – Dinner Experience
There are a number of menus for Indian Accent, together with an à la carte menu accessible for lunch and dinner, with costs that vary from 650–1,750 INR ($11–29 CAD), in addition to a four-course categorical tasting menu for 3,300 INR ($55 CAD) per particular person.
You even have the choice of the chef’s tasting menu, which is what we chosen throughout our go to. Indian Accent provides a vegetarian model for 4,350 INR ($72 CAD) per particular person or a non-vegetarian tasting menu for 4,450 INR ($74 CAD) per particular person.
If you choose both of the chef’s tasting menus, you’ll be able to improve the expertise with a pairing of six half glasses of wine for a further 4,300 INR ($71 CAD) per particular person.
While the price of the chef’s tasting menu could also be fairly a bit larger than many eating places in New Delhi, it’s comparatively reasonably priced when in comparison with related eating experiences in different main cities world wide.
1. Amuse Bouche
The meal started with three pleasant miniature naans flippantly full of blue cheese. It appears an unlikely mixture, however we liked the duo of contemporary, fluffy-textured naan with melted blue cheese.
It was sturdy and flavourful, working effectively in the identical manner that the sturdy style of garlic and naan go collectively properly.
2. First Course – Street Food
The presentation of the primary course was fascinating to me. Chef Mehrotra cleverly turned frequent road meals right into a luxurious expertise, and I assumed it was very cool, to say the least.
In this serving, we had sindhi dal pakwan, herb goat cheese vada pao, quinoa dahi bhalla, chutney aloo, and gol gappa with 5 waters.
As we gazed out at this course, I discovered myself most trying ahead to the gol gappa (also referred to as pani puri), because it has been a favorite snack of mine since I used to be a baby.
The chutney had a silky and easy texture with a bounty of flavour, whereas the 5 waters consisted of pani puri mint, imli, pomegranate, pineapple, and buttermilk garlic.
I believe this might be an important dish for these with a palate unfamiliar to Indian delicacies; nevertheless, because it lacked the punchy, pungent, spicy flavours that I discover most interesting concerning the waters, I believe I’ll persist with the road distributors for this dish shifting ahead.
The dahi bhalla was my favorite of the primary 4 starters. Crunchy quinoa fritters (bhalla, however historically made with lentils) topped with yoghurt (dahi) together with an assortment of spices and candy and tangy chutneys, in addition to boiled chickpeas and potatoes, gave this conventional road meals a dynamic vary of textures and flavours.
The pairing for this course was a NV Chandon Brut Rosé, one thing bubbly to start out this festive event. Note that this can be a wine sourced from India, and shared little or no semblance to the Moët & Chandon model that you could be in any other case be accustomed to.
3. Second Course – Chicken Seekh Kebab
Next to grace our palates was the hen seekh with a beurre blanc sauce and pickled greens, paired with a Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc to drink.
The minced hen kebab was tender and generously seasoned with the butter sauce, making a melting sensation in my mouth that was actually spectacular. In lieu of the uncooked onions which might be historically served, the chef opted to serve pickled greens as a substitute, which I assumed was a pleasant French contact to a basic Indian kebab dish.
4. Third Course – Bihari Taash
Our third course, bihari taash, was served with a daring and spicy Spanish wine, the 2020 Sangre de Tora from Catalonia.
Bihari kebaps are extra generally discovered within the east of India and Nepal. The marinated mutton dish just isn’t sometimes discovered on a Westernized Indian menu, and it was a deal with to take pleasure in this dish.
The meal featured mustard oil and Nepali szechuan pepper that gave this a particular fashion of warmth, akin to the feeling that wasabi or horseradish would produce. The meat itself was extraordinarily tender, and was served on a roti with a candy and flavourful sauce that was a splendid match.
5. Fourth Course – Mud Crab and Japanese Rice
Served with a Pinot Grigio from Tuscany, Italy, the following course consisted of mud crab with tomato, Bengali chilli mustard, and sticky rice.
The spicy sauce introduced out an exquisite distinction for the candy crab meat, and was a deal with to eat with the sticky rice served beneath it. This course jogged my memory of all of the scrumptious crab I ate at hawker stands on my final journey to Singapore.
6. Palate Cleanser
To cleanse our palates, we have been offered with a kulfi sorbet of pomegranate juice and chaat masala. It was mild and refreshing, no less than in response to my spouse Nicole.
As a few of chances are you’ll know, I’m allergic to fruits and I used to be unable to take pleasure in this a part of our dinner. In a considerably uncommon vogue, I used to be not supplied with a substitution.
7. Fifth Course – Duck or Fish
For the fifth course, we had a alternative of fish plantain masala with duck coconut curry or rawa fish with black dairy dal and caramelized walnut raita.
I opted for the duck, which was offered in a buttermilk chilli curry and accompanied with raita, asparagus, and roasted potatoes. A Bex Riesling was paired with the duck.
The three-pepper duck was an unbelievable course. Not solely was the presentation great, with the confit duck surrounded by a sea of spectacular coconut curry, however the meat was comfortable and filled with flavour in each chunk.
This grew to become each my first time having fun with duck outdoors of French delicacies, the place it’s sometimes seared, or in a Peking-style serving, but it surely was additionally my first time having it served with such an abundance of seasoning. The added flavours softened the distinctive gamey style that duck is thought for.
8. Dessert – Chocolate Cake
The soft-baked chocolate cake was offered with a milk crisp and engulfed in candy, creamy basundi (sweetened condensed milk).
It was a wealthy technique to end the meal, and together with the separate desserts we ordered from the à la carte menu, made for a memorable ending to our night.
Indian Accent – Wine Pairings
I assumed that choosing the wine pairings could be a wonderful technique to benefit from the full expertise of what Indian Accent needed to supply, however in the long run, I wound up being a bit upset.
As you will have seen within the menu costs, wine pairing prices nearly the identical value because the dinner itself. I used to be anticipating this to be a top-tier pairing; nevertheless, as a skilled sommelier myself, I used to be barely upset that it didn’t meet my requirements.
At no level did we really feel that the wines paired with the dishes have been a unprecedented match. They weren’t all that thrilling on their very own both, although I wouldn’t name the wines dangerous by any means.
While the workers have been certainly skilled in fantastic eating, the wine service was beneath what I’d contemplate a five-star expertise. In truth, I didn’t discover any sommelier working anyplace within the beautiful expanse of this restaurant.
Rather, our server would come and easily pour the wine, learn from the label of the bottle, after which go away. I’d have liked for a sign of why these explicit wines have been particular, or what made them an distinctive pairing for every dish.
The order of the wine was a bit random as effectively. It’s customary to go from whites to reds throughout fantastic eating dinner experiences, or on the very least, it ought to transfer from lighter wines in the direction of bolder ones.
During my expertise at Indian Accent, it gave the impression to be extra of a sporadic alternative, starting with rosé after which shifting to white, after which onward to crimson and again to white, seemingly leaping all over.
My last be aware is in regard to the dessert, which was served with a German Riesling. As a sommelier myself, I discovered the pairing unusual, however once I requested our server for the rationale behind the pairing, I used to be informed it was the one candy wine that they had.
For my subsequent go to, I’d like to see extra thought put into the wine pairings, particularly for the value charged.
Indian Accent – Service
In my years, I’ve had the pleasure of having fun with many fantastic eating institutions, however I’d by no means had the chance to take action with Indian delicacies till now. This was what was most fun to me about visiting Indian Accent, since I’ve all the time skilled Indian meals in family-style meals with tons of meals on the desk for all to share.
It drastically impressed me to see it transformed into this sort of refined eating expertise. Overall, the service was fairly good, and the workers all got here throughout as very pleasant.
I’ve heard that the sort of workers employed for locations like this should undergo intensive coaching. This resulted in a really “white glove” or “classic” fashion of service, although it was much less experiential.
I’m unsure if I’d have appreciated to see extra storytelling behind this dinner, however the service nonetheless checked all of the bins for traditional fantastic eating. The workers have been busier behind-the-scenes, ensuring every little thing was operating easily, with out being overly intrusive.
Overall, my expertise with service and meals at Indian Accent was constructive. We had an gratifying night collectively and we’d seemingly do it another time, aside from maybe skipping the wine pairing.
My first encounter with fantastic Indian eating offered the flavours I’ve come to like in a refined and distinctive manner. We sincerely loved the meals at Indian Accent, and I nonetheless discover myself fascinated by the duck.
Chef Mehrotra actually has some intelligent concepts on uniting the normal tastes of Indian delicacies with totally different substances from different types of delicacies.
As somebody of Indian descent, I deeply loved having these conventional meals ready in a extra fashionable method. The fantastic eating environment with Indian delicacies was one thing that was new to me.
I’d suggest Indian Accent to any traveller visiting New Delhi, and I’d agree that it lives as much as the hype from all of the awards and buzz surrounding it.
As for the wine, I’d suggest making an attempt the tasting menu with out the pairings, and opting to test the beverage menu to make your individual alternatives. There are quite a lot of choices on that prolonged record that might have been higher suited to the meal.