Globetrotting and exploring the food scene of the world? Here are some of our picks to tickle your palate
BY RUKMA SALUJA
Food is really the ultimate aphrodisiac, wouldn’t you agree? And when creativity is the genie released from the bottle, magic is the fallout. No reviews, we promise. Just some great hangouts or must-have items that pack a punch and make your mouth water.
Among this year’s launches, Chef Abhijit Singh Rathore who helms Sona in New York deserves a special mention. His dishes are like works of art and the recipes truly inspired. Take the Crab Puri with Caviar. Stuffed with crab, the puris are topped with jicama and caviar. And if that doesn’t tempt you, there’s the Ghevar Cheesecake with Pickled Rhubarb. Chef Rathore’s roots in Rajasthan are clearly visible in this sweet delicacy inspired by his home state. There’s the full menu, of course, which includes Buckwheat Bhel with Honeycomb Crisp and Autumn Paapdi Chaat.
Wakai at Fort Mumbai makes it to this list. Chef Parvez Khan brings his years of experience at Wasabi at the Taj in Mumbai to his own enterprise. The ambience here is Manga, and all things Japanese. Designed by Rupin Suchak, Wakai takes you on a mini tour through the streets of Japan as you tuck into Black Cod Miso and Wasabi Cornettos. Looking for Umami? It’s right here.
The pandemic and the lockdowns brought back home food with a bang. Some, like this trio of women Maiyya, Arati, Chitrangada, turned this home enterprise into a commercial one. The grandmother helped her granddaughter fight the lockdown blues with traditional Nepali fare. A success with friends, it turned into Boju’s Kitchen (Granny’s Kitchen in Nepali). So here’s where you can get authentic momos and thukpas (among other items, of course).
(Mehrauli, New Delhi)
At the Capital’s Ambawatta complex in Mehrauli, CHÔ, derivative of the word ‘CHÔ nhà’, which means a cottage or a home in Vietnamese, helmed by Chef Vaibhav, you get variants of the vibrant street food and regional favourites of the Mekong delta and Nguyen dynasty. Items like Belgium Pork Gyoza in chilli oil, salad leaves and herbs, or Katsu Tofu & Avocado, a healthy rice paper roll stuffed with the goodness of Vietnamese herbs, vermicelli noodles, and edible flower served with peanut sauce. The cocktails get a new spin here. Odd Fashioned comes with burnt jasmine rice blended whisky, bitters, rice crackers, while the Vietnamese Highball has vodka, Vietnamese coffee, condensed milk and caramel.
Who would have thought the humble kulcha would become a speciality? You don’t need to wait for a trip to the Golden Temple anymore to gorge on that old favourite, the Amritsari Kulcha. At Chef Shailendra Khanna’s Posa in Gurugram, the selection is delectable. The success of their kulchas, he reveals, lies in their dough. The work their chefs put into the dough is reflected when you bite into the kulchas. The classic version is the Ambarsari Kulcha, of course, and the variations include Achari Kulcha which is packed with Rajasthani stuffed red chilli pickle and paneer, the Murgh Keema Kulcha, and in these times of fusion, there’s one stuffed with spinach and Feta.
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