I should start by reminding readers that we are not food critics, we do not normally review restaurants and we try to stay positive, informative and subjective. Now step into the restaurant of Manish Mehrotra in Delhi and you’ll find a menu with ambitious cuisine, a modern take on Indian cuisine with a few twists and turns.
At first glance of the menu my eyes were drawn to tacos on the menu. I thought to myself “oh no bad fusion in Delhi” what a mistake to come here! But Indian Accents is a good example of a chef who has good sense and his cuisine is a unique culinary journey.
Any kind of taco fright could easily be avoided by dropping the word taco from the menu. In fact it wasn’t a taco at all, or the type of hard taco found in classical Mexican cuisine. It was a soft wheat folded Tava Paratha (I think) which is common throughout the Indian subcontinent, or maybe a hand phulka Roti, a hindi word which means puff.
It was a taco styled chicken khurchan phulka after all filled with chicken “khurchan”, a word derived from the hindi word “khurachna” which means to scrape a dry sauce or gravy of onion, tomatoes and bell peppers.
It is obvious this chef dreams of fusing together ingredients from all over the globe and he pulls it off really well.
This dish was Thai pomelo with a sauce of amla murabba, which Rajasthan gooseberries in syrup. I thought would be too heavy and just the opposite was true. It was delicate and the tastes were interesting and intense.
The chicken with avocado Koshambir topped with boondi (Rajasthani snack food) made from fried chickpea flour is a take off on a traditional salad recipe from Maharashtra, an Indian state spanning west-central India. The chef adds citrus, salt and a pepper zing to this crunchy koshambir dish – excellent!
We tried only part of the menu as we arrived too late due to traffic. The next dish was unexpected as described as today’s staff food and it was mutton – deep Indian flavours, soft slow cooked and delicious.
The next dish was minced chicken tikka meatballs with tomato. A makhani gravy using cream and butter gives it the name “makhani” which trabslates as butter – it was heavy but very well done.
I start to appreciate the ingenuity and depth of knowledge the chef has. He uses a type of flour, called sago flour made from a starch extracted from the pith of various tropical palm stems – a major staple food for the lowland peoples of New Guinea.
The jars magic smoked masala marwari papad with lettuce potato cream, chili onions and it is has a good depth of field.
The desert next was excellent but most unfortunately we didn’t meet the chef as he was unavailable but the lunch continues.
An amazing surprise I just regret that I didn’t have a good chance to taste more of the menu, and I dream to go back and explore his knowledge in a land where I have very little experience. Yes this is a contemporary culinary journey you won’t regret.
77, Friends colony West, New Delhi, Delhi 110065
T:+91 11 2692 5151