-By Rashmi Uday Singh
You’ll either love it or hate it. In Vineet Bhatia’s liberally and fantastically interpreted India, Khichdi is mushroomy and it is in erotic union with chilled Makhni Ice Cream (Frozen Butter Chicken Gravy Ice Cream). The humble tikki is skillfully elevated into a crisp almond pea one, drizzled with yoghurt and capped with a chilled Tamarind Sorbet. Chef Bhatia is a maestro at combining textures and colours but it is the marrying of contrasting temperatures (like the two dishes above) that works the best. Must try them. Though, some dishes miss the mark and are overcute and fussy, Bhatia does a clever balancing act between innovation and tradition. Beautifully pre-plated (in stacks and towers and swirls) individual portions here. Non-vegetarians check out the unerringly cooked Salmon paired with Dill Raita, popular Chicken Trilogy, succulent Raan Mussallam, oven-baked Pomfret and the spicy Lobster too. Paneer encased in Puff Pastry passes muster. Shaky marriages? The Banana Lassi, Grilled Asparagus on a bed of Saffron Upma, Uttapam Lasagne layered with Masala Paneer and the like. The Lobster dusted with cocoa powder is oversalted and the biryani under-flavoured. Some of the dishes like the Paneer Makhni are ordinary and lacklustre. End with Chef Bhatia’s famed Chocomosa… three tiny triangles of crisp samosas with a chocolate filling. Ziya still remains the choice for lavish entertainment: it innovates and elevates Indian fine dining... with prices to match. Jai ho!
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