ndia might be best known for the great variety of its regional cuisine, but the focus on internationally-influenced fine dining fare has certainly increased. During the past few years, many of the globe’s most well-respected brands have set up establishments in New Delhi or Mumbai. Whether you’re after Chinese cuisine with a contemporary twist, the finest dishes to have ever come out of Thailand, cutting edge French-Italian fusion or Japanese specialties, you can find it. Here’s a hand-picked selection of gourmet experiences to be had in India that any self-respecting foodie will want to factor into their vacation.
Among the top New Delhi hotels to visit is the Radisson Blu (it’s gorgeous). So it follows that the on-site dining opportunities are among the FINEST in India. Leading the pack is Thai restaurant Neung Roi. The atmosphere is tranquil and INTIMATE, with lush red carpeting and sensitively arranged lighting, while the menu DRAWS from four different regional culinary traditions.
Eating there is a little like taking an express foodie trip across Thailand.
From the Central Plains comes hot, salty dishes with varied SEASONINGS; from the Isthmus of Kra in Thailand’s south, there’s an emphasis on seafood, coconut, turmeric and sour fruits; Lanna in Thailand’s north brings a gentle, balanced approach, reflecting the temperate local climate; and Isan (northeast) delivers a bold, spicy component to the menu through classics like Tom Sum plus a selection of EXOTIC salads, dips and grilled and cured meats. Find Neung Roi inside the Radisson Blu near Mahipalpur Extension Nh 8, New Delhi.
Le Cirque was the first high-end French-Italian fusion restaurant to open in Asia. Having traveled direct from New York City, it specializes in food designed to please not only the taste buds, but the eyes, too. Highlights of the menu include a warm salad comprised of Limoncello, octopus and marinated lobster; green asparagus with Parma ham; and an impressive selection of hand made pastas and pizzas. Occupying the tenth floor, the room has a relaxed, stripped-back vibe. Think shadowy lighting, wooden furniture and warm, earthy tones. It’s the place to go if you want great food in an inviting atmosphere. Le Cirque is found in the Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi.
Cutting-edge Japanese restaurant Megu is now located in New York City, Moscow, Doha, Gstaad, New Delhi AND Mumbai. Deriving its name from a Japanese term for ‘blessing’, the fine dining brand promises excellence in every area, from food to service to design. Both traditional and contemporary influences combine in a menu that’s at once familiar and surprising. Rather than employing a ‘star chef’, Megu puts their faith in a solid team, who use their collective powers to create the best dishes possible. Signature items include Megu original crispy asparagus, salmon tartare, foie gras in crispy Kobe beef croquettes and crispy Kanzuri shrimp.
Since being founded in London in 2001, the Michelin-starred Hakkasan restaurant has become one of the world’s most respected fine-dining brands, and has set up establishments in China, the Middle East, the United States and India. It opened in Mumbai in June 2011, in the prestigious, fashion-conscious Bandra District. Designers Gilles and Boissier incorporated Hakkasan’s signature elements, including latticing and dark-stained English oak, into a large, contemporary space, complete with a 16-metre long blue glass and stainless steel bar. So, even if you don’t want a meal, you can drop by for a drink.
Menu highlights include fried soft shell crab with almond, chilli and curry leaf; crispy duck salad with pomelo, pine nuts and shallots; and roasted silver cod with champagne and Chinese honey.