If Indian Accent (the restaurant) was a man, he’d be a classy, tasteful gentleman; someone who is deeply admired and is well aware of his status. Yet he wears humility on his sleeves. Dressed suavely, his style is sophisticated; he is well travelled and has embraced all the wisdom of the world. He has mastered various languages of the world but speaks about them in pure ‘Indian accent’. That’s what the restaurant is: inspired by the best of West yet desi at heart and soul. It is perhaps this blissful marriage of the two worlds that has made it one of the “100 best places to eat in the world”.
Having read and heard so much about it, I went there for a review recently. Needless to say, I am equally charmed by the hospitality, presentation and unforgettable taste of the meal I had! It’s also path breaking for breaking the notion that Indian vegetarian food is all about paneer or dal makhani. It stunned me at every step. Though it is located inside the posh streets of Friends Colony (in The Manor hotel), I felt as though I was seeing the minimalist abode of an affluent man. Its subtlety and not grandiose and opulence defines its affluence.
Undertone exteriors are well complemented with the understated décor of the restaurant. A passage leads you to the dining room – a no frills room – with limited seating. Sit on the corner seat, overlooking the lush green lawn. Not exquisite flowers but desi marigolds embellish the room. That is to say, there is a palpable Indianness in the ambiance. The menu, designed by Chef Manish Mehrotra, bemuses you with unique names of the dishes. Presenting his take on the world cuisine is the fare at Indian Accent. Sample these: Khandavi Ravioli, Naans stuffed with blue cheese, Chicken Tikka Quisadillas, Foie gras stuffed galawat, Parmesan papad, Taco kathal and more.
Everything appears so exotic that you want to try each and every item on the menu. Chef Mehrotra has a solution for that with the Tasting Menu. You can get a taste of several items in small quantities. I love gorging on non-vegetarian food when I dine out but here I wanted to go vegetarian since I haven’t seen so tempting options in a veg menu in any restaurant I have visited so far. And when the food arrived, I thought presentation of food is perhaps the pinnacle until I tasted it, after which I couldn’t decide whether it tasted better with my eyes or tongue.
The dishes are presented to you in the most unique manner. Picture bharta cornetto topped with goat cheese served in a tea cup with moon dal or kulfi sorbet in a cooker miniature. Taste wise, I’d tell you that you sure to look at karela differently after tasting Churan ka Karela. If bitter gourd can taste that good, imagine the rest! Warm doda burfi treacle tart (absolutely divine), Mishti Doi Cannoli (sweet fermented curd,piped into crisp cannoli pastry shells), Daulat ki Chaat (whipped milk foam served with fake Rs 100 notes) – make for the perfect climax before the sweet end comes with Charpoy of School Memories, an assortment of delicious candies, churan, aam papad, anardana goli etc on a miniature cot.
Last but not least, the hospitality here is wonderful. The staff members really take care of you, ensuring that you understand and enjoy your meal.
Thumbs up for: Unusual menu, delicious vegetarian food and unique presentation Location: The Manor Hotel in Friends Colony, New Delhi.
Cost: It is expensive! Chef’s Tasting Menu (veg) Rs 2595 per person (non-veg) Rs 2695 plus Rs 2100 per person for 5 half glasses (75ml) of wine. Exclusive of taxes.