Think about fine dining and if you are a real foodie, a term that would cross your mind is the Michelin Star Rating. Yes, the prestigious star that has brought some level of standardization to a highly subjective stream of study. I have always felt that food and specifically its flavour will always vary from person to person. It will depend on your flavour palate, your taste preferences and also the kind of food you are used to consuming growing up, to name a few. So does it mean that food prepared by a Michelin Star chef would be loved and respected by all? Well, let’s find out.
Now if you ask me, a splendid Sunday afternoon, with a cool winter breeze and a bright sun is already great in my book. Add to that a drive through South Delhi and a beautiful lunch preparation by two Michelin Star Chef Claude Bosi at Upstairs at Indian Accent and that’s nearly perfection. Upstairs at Indian Accent is an incubation chamber for nurturing brilliance and free spirited experimentation in food. I would definitely congratulate Indian Accent for paving the way for the rest of the industry.
Our journey started with the mushroom custard, coconut and curry starter accompanied with the domaine laroche chablis saint martin wine. The starter was a not only a visual treat but an explosion of flavour. The starter was perfect for setting the right expectations for the master class that lay ahead of us.
Next we had the Kanyakumari crab, apple and nimbu appetizer. The cold acidic flavour paired beautifully with the sauvignon blanc that was served along with the dish. Now I am not sure how many of us would love the texture of this dish. But the important lesson here is to understand the nature of the experiment. Whenever there is a fusion underway, there is bound to be something different. Nothing that a little open-mindedness cannot cure.
What followed were three beautiful dishes namely the river sole a la grenobloise, lobster in pepper sauce and chicken with black lentils, coconut and coriander. The dishes were accompanied with a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and the allegrini valpolicella classic doc. I would love to give my compliments to the sommelier too. Not only did the wine selection fit each dish to perfection, it also didn’t overpower one’s palate. I could very well enjoy the flavour progression of each wine.
As far as the food was concerned, the sole stood out from the rest. The froth (see picture below) was made of butter and caper. The topping with French croutons made the dish outstanding because of the crispiness it added. [Grenobloise means “of Grenoble, a city in southeastern France]. The dish was paired magnificently with a chardonnay (leewin estate to be precise).
I enjoyed how the chef had enjoyed his experiments with Indian cuisine as was evident in the chicken dish. The lobster, though a tad bitter for my liking, still possessed all the qualities to be a part of the delectable menu.
Now all that was left was a beautiful dessert and my afternoon to the heavens and back would be complete. The chef didn’t disappoint here as well. A mango and black sesame assortment and chocolate tart along with vanilla ice cream made its way to my table and my heart. The mulled warm red wine only made my heart warmer.
The miniature chocolate fountain that appeared as one struck the tart with one’s spoon and the missing piece of one’s soul that one found as he took a bite of the vanilla ice cream made me realize that Chef Bosi was not just a chef but indeed an artist.
Perhaps, it will be many such meals later that I will be able to understand whether standardization is even possible in food and its flavour. It’s like standardizing art. Or perhaps it’s like conveying that a Michelangelo and a Picasso, though different, are both brilliant. I will let you be the judge and jury on that. All I know is that I had a beautiful afternoon at the Upstairs at Indian Accent thanks to Chef Claude Bosi.