Well! It’s about time, don’t you think? For years I have been waiting for Indian cuisine to get a center-stage and the respect it deserves. All this time, it has been something that intimidates people, something that makes them uncomfortable- perhaps because of the format in which the food is served. I get it! It’s not easy to feel at ease with food that is primarily meant to be eaten with bare hands rather than utensils. The curries, while delicious, usually feel heavy and hard to digest by most. And the spices… well! they can scare the hell out of many!
Now…. imagine Indian food served in a more sophisticated format. A format where the flavors are all there- never compromised (in fact even more intensified), but the portions and presentations are designed to put the diners at ease. Would’nt that be nice?
Enter Chef Manish Mehrotra from New Delhi ….. and his restaurant, Indian Accent! Chef Mehrotra has been causing quite a stir in the Delhi dining scene for years. His tasting menu is the talk of town. He is known for bringing all the beloved dishes and flavors from India rolled into one tasting menu. From street food to the popular dishes in most Indian restaurants…. he has got it all! And, I believe, he has successfully revolutionized the way we will see Indian cuisine from now on.
So, last weekend, my dear friend (and fabulous chef Prasad Chirnomoula) and I visited the newly opened Indian Accent in New York City. Prasad had met chef Mehrotra before and had tried a few of his popular dishes. Whereas, I was totally unsure or what to expect. Will there be a lot of fluff around this menu? Will I, born and brought up in Delhi, come back feeling disappointed (Indians DO have high standards of our own cuisine). Will chef Mehrotra keep the food authentic, as he elevates its dining experience?
So many questions, and only one way to find out, right? So Prasad and I decided to go all in with the 6-course chef’s tasting menu. Although, I need to tell you that the menu offers 2, 3 or even 4 course tasting menus as well- where you get to decide which dishes you’d like in each course. I thought it was a great way to suit all appetites and budgets. Since this was my first experience with chef Mehrotra’s food – I felt compelled to put myself completely in his hands. I figured, that way I could get a full understanding of what he is all about.
Well! Let me put it this way…. I was blown away!!! From the exciting cocktails to delightful little bites arriving at our table – there wasn’t a single dull moment. Each bite packed a serious punch of flavor and textural experience. Each bite surprised and excited me. Three hours later, many bites later, many cocktails later, many topics of conversations later- Prasad and I walked out feeling determined to send all Indian food lovers to Indian Accent.
Go check it out ASAP. Hope you love it just as much.
Indian Accent, New York |http://www.indianaccent.com