In this city of foodies, new restaurants are popping up faster than you
can keep pace—whether it be a Michelin star chef offering Indian food to a
swish club or a hip wine bistro. Go check them out on a sunny winter day as we
step into a brand new decade.
The ‘plats’ (dishes, in French) on offer here are a mix of Asian and Middle Eastern tossed up with a European cooking technique. “We have done food we like to eat, food that travel has inspired, and things you don’t get here that easily,” says Hanisha Singh, the brainchild behind the restaurant she opened with her husband Chef Jamsheed Bhote. The Shroom Buns and Chargrilled Young Broccoli with sambal are hot sellers in the vegetarian menu while Smoked Pork and Chorizo Dumplings are a must try for meat lovers.
Where: C-51, Ground Floor, Shivalik Road, Malviya Nagar
House of Celeste
When a chef whose Indian restaurant has won a Michelin-star in the US decides to open in Gurgaon, you know the food will be of a different league. Chef Suvir Saran focusses more on flavours and less on drama as he gives his contemporary twist to Indian classics. Try the Delhi 6 Taters—potatoes with yoghurt mousse that will remind you of Old Delhi flavours. Small touches make the difference, for example, the apricot in the Gilafi Apricot Seekh gives that hint of sweetness to the usual mutton seekh. The sourdough flatbreads are all made in-house and come with different fillings like Where: 32nd Avenue, NH 8, Part 2, Sector 15, Gurgaon
The Kimono Club
From the swanky interiors with disco balls and chandeliers, the wine wall, and the “call for champagne” buzzers on each table, everything is super chic about this new space in South Delhi. After all, when restaurateurs Ashish Dev Kapur and Joydeep Singh and Chef Vikramjit Singh come together you know their work will be out of the box. So you have champagne butlers, exquisite cocktails, oysters and caviar while the menu breaks the barriers of typical Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Don’t skip the Wagarashi Prawns with wasabi and almonds, Chunky Tuna Tartar, Asian Crab Benedict served on a sourdough toast and the Duck Carpaccio, which consists of slivers of thinly sliced duck with Yuzu sauce and orange sorbet. We loved the vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart with passion fruit jelly.
Where: DLF Chanakya Mall, Chanakyapuri
‘PLATE’ is a spacious cafe with a trendy vibe. This is Marut Sikka’s latest restaurant in town. Take your pick of comfort food from across the globe with burgers, dimsums, hot pots, bakes and sushi. Get your hands dirty as you try the Boston Burger, stuffed generously with lamb and bacon or go for the Smoked Salmon Bagel. Accompany all this with some really good cocktails and indulge your sweet tooth with the Coffee Churro Bombs.
Where: 122/124, Ground Floor, DLF Promenade Mall, Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj
Taking inspiration from Parle Poppins, a rage in the 70s and 80s, Chef Sabyasachi Gorai’s latest venture in Gurgaon is a riot of colours—from the wall art to the crockery. But the winner is the soul comforting food it serves. “It is from small dhabas, hole in the wall places or grandmother’s recipes that I tasted during travels on the highways of India,” Chef Saby tells us. Millet khichdi with fried cauliflower and Mathania Mutton, a tribute to the home of the fiery and flavourful mathania red chilli in Rajasthan, make great winter lunches. Wash it down with mulled wine and hot toddy. The menu varies according to the season because the ingredients are seasonal. The pricing, ranging from Rs 150 to 375 is dhaba-esque! Aur bolloji, kya loge?
Where: 105-107, 1st Floor, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon
Mesa Wine Bistro
Wine lovers, this one is for you—a chic European bistro in Delhi’s Aerocity offers a wide selection of wines and an excellent tapas selection. It is the city’s first wine tapas bar where you get to sample three whites and three reds or a combination of both, before deciding what to order. From Californian to Tuscan, Spanish and French, the range takes you across the globe. The tapas selection to accompany the wine is varied—try the Spanish meatballs, paprika prawns, creamy burrata or the charcuterie where you can choose meat, cheese or a combination of the two. And who can say no to paella.
Where: Worldmark 3, Aerocity
Do you live in West Delhi? Are you tired of trekking all the way to South Delhi for your sushi fix? Then head to Miss Nora, the first sushi bar in West Delhi with an array of Pan-Asian food. The crispy duck salad, Burmese spring rolls, prawn and duck dumplings are a mouth-watering experience and in Delhi winter, the pan-fried gyoza, woks, and hot pots are just what you need. Seafood lovers, sample the stir-fried Cantonese lobster served with ginger and scallions, while duck lovers cannot skip the crispy aromatic duck pancakes with hoisin sauce. Admittedly, the dessert menu is limited, but the date and fig pancakes wrap up the meal nicely.
Where: 103 & 104, First Floor, Rcube Monad Mall, Rajouri Garden
The concept behind the restaurant is in the name itself. “Yi Jing means, ‘to change the classic’ and this is classic and contemporary cuisine from the Sichuan and Hunan regions of China,” explains Akshay Kavra, the Food & Beverage Manager at Sheraton New Delhi. So Chinese chef Zheng Wei brings some interesting dishes to your plate. What you must try is Wasabi Carrot Dumpling, Lobster in Xo Sauce, Sichuan style chilli chicken and the White Chocolate and Ginger Cheesecake. The restaurant is divided into different sections – an area with hot pot tables, a Tie Ban section which is the iron grill cooking where chefs cook in front of you, a private dining area and a lounge and bar.
Where: Sheraton Hotel, District Centre, Saket
Tenali - The Andhra Kitchen
You no longer need to jostle in the canteen-like ambience of Andhra Bhawan for your fix of Andhra food. Sharmistha Mukherjee says she opened this restaurant realizing that “this popular cuisine has not been exposed much in Delhi." There are veg, non-veg and fish thalis. The dishes change each day, letting you sample the full range of Andhra food. The winners this winter are haleem, and chicken dosa. Sign off your meal with the chili guava ice cream.
Where: Shop 31, 2nd Floor, Main Market, Green Park
The newly-opened patio at Gurgaon's first Vietnamese restaurant is perfect to beat the winter chill with a big bowl of steaming chicken pho, an aromatic noodle soup that bursts with flavour with its generous splash of herbs. Or the hot pot fish, where the curry is prepared in front of you. There’s some delicious Vietnamese street food—prawn and shisho dumplings, shrimp mousse on sugarcane skewers. The chef and a food writer travelled across the country for two months to perfect the most lip-smacking Vietnamese dishes.
Where: DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon