The capital is a top notch destination for exciting restaurateurs to set up shop, offering classy and urbane takes on world cuisines. We have so many favourites in Delhi-NCR, we can’t even contain ourselves to one list! From Paranda in Surajkund to Whisky Samba in Gurugram, our other favourite eateries in the area can be found here, but stay a while and read all about these five top fine dining spaces — they’ll have you booking tables on an endless loop.
HOUSE OF SOY
Tucked away inside the luxurious Radisson Blu in Faridabad, the delightfully named House of Soy offers one of the most exhaustive pan-Asian menus in the National Capital Region (NCR). The freshest ingredients and exciting recipes from China, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and Korea feature in its extensive menu — which experiments beyond dim sum, noodles and Nasi Goreng. A distinctive raw papaya Som Tam salad served with freshly pounded roasted peanuts, long green beans and a spicy bird’s eye chilli lime dressing is ideal to kick off this Oriental odyssey. For mains, vegetarians will love the delicate flavour of the masterful Mapo Tofu, as well as Mie Goreng, which are accompanied by either wok-fried Hakka Noodles or Khao Hom Mali (fragrant jasmine rice). Their outstanding Date Pancakes are soft and silky, but we’d recommend ordering the heavenly Coconut Jaggery Ice Cream as well — you can’t go wrong with a double dose of dessert!
If you’ve had your fill of Oriental delights, try some French food when in Mumbai next. The city’s plush new restobar Slink & Bardot is simply stunning!
EMPRESS OF CHINA
The holy grail of spicy Chinese cuisine in the country passes through this elegant restaurant on the lobby level of Eros Hotel at Nehru Place. Serving Sichuan fare with the occasional Indian twist, EoC has been regaling Delhi’s Oriental gourmands for over a decade; its quality and service undiminished. Their signature Peking Duck, Drunken Chicken and Beijing Duck are the stuff of urban folklore. For newcomers, the Empress Corn Cake is a slam dunk, as is the succulent Garlic Lobster with chilli and (obviously!) garlic. Vegetarians will be thrilled with the fiery Black Pepper Mushroom, ideally followed up with their comforting Clay Pot Tofu dish. The Steamed Salmon is a delicate and outstanding dish which respects the stunning fish, while the Crispy Sesame Chicken is a huge hit at noisy family brunches. But leave the best for last; the Batter-fried Stuffed Litchi served with ice cream is the kind of dessert that induces serious food coma, while the Jasmine-Infused Melted Chocolate Mousse is a layered and wonderfully complex climax to an enchanting gourmet experience.
What do you get when you cross legendary Italian pizazz with an XL dollop of Californian sunshine? You get the quintessential dolce vita doled out in generous, scrumptious portions at Prego. The Westin’s signature Italian diner has fans from across its locations in the country and Gurugram’s jet-setting corporate sorts aren’t any less immune to its charms. Chef De Cuisine Emiliano Di Stefano and his experienced team lay out a delightful Sunday brunch that has families and hipster groups in regular attendance. The a la carte menu otherwise rules the roost over weekday lunches and dinners, featuring the freshest produce and a fine selection of antipasti, soups, mains and sinful desserts. The Insalata di Rucola and Prosciutto di Parma e Melone burst with simple yet irresistible flavour profiles — mixing Italian essentials like crunchy arugula, dense parmesan cheese, fresh melon bites, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil — and are straight out of Naples and Sicily. For mains, try the lush spinach and ricotta-stuffed pasta (that’s their Fagottini di Ricotta e Spinaci alle Noci e Tartufo) or a tangy shrimp mushroom ravioli they call the Ravioli di Gamberi alla Puttanesca. The Medaglioni di Filetto ai Funghi is a heady blend of tenderloin, truffle-infused mashed potato, peas and rich mushroom sauce. It’s the sort of dish that calls for a classic dessert — Tiramisu on point — to end a wonderful meal.
FRICTION THE DRINKERY
For a chic, urban space that calls itself a ‘drinkery,’ this NCR restobar has its tasty-boozy menu down pat, for what self-respecting Delhite can resist their signature creation — a vodka-infused Butter Chicken! Pumping up the food scene in Sector 29, Friction’s al fresco, easy breezy vibe is accompanied by top notch pan-Indian classics on the menu, with deft Oriental touches too. Starters like the Stuffed Tandoori Mushroom, Royal Aloo Tikka, Tibetan Chilli Fish and Schezwan Chicken Tikka are barrier-breaking all-day hits. If you need a proper meal, pair the Mixed Veg Korma — an opulent vegetable cashew nut gravy — with fresh-off-the-tandoor naans. For non-vegetarians, the spicy Chicken Chettinad served with Malabari Parathas or robust Mutton Rogan Josh is the kind of combination that brings on a dream food coma. Stay awake just to nibble on an Apple and Cinnamon Cigar Roll and you’re ready to drift away into the land of the deeply satiated.
Taking up pride of place at the Eros Hotel in New Delhi, Singh Sahib adds a whiff of nostalgia to exemplary North Indian cuisine. There’s a refined, old-world charm about the regal restaurant, where ghazal nights are the norm, in an age of live stand-up comedy. It’s just the sort of atmosphere a connoisseur of Raan Peshwari and Amritsari Macchi needs to get into the meat of the matter, or a vegetarian to plumb the depths of the signature Potohari Challi Kebab. The Lehsun Da Jheenga and Peshawari Chaampein (luscious lamb chops) are other crowd pleasers from the starters menu. From the mains, get adventurous and choose the Bharwan Gucchi or Lobster Tawa Khatta Pyaaz. If you’d like to stay in the classic lane, the Makhani Paneer and Patiala Shahi Chicken Curry are superb when paired with tandoori breads and fragrant rice. Call it a day with the creamy Pista wali Kulfi Falooda, knowing you’ll be back for more soon enough!
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