Friday, November 19, 2010

Indian Accent, Delhi

Indian Accent
The Manor
77, Friends Colony (West)
011 2692 5151

The Indian Accent Restaurant is located in the modern yet cosy The Manor Hotel. The smell of Marigolds and Rajnigandha waft through as you step into the hotel and tastefully arranged bunches of orange gendha lie along the path to the restaurant. The Restaurant has a bar cum waiting section leading into it. Given the limited seating at the restaurant, it is highly advisable to reserve a table before heading there.

When we visited on the 15th of November, they were still serving their summer menu. They assured us that the winter menu would be served shortly, once Chef Manish Mehrotra was back. (One of the signatures of this restaurant is using fresh seasonal and oranic ingredients in their dishes. Hence the menus change with the season)

While we were perusing the menu, we were served mini naans stuffed with blue cheese that melted in our mouths and tantalised our tastebuds.

Since there were no soups on the menu, we turned to the drinks menu. The Frosty Lavender was my favourite of what we ordered. An excellent mocktail, a combination of Lavender infused coconut water with crushed ice.
Honey Pepper Fizz - a rum based cocktail with honey water, pepper, pineapple chunks and basil was refreshing and fruity, with enough alcohol to infuse a warmth that chilly night.

While we waited for the appetisers we had ordered, we were offered dahi sev puris with an unusual stuffing which included wasabi peas, served in a smoking ladle.

They serve paani puri with  a twist - cous cous filling and 5 different waters: mint + jal jeera, tamarind + date, pomegranate + cinnamon, mango and yoghurt + garlic . My favourite of the lot was the pomegranate and cinnamon water.

For starters we ordered the Meetha Achaar Canadian spare ribs with sun dried mango and toasted kalonji seeds. The meat was not as well marinated as we expected. So while the marinade was tasty, the flavours hadn't penetrated through to the bone.

The vegetarian appetisers were much better. The ash roast sweet potato in herb yoghurt with radish carpaccio and crisp okra garnish (325Rs) had a melange of flavours like a dish of chaat, but they blended quite well together.

The crisp vegetable rings (onion, karela and others) with sesame seeds and Amaranth, was unanimously voted as the best appetiser on our table and was consumed the quickest.

For our main course, the vegetarian with us ordered the Tandoori broccoli that was served on a bed of corn kernels with a goji berry sauces. The dish was cheesy and lovely on a winter evening, it would be a bit heavy for the summer though.
 Both of us non vegetarians wanted the slow cooked pork Goan style served on a bed of red rice. The pork was really well done and very soft with just the right amount of fat. But the dish became monotonous after a while. It would have been nice to have some crunchy vegetables on the side. We ended up decimating our vegetarian friends tandoori brocolli in the process.
 The kaali dhal and fresh naans were excellent and could have been a meal in themselves. While most of the non vegetarian dishes had a portion of carbs on the plate, someone ordering a vegetarian main would need to order extra sides if they needed rice or bread with their meals.

The desserts were truly outstanding. The jaggery and coconut creme brulee was mildly flavoured and served with a melon mosaic that seemed too pretty to eat.
 The old monk rum balls were served with a 70% valrhona chocolate sauce and flambeed on the table.

But the winner of the evening was the tandooried pygmy pineapples with a desi daru reduction and vanilla ice cream.

The menu reads very well. But with some dishes like the pork, we felt the dishes did not live up to our expectations. While the desserts surpassed our expectations. And as anyone in the food industry knows, if you serve your diners an excellent dessert, they will be willing to forgive most of the tiny problems with the rest of the meal.

If you would like to taste a larger number of dishes, when you don't have too many people at your table, the Chefs Tasting Menu is a great option.
Non Vegetarian: Rs1975
Vegetarian: Rs1875
Add Rs1200 per person for 5 half glasses (75ml) of wine

Rough idea of Ala Carte prices pre-tax:
Mocktails 200Rs
Cocktails 350Rs
Vegetarian appetisers 325Rs
Non Vegetarian appetisers 600Rs+
Vegetarian mains 650Rs
Non Vegetarain Mains 800Rs+

Ambience : 9.5
Food  : 8
Service : 9

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