While Avartana has made waves with a new-age rendition of South Indian food, Ayna has gone about modernization so quietly that most of the city has not noticed. To be honest, the older Ayna was never a popular choice. Its Pan-Indian offerings, while competent, were overshadowed by better-known names in the price range. However, this new Ayna definitely deserves some attention. I begin with 'Kathal', done three different styles in 'Mung-dal Papad Rolls'. While the pulled, stir-fried and mashed Kathal is interesting, it misses the intense flavour of the tropical fruit. Next course is 'Haleem' served with 'Seekh Kabab'. The texture of the Haleem is a tad pasty, but not something you would notice while scooping it up with juicy kababs. My next plate is even better - a 'Mille-Feuille' of sorts with filo pastry, crab meat, crispy calamari rings and shrimp. However, the standout dish is a clever 'Prawns Khichdi'. The juicy bits of prawns in smooth khichdi pairs perfectly, and the dish comes crowned with 'Tandoori Prawn'.
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