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If you really want to know where power resides in Delhi, go to Dakshin and see the top secretaries to the Government of India (a high proportion of whom are South Indians) being wined and dined by eager supplicants. The menu is divided by state, but by common agreement, the food from Tamil Nadu is the restaurant's specialty. The atmosphere is slightly hushed, reverential and yes, Brahminical but then that suits the South Indian power elite the best.
If I said to you that power resides in the hands of some south Indian cooking chefs you might not believe me. Try visiting â€˜Dakshinâ€™ at Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi, where all the bigwigs of government front are wined and dined. You will find officials and secretaries in important positions are wooed here by favour seeking businessmen. A classy and hush-hush kind of place Dakshin demands to be seen and heard. Simply decorated with pastel colours and crystal the restaurant is regal in look. Beautifully carved diya towers at corners of southern architecture lends the authenticity to the place. Dakshin was popularized by the ITC after it opened in Chennai and earned repute. After that it has become part of gastro scenes of various cities. Food is the main focus here besides the ambience. The southern delicacies whipped by the chefs are lip smacking and deserve every praise it gets. The cuisine covers various southern regions but the restaurant specializes in Tamil Naiduâ€™s delicacies.
The south Indian fare is vegetarian mainly but the restaurant serves seafood in Kerala style too. Menu is vast and offers loads of variety. Mustard, chilli, lentil, rice and coconut milk are the prominent factors of southern cuisine. Start your meal with flavoursome rasam or neer more as palette cleanser then follow it with rasa vadai, gobhi kempu, khaima samosa, dakshin year, kozhi sukka varuval, meen varuval and kuzhipaniyaram i.e., tempered rice and lentil dumpling shallow fried. The mains are a melting pot of various states with their own unique signatures. Some of the delicacies are patchakari stew, gnandu puttu, meen moilee, ennai karthrikai, chettinad chops, kodi koora, avial, erachi ishtoo, dal thove, meen rava, batata soung and mamsam kajepu. In rice section you will find good old favourite dosas, bagala bhath, tarkari biryani and chitrannam.
Looking to taste little bit of everything? Then ask for a thali which is available in veg and non-veg both. There is a seafood thali for the customers who want to delight in coastal fare. For your sweet tooth relish basundi, elaneer payasam, vattil appam, elai adai, indraiya payasam and beautifuly dense badam halwa. To drink order dark bitter south Indian special Kafi (Coffee). Some might feel itâ€™s wrong to drink alcohol with this sort of cuisine so the restaurant offers fruit based drinks too. Go with friends and as a couple. Dakshin is mildly expensive and quite affordable. Visit for food if not ambience.