Even if your mornings are half devoured by smog in the fag end of autumn, frequent hunger pangs will have you know that your appetite has been suitably whetted. And as you start walking out into freezing air in the coming months, warming foods will keep you snug. Winter is all about tucking into a robust meal when twigs are snapping under your boots and the air is turning crisper around you. It’s also a time when your taste buds are energised, eschewing stodgy flavours in favour of tongue-tickling aromas and taste. So here’s a gaggle of dining hot spots that spell winter celebration but also impress your social media devotees.
The big news this season is the new address of the multi-award-winning restaurant Indian Accent that has set up shop at The Lodhi, New Delhi. Even as the menu does a careful balancing act between featuring several new dishes and retaining old classics, it is still going to be the coolest place to be seen this winter. Dazzling creations that will soothe and comfort you in the season of chill include Meetha aachar pork spare ribs, sun-dried mango, pickled kohlrabi as well as tandoori bacon prawns, wasabi malai. With a much larger seating capacity (over 100 people), Indian Accent, in its new avatar, also plans to include a ‘Chef’s Table’ later, offering Chef Mehrotra the platform to conjure up theme-based menus.
Masala Art, Taj Diplomatic Enclave
The Bundelkhandi Food Festival at the Indian speciality restaurant - Masala Art, is the perfect cuisine to go for when there is a bite in the air. On offer was an array of distinctive dishes that are a hat tip to food of the indigenous tribes of Madhya Pradesh who dwell in areas like Orchha, Jhansi and Datia. Standing apart for its traditional cooking style as well as widespread use of different types of millets, Bundelkhandi food has its origins in Jain cuisine. Top choices include Maheri (slow cooked broken wheat with buttermilk), Meeda (gram flour cooked with spices), Bara (split black lentil dumplings, soaked in buttermilk and served with crushed sugar) and more. The non-vegetarian section of the menu was headlined by the Kadaknath Murgha, a chicken that’s known far and wide for its flavourful, black flesh.
The new winter menu launched by ATM Bistro on November 16 is a homage to bounties of the season. Focussed on classical recipes, the menu plays around with pickled beets, winter squash, squab and kale that are both hearty and warming in nature. Gorge on an extravagant fare such as Osso Buco Milanese and Coq au Vin that make ample use of fresh and local produce of the season.
Date: November 10, 2017 - January 31, 2018
The Spice Route, the South East Asian restaurant at The Imperial is laying out a winter collection menu tailor-made for seafood lovers by Chef Veena Arora. Not surprisingly, the piscatorial menu woos diners with plump crustaceans, fresh lobsters and sole. In fact, the menu traces the spice route of Thailand and Malaysia, with pit stops in Sri Lanka and Kerala. You cannot miss prawns flavoured with lemongrass in por pia wraps in the Thai dish Kung Hom Pha. Also, try the Yera Ellu Pirati where batter fried jumbo prawns are cooked Kerala style. Equally enticing are the dancing prawns or Kung Tein where charcoal grilled jumbo prawns are served with garlic and cilantro dressing. More hearty fare awaits you in the form of the coconut-rich Rendang Udang - Malay style Prawns cooked with fresh roasted coconut, lemongrass, galangal and coconut milk.
Kashmiri food gets its due respect at Chor Bizarre, which celebrates the nonstop stream of gorgeous ingredients of the northernmost state of the nation with much fanfare. What’s more, the cuisine lends itself well to colder months and its warming meats and greens make you feel snug right through winter. The Tarami, which is available at the restaurant in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, is the highlight of the menu. Featuring dishes like Tabak Maaz, Goshtaba, Chicken Roganjosh, Aloo Bukhara Korma and Nadru Yakhni, the Tarami is sheer joy to the intrepid foodie.
Susmita Saha is a Delhi-based Features Writer. She has worked as an Assistant Editor at India Today and The Telegraph and writes on arts and culture, films, travel, food, architecture, design and various other lifestyle subjects. She has seriously itchy feet and plans to tick the world off her bucket list, one burger at a time.