New Delhi sure is a foodie’s delight. Its the city which easily has some of the best restaurants in the country. In this particular edition, I am in full praise of those marquee restaurants which have made it big by offering the highest quality of hospitality and European-style dining to the who’s who of the national capital.
Not only am I in full praise, these restaurants are rated very highly on ‘Zomato’ and are loved by everyone including me.
If you use the site, its under “Luxury Dining”
This is because dining there is indeed an extremely lavish experience. Indian hospitality standards are incredibly high. Not to mention, this comes at a price. Few Indians can afford eating here regularly. These restaurants are very popular with tourists and expats.
They further classify them by cuisine. These usually cover the cuisines of Italy and France. One, however, is Spanish. Specialty European, as I would aptly put it, is as authentic as it gets. Some even have Italian or French Executive chefs. Their wine lists are top class and have lavish menus. Service is never compromised as it is against Indian tradition.
Food is always the real hero. An all round authentic European dining experience is the main focus. But in this case, we’re talking authentic European, done in India by Indian chefs, using Indian ingredients.
The food is world class. I doubt few people would complain, myself included. Its a well know fact that Indian ingredients are very different from their European counterparts. Ingredients are location-centric. Important principle ingredients are imported. However, some ingredients such as tomato and onion are not imported. One ingredient in particular is not only Indian, it also gives it a very Indian taste.
The difference between a Lemon and Nimboo is simple.
For a person in Europe, this is a lemon:
Used in this classical dessert recipe
Tart au Citron/ The Lemon Tart
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons cold butter
- 3 tablespoons cold water
For Lemon Filling:
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons lemon zest
But in India, we use these instead to make the same recipe:
Its amazing how an ingredient can be so versatile. The result is a pleasant lemon curd with a more intense lemony taste. Lime is also sweeter than lemon. I had a lemon tart in Venice. I’ve also had one at Olive Bar and restaurant. I know an Italian might not agree with me when I say this but as an Indian, I found the the latter to be tastier.
It’s the same when an Indian goes abroad and has authentic food there. They find it to be too bland.
Climate determines ingredients. Ingredients determine food.
The Indian’s palate, once accustomed to the strong flavours of Indian food finds it difficult adjusting to the more refined but less intense European palate.
The same applies to the European who will think twice before tasting a spicy curry in India.
At the end of the day, the palate doesnt think about nationality or cuisine while judging its taste.
Cuisine, nationality and everything else is man-made. Food is much simpler.
But a Nimboo is as Indian as it can get!