I have known Manish Mehrotra since 1993, when we were young school passouts entering hospitality college to pursue our dreams and follow our dreams. 18 years have gone by since then and it's amazing to see the strides he has taken and the way he has impacted the culinary landscape of New Delhi, if not India. Not a week goes by when I dont come across some media publication writing about him or his quotes on the trends of the eating joints. Though, I have, atleast in India gone to the restaurants he has setup and worked in, I missed going to Tamarai in London. My visit to Indian Accent, the fine dining restaurant in The Manor, neatly tucked away near the Friends Club in Friends colony, New Delhi was long overdue.
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I must say, my expectations were set really high and I was afraid the place would not stand the test of my high standards, and nothing but the best.
The first thing that strikes you, as you enter The Manor, is the warmth, courtesy and ethnicity of the staff. It carries itself very well through the dining experience and stays with you till you leave. Warmth like that comes from within, no training can teach you that. The service is impeccable and extremely infectious.
The menu at first looks a little too limited for the choices it presents, especially for the vegetarians,but once you go through the menu, you understand the pain that has gone behind each and every dish listed, the various permutations and combinations at the planning stage to get this to you. Any longer and we might have been confused. Each and every item needs to be understood, not just read through, letting your imagination run wild and tastebuds crazy at the mere thought.
The array of Indian dishes fused with a touch of foreign ingredients and styles are truly a not-to-miss experience. The Foie Gras stuffed Galawat has already made waves in the culinary circuit,but the tandoori chicken chaat with thai pomelo segments, crispy garlic or the potato sphere chaat with white pea ragda and kakdi or the chicken tikka quesadillas, gruyere and pink peppercorn raita are each an understated masterpiece. Come the main courses and each of the pre-plated delicacies are an experience that I will come back to again and again. The main course too offers an interesting choice ranging from Peanut Butter Chicken, Kasuri Methi Crisp and Lachha Salad to eight hour cooked Canadian pork belly with Vindaloo masala, Goan red rice. Dont skimp on the sides either and personally we loved the roast pumpkin and Cheddar Kulcha and will highly recommend it. Again we felt that the vegetarian fare was left wanting for more. Not because there was not much choice, but because nothing leapt out and surprised us, as was the case with the non-vegetarian part. Or maybe because the bar had been raised so high in so short an experience.
The desserts were an interesting selection, and even though the old monk rum ball was a let down (with all the hype) and the anar, churan kulfi was predominantly anar and more a sorbet(than kulfi), the baked coconut cheesecake and banana toffee pudding was out the world.
A meal for 2 can easily get you down by 4000/- to 6000/- (without alcohol) and is worth every penny.
In the end, Indian Accent is certainly a place that I can take a guest too and be sure the experience will blow them away. It is now the ideal place that I can take my overseas clients/guests to announce the arrival of the new Indian cuisine that is not closed but assimilates all cuisines within itself just as out culture has throughout history.
Kudos to Old World Hospitality and Chef Manish for creating a great foodie destination.