There is no scarcity of restaurants in today’s times, whether it’s the standalone ones or those housed in plush hotels but there are only a few that truly leave a mark, for they believe in delivering exceptional yet value for money experiences.
We were honoured to experience one such outing rather recently, when both of us, dressed in our Sunday best drove down to a restaurant featured among world`s top ten as per Condé Nast Traveler… It is The Spice Route at The Imperial that we are talking about.
And we must admit that this was a day when luck was on our side, as not only were we being hosted to impeccable hospitality amidst rich ambience but joining us for lunch was their star Chef Veena Arora, who has also been awarded as the Best Lady Chef by Ministry of Tourism in India for her Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to the Promotion of Tourism in the Country.
On comfortably being seated, we were constantly reminding each other that we were still very much in Delhi and not in Thailand or Sri Lanka because of the interiors reminiscent of the spice route nations.
If you are a Thai cuisine lover like us, then this be a great bet for the queen chef is born and brought up in Thailand and brings only the most authentic flavours along.
Besides a very extensive and rich menu, the restaurant boasts a special Winter Menu that ensnared our taste buds with the interesting dishes listed below:
Prawn in a Sarong: Malaysian style por pia skin wrapped prawns, flavoured with lemongrass, chillies and fried crisp. Served with sweet chilli and plum sauce
Fish in Banana Leaf Parcel: Vietnamese style steamed fish flavoured with lemon grass, chillies and pounded glutinous rice served in banana leaf parcel
Tom Yum Thalay: Spicy hot and sour mixed seafood soup, flavoured with lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.
Meen Biryani: Kerala style rice cooked with fish, flavoured with whole Indian spices
Phanaeng Pla: Crispy fillet of sole served with phananeng sauce
Ice-cream Tauhu: Silky bean curd ice cream with cinnamon flavour (vegan)
All seafood lovers, trying out these delicacies is a must for you all.
And we ordered some more from their a la carte menu too for our strictly vegetarian Shagun.
Por Pia Chae: Thai style spring roll with vegetables, fried crisp and served with sweet chili and plum sauce
Som Tum Chae: Tangy Thai raw papaya and peanut salad
Kaeng Cherd Tauhu Lod: Clear vegetable and silky bean curd soup, flavoured with fresh sautéed garlic
Phad Phrik Tauhu: Stir-fried silky bean curd and bamboo shoots in Thai basil sauce
Malabar Vegetable Curry: Assorted vegetables cooked in Southern spices from Malabar coast of India
Hmmm… Sounds like quite a lavish spread, doesn’t it? But the best part was that each and every dish was reflective of great love with which it was prepared for that is the reason that each of them tasted a perfect ten on ten.
Talking about the décor, it is truly one of its kind, there is so much thought which has gone into each and every corner of this restaurant. Believe it or not, but each section of the restaurant represents a part of the human cycle; expressed through hand painted walls, intelligent placing of various elements and the overall ambience.
Well, the interiors are splendid but we have to also share our favorite spot. It was actually their courtyard which is bedecked with traditional Thai sculptures from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. An evening spent here would be truly worthwhile and memorable.
Before we sign off, we would like to say that if you haven’t been here as yet, you are surely missing on something. And for those planning to visit Delhi anytime soon, make sure you visit The Imperial Hotel for its sharp representation of Indian heritage and culture.
Winter Collection at The Spice Route (South East Asian Restaurant)
15th November 2014- 15th February 2015
Timings: Lunch- 12:30pm to 2:45pm and Dinner- 7:00pm to 11:45pm
Shagun & Sonali