Taking the Spice Route

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.

Main Course:

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

Main Course:

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

Spicy By The Coast

In a city where people fondly feast on butter-chicken and naan, the idea of South Indian dining remains subdued. All that we can recall of the cuisine is idli-dosa.

Hey, don’t get us wrong here but we seldom plan a dinner to a South Indian joint. It mostly happens by chance that when we’re famished, we simply stash into a nearby restaurant to taste the culinary expertise of the south.

However, a place that helps us come out of this notion with ease and proof is Spice Water Trail.

This restaurant often finds space in leading supplements every now and then, but for long it remained on our list of must visit places until now that we finally headed to this eatery which is quietly nestled in the much happening Greater Kailash M Block Market. The first thing that we learnt about it was that it is run by the massive Alchemist Group.

The people at this place take everything from their food to décor rather seriously. We all know that South Indian seafood is a rage, so you’ll even witness an exotic fish as a part of each table’s dressing.  The elements used in the decor are literally drawn from the coastal areas of India.

Since we happened to visit the place when neither of us wanted to eat non-vegetarian food, we diverted our energies in selecting the finest vegetarian stuff.

Here is when, we got a chance to go beyond idli, dosa-sambhar and rather explore the unique authentic eats of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.

As we were glancing through the menu and struggling to take a final call from the exhaustive menu -our drinks landed on the table. The drinks were so tasteful that we called for another round sans any guilt. Well, why feel guilty when one is on the virgin path? Their tamarind drink and Aamras were divine!

Tamarind Jaccuzi

Aam Ras

The Podi Idlis and Kuzi Panyaram served, as starters were good. Podi Idlis are small Idlis tossed in a special spice mix called gunpowder. Whereas Kuzi Panyarams are shallow fried rice and urad dal dumplings from Tamil Nadu.

Podi Idli

Kuzi Panyaram

Accompanying them were interesting chutney combos such as a mango based one.


For the main course, we opted for Appams and Vegetable Stew (mild curry of vegetables with coconut cream); and Kerela Parota and Ullitheeyal (Madras onions cooked in decimated coconut gravy).

Appam and Veg Stew


We cannot but admit that we have a sweet tooth and that is why we impatiently dug deep into our bowls of well-prepared Pineapple Halwa but sadly, it did not flatter our tongues as much. Though there were ample of other options to gratify our sweet cravings, we were too full to try. Nevertheless, we are sure that there must be a lot in this section too that we would drool over and we left that to our anticipated quick revisit.

So, next time you plan an outing, consider taking a break from regular North Indian and Mughlai cuisine and we don’t think, we need to mention the divert. Moreover, if you like to dine in with many folks, then they also have a special section for private dining for a large group on the upper floor. Happy Dining!