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When it comes to Indian cuisine, we’ve been exposed to so much lately — from experiments with molecular gastronomy, to fancy pre-plated portions or exotic flavours and ingredients fused in traditional recipes — that now any new, fancy Indian dining space is received with a bit of skepticism. However, at Kheer, Aerocity’s newest Indian fine-dine, it’s a refreshing change to find an honest and understated take on the food we’ve all grown up on. The swanky space at Roseate House, which has already created a well-deserved buzz in the city, resonates all things Indian, presented in a contemporary and innovative way.
The restaurant design is inspired from the famed Japanese restaurant — Zuma. Its decor has been created by the same team of Tokyo-based Noriyoshi Muramatsu. The elaborate dining space, which is just one part of the property, can accommodate more than 200 guests. The restaurant is adorned with intricate wooden carvings, kitschy murals, and intrinsic temple bells hanging atop a long table. There is also a lounge bar, Island bar, an open kitchen area, and a striking chaat-bar made pretty with a wall of spice jars.
Once you enter, the peppy music livens up the mood and the amber lighting elevates the entire space. The seating is comfortable, well spaced-out, and non intrusive considering the imposing surroundings. The menu selection is not overwhelming yet has something to cater to different palates and cooking techniques. In addition to the regular drinks, Kheer has an in-house wine cellar with an exhaustive selection ranging from different varietals and regions. Thus, a bottle of vino seemed like the natural course of action during our Secret Service dinner.
The servers were attentive, polite, and well informed. We were particularly intrigued when they encouraged us to eat directly from the same dishes our foods arrived in — which, in all fairness, was a little informal — but we didn’t fret about it. “When in Rome”, right? The plating may be modest and sincere, but the food and the ingredients are the real winners sans any props. Chef Anuj Wadhawan, the Executive Sous Chef at Kheer, has carefully crafted the recipes keeping in mind the authentic aesthetics of Indian food while simultaneously improvising in a way that does not disappoint.
Begin your meal at the dedicated chaat-bar like we did, which dishes out roadside delicacies in a tasteful, and in all likeliness, the utmost hygienic setup. We ordered an array of appetisers: ‘chukander chilgoze ki tikki’ — a beetroot kebab with pine nuts; ‘tandoori paneer tikka’ made uniquely interesting with a hint of apricot; the immaculate ‘gucchi’ — morels stuffed with wild mushrooms, khoya, and cheddar cheese; ‘machhaleel’— a very unconventional plate of raw tuna marinated in mustard oil; and finally a ‘murg malai tikka’ with charcoal, which somehow missed the spot with us. Alongside an assortment of Indian breads, our main course included a very mild ‘dal dhungar’; ‘paneer kesar-e-pukhtan’ — cottage cheese in a silken pumpkin and tomato gravy; and ‘murg Kolhapuri’ — a Maharashtrian delicacy. And finally for dessert, we called for the ‘assorted kheer platter’ — a renewed rendition of the traditional Indian dessert pudding with bottle gourd, tapioca, and jaggery respectively; the delectable and markedly Kheer’s signature ‘pan rossomalai’; and homemade kulfis in ‘Delhi 6’ (a seasonal fruit kulfi), and ‘gulkand’ (rose petal scented kulfi). To our surpirse, the Delhi 6 kulfi was the unanimous winner.
Our total spend for four people, which included a bottle of wine, was just short of INR 17,000. We feel that even though the pricing is a tad steep, the uber-luxe experience makes it worthy. Kheer truly redefines the Indian dining experience in an exquisite and imposing set-up. It’s an indulgence for those who have an open mind and truly appreciate the traditional, wholesome food served without any frills. As for us, we completely root for it.
Is this the Best Indian Restaurant in Delhi?
Posted by Food and Nightlife Magazine on Saturday, 11 November 2017
Location and Parking: 4.5/5
Overall Score – 4.5/5
Image Credit: GQ India
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