Most of us have had some experience with Indian food butter chicken, tandoori bread, dal and rice to name a few of the better known dishes. And most of us tend to have preconceived ideas about what Indian food is.
But if you are about to travel to India, especially to its major cities, set aside what you think you know about Indian food and be prepared to let your taste buds and senses be dazzled.
One thing we have noticed over the decades we have been travelling to India is how much food and dining out has changed. India now has a thriving, vibrant and modern culinary scene thats changing how we think about Indian food and certainly how we experience it. Cities like Delhi and Mumbai especially now boast many outstanding restaurants and bars, with high-end restaurants and world-renowned chefs preparing contemporary fare.
Here are four of our favourite restaurants in India to tantalize you with. They should be on everyones list of places to eat when in India and can be included in our themed culinary journeys. Make sure you reserve ahead as these restaurants are creating a name for themselves and tables are hard to come by at times.
Ziya, Oberoi Mumbai
Ziya is the elegant, formal dining restaurant at the Oberoi in Mumbai. The hotel is an oasis of cool and calm away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai and dining here certainly feels that way. Ziya is sophisticated, with a light filled interior, a glass-enclosed show kitchen and amazing views of the ocean. Lamb marinated overnight in Indian spices with tadka dahi and roomali roti are among the signature dishes prepared by Ziyas Michelin starred chef Vineet Bhatia.
One of our favourite places to eat dining at Agashiye is an experience as well as a pleasure due to both the food and the atmosphere. Its here you can experience one of Indias most distinct cuisines – Gujarati food tends to be slightly sweet in taste, rich in ghee and vegetarian. The meal begins with a welcome drink served inside the beautiful tented, colourful lounge, before you dine under the stars on the open terrace restaurant. The meal is served as a thali on a round plate with many dishes.
Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, Mumbai
Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra embodies how we see Mumbai its new, its glitzy, modern and has the wow factor. The menu here uses traditional recipes of India combined with molecular gastronomy. So be prepared for foams, sorbets and the like with your Indian dishes. We recommend the tasting menu it guarantees you the full experience of what the chef can do and gives your palate so much to sample! Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra is an outstanding culinary experience and has got to be a top contended for one of Indias best restaurants.
Indian Accent, Delhi
Already crowned Indias top restaurant and one of Asias best in some forums, Indian Accent is the major force thats putting Indian cuisine on everyones radar with its contemporary take on traditional dishes. Headed by chef Manish Mehrotra and with a sister restaurant in New York, securing a table at Indian Accent should be as important as seeing the Taj Mahal on a tour of India. We recently devoured the tasting menu pared with wines and were wowed at every course by the dishes presented.
Lincoln Harris is Founder at India Unbound.
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