Food review: North Indian food made suitable for subtle palates

Unravelling new tastes in familiar dishes

Lifestyle

April 24, 2019

/ By / New Delhi

Offering some new tastes to unravel in familiar dishes, Chutney, Bar+Tandoor is a restaurant being playful and subtle with flavours, all at the same time!

A big window by the side is letting ample of natural light seep in the restaurant, making for a perfect ambience to spend an afternoon at and enjoy some delicately prepared Indian food. A moonlit window pane would be equally enchanting, one can imagine.

As the norm is at most north Indian restaurants, before the ordered dishes come in, a plate of onions- pickled or raw, and mint chutney (sauce) is put on tables. These two are the rather compulsory sides that go along with most north Indian dishes, be it entrants or main course.

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The varied chutneys (Indian sauces) are a specialty at the restaurant

At Chutney, Bar+Tandoor, the pan-Indian restaurant at The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa in Delhi, the norm has been played around with, having added no less than 100 chutneys on the chef’s menu, of which at least 10 are made and served to diners, daily!

To an Indian palate, that is familiar and rather fond of the refreshing green mint chutney, pineapple, pumpkin, tomatoes, sugar and chilli chutneys, it may come as a welcome surprise at the restaurant that seems to be doing justice to its name.

At the restaurant, not just the chutneys, but the main menu too is full of surprises and the dishes with its subtleness appeals to global guests, who often shy from indulging in spices.

Enjoy these entrants

Go to any north Indian restaurant and starters like paneer tikka (grilled cottage cheese), stuffed grilled potatoes, and shami kebabs are some of the most commonly ordered. At Chutney, you can order these or call for their new variants.

The kebabs, traditionally a non-vegetarian snack, were given a vegetarian twist to cater to a huge vegetarian Indian populace. The variant called the hara-bhara kebab (literally greens loaded kebab) is usually made of peas and spinach and is a melt-in-the-mouth delicacy.

An improvised version of it highlights the menu at Chutney, Bar+Tandoor. The hara-bhara kebab here is made using bitter-gourd instead.

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Karele ki shami is quite a riot of flavours

Labelled karele ki shami  it is indeed bitter to taste, but not entirely! The preparation includes adding cottage cheese to the patties made of bitter gourd and chickpea flour, so when one bites into it, the sweetness of the cheese comes to fight the bitterness of the bitter gourd, making for an interesting riot of flavours! Those who love experimenting with food and being playful at the dining table will most likely order another serving.

 

 

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Malai santra kebab

For the ones who’d rather not be so adventurous, another variant of the kebab– the malai santra kebab (cheese and orange kebab), could be a better choice.

Softer than marshmallow and dominated by flavours of cheese and cream, it is sweetly tangy due to stuffed orange reduction and orange marmalade on top. A rare find on menus, the dish deserves a preference while ordering starters at the restaurant.

The stuffed grilled potatoes at the restaurant are quite a star too! Loaded with dry fruits and cheese and grilled to perfection, they make for an interesting combination of textures. What also makes them stand apart is the coating of sesame seeds on top,  that is a rare catch again!

 

Soup it up

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The quinoa cauliflower shorba is a rare catch on the menu

Chutney, Bar+Tandoor has a selected menu offering the most sought after dishes! The restaurant however, has some interesting soup options. The quinoa cauliflower shorba is one such item. Topped with sour cream and loaded with  the goodness of quinoa, it can be a preferred choice for those looking at subtle flavours. For those, who’d rather have something spicy, tangy tomato soup is an order away.

Moving on to the main course

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Black lentils, a dish of cottage cheese, and mixed vegetables

Although not a very elaborate one, the menu at the restaurant has all that one really lands up ordering from a vast menu at any restaurant, anyway! The very popular daal makhani (slow cooked black lentils), a dish of cottage cheese, mixed vegetables, butter chicken or mutton curry, and some breads and rice on the side, has to be an average order.

For foreigners visiting the restaurant, it thus shouldn’t be tough to decide what to order, as the menu has all the star dishes. What’s also great is that the dishes are rather subtly prepared- less on spices and grease, making them perfect for the ones who do not want to heat things up. For the ones who do, the spicy quotient is a request away!

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