Few weeks ago, Indian Accent, the famous New Delhi restaurant of Chef Manish Mehrotra opened its door at the Parker Meridien Hotel. This opening has been surrounded by a lot of buzz in the press and social media, giving a new light to Indian cuisine, usually considered a cheap option rather than an option for fine dining, even though places like Tulsi or Tamarind successfully attracted a crowd hungry for such cuisine, but looking for something different. In fact, we were so excited to try Indian Accent that we showed up...one week ahead of our reservation! And they graciously accommodated us...
I like the place: modern with a decor not overdone, and an acceptable noise level that I always appreciate. I decided to start this wonderful experience with a cocktail, the Eastern Milk Punch, made with Batavia Arrack (It is Arrack from Indonesia, distilled from sugarcane), pineapple and assam tea. This was a very refreshing drink, where the flavor of the Assam tea came through more than the taste of alcohol, making this probably a bit dangerous as one can drink it like milk.
To start the meal, they brought us some amuse bouche. The first one was two small blue cheese naan with a coconut, pumpkin and garam masala soup. The naan was delicious, having lots of blue cheese in it. And that soup: I would have it every day.
The second amuse was green peas with puffed rice, another great way to start the meal.
We then decided to go for the 4 course tasting. Know that there is no a la carte and only a choice of tasting, from 3 to 4 courses or the Chef's tasting that is 7 courses (they all include dessert). For the first dish, we both picked the potato sphere chaat with white pea mash, a street food interpretation. This was succulent: crispy, refreshing with hints of mint and the coolness of the yogurt.
Then, Jodi went for the soft paneer, crispy quinoa and ramps. It was a beautiful presentation and also a good dish, although I found the paneer not as fantastic as the one I got in Delhi.
On my side, I ordered the baby squid, crispy rice and everything chutney. I was quite interested in that dish as I do not recall having seen ever squid on the menu of an Indian restaurant. And I did not regret it. The presentation was great: there was a small cone that looks like a newspaper that contained the crispy rice and they poured the sauce all over a perfectly cooked squid. It was like a take on fried calamari.
The next course was, for Jodi, the paper roast dosa, mushrooms and water chestnuts. This was delicious, the dosa being well made and a bit crispy, with a nice amount of mushrooms.
But the most surprising dish was definitely the soft-shell crab koliwada with malvani dried shrimp pulao. Similar to the squid, I have never seen soft-shell crab on the manu of an Indian restaurant (crab curry, yes, for instance at Tamarind or Baluchi's). The dish looked beautiful and the crab was so good, deliciously crunchy. I am not sure how the rice was made, but it was fantastic. Thesis definitely a dish I recommend.
We also wanted to try their black dairy dal, made with black lentils, butter, ghee and cream. This was amazing: thick, creamy, it was very tasty and I truly appreciated that it was not spicy.
The dal came with some butter naan that was quite good.
We also ordered a butter chicken kulcha. Kulcha is a Punjabi leavened bread. So, it was stuffed with butter chicken, one of my favorite Indian dishes. And it hit the mark: very hot (temperature rather than spices), it was so good, I could have eaten more of it.
Last was dessert. Jodi got the doda barfi treacle tart with vanilla bean ice cream. That tart was fantastic: it was so buttery that it kind of reminded me a perfect pecan pie, minus the nuts.
On my side, I went for the crispy seviyan, rice pudding with coconut jaggery ice cream. A spectacular presentation that looked like a nest. Taste wise, it was quite good but missed a bit of sweetness. If I had to pick, I would go for the Doda barfi treacle tart. But still, this was a good dessert.
Our dinner at Indian Accent was phenomenal: I loved the fact that it was an unusual menu, modern with Indian flavors and stunning presentation that made the whole experience memorable. Between the food and the excellent service, I would not be surprised that they will get a Michelin Star...
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!