Friday, 6 September 2013

Dusit Devarana Opens Softly in Delhi, But Its Michelin-Star Restaurant Will Come Later

By Sourish Bhattacharyya
INDIA’S first Dusit Devarana, the Thai luxury hotel label brought to the country by the Bird Group, has opened its doors for early birds to come and enjoy the pleasures it has to offer in this retreat guarded by 1,000 ancient trees.
Delhi, though, will have to wait for the much-awaited opening of Kai, the Mayfair Chinese restaurant with one Michelin star owned by Bernard Yeoh, who was in Malaysia’s trap shooting team for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Kai will be Delhi’s first Michelin-star restaurant.
Dusit Devarana New Delhi’s all-day restaurant, Kiyan, will be the first to offer only fixed menus to address the diffidence of diners when they’re handed weighty menu cards. Executive Sous Chef Nishant Chaubey has promised to be around to take care of any special request that a particular diner may have outside the menu. The restaurant uses only organic vegetables and free-range meats sourced from farmers it has been working with for the last couple of years.
You may miss the hotel in the rush of traffic racing towards Gurgaon, unless you notice its aquamarine boundary wall peering out of a slip road. Once in it, you can unwind at its bar named Iah with an al fresco verandah, where you can have single malts, New World wines and boutique beers with nouvelle nibbles. The bar, according to the hotel’s marketing pitch, is targeted at young and contemporary Indians.
Interestingly, the mini bar in each of Dusit Devarana’s expansive rooms will stock unusual items such as Spanish olives and truffle-flavour biscuits sourced by the Barcelona-based Indian importer of high-end food products, Juberfam Mittal. That will be another first for the Dusit.
A promotional picture of Kiyan, Dusit Devarana New Delhi's
all-day restaurant, which will serve only set menus
But all eyes are on Kai (www.kaimayfair.co.uk), the first Indian foray of the Michelin-star restaurant at 65 Audley Street, Mayfair, near Park Lane, a part of London frequented by the Indian A-List. Around since 1993, Kai got its Michelin star in 2009 and was voted London’s Best Chinese restaurant by Zagat’s Survey in 2003-5. Kai’s style of food, according to information I have gleaned from Wikipedia, is renowned for its balance between the traditional, comfort recipes and the more modern interpretations of Chinese food, utilising ingredients from other cuisines. This is one restaurant Delhi badly needs to raise the bar for its favourite Chinese cuisine.
Dusit Devarana New Delhi, the top brand of Thailand’s Dusit Thani Group (www.dusit.com), which has been in the business since 1949, will be the Bird Group’s flagship hotel in the country. The Indian travel industry’s largest technology provider, the Bird Group (www.bird.in) will also roll out Dusit D2 at the Aerocity coming up in the neighbourhood of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, the Dusit Devarana hotels in Jaipur and Rishikesh, and the Dusit Thani in Goa, which are under various stages of development. All eyes will be on Dusit Devarana New Delhi once its opens its doors formally to a city that has been wondering why it’s taking so long to get operational.