Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Lalit's 28th Floor Gets New Gastronomic Destination Set to Open on Aug. 15 Weekend


By Sourish Bhattacharyya

The Grill Room at The Lalit's 28th floor is all
set to re-open with a tempting new menu
THE LALIT'S rooftop, perched on the 28th floor, is one of Delhi's prized pieces of real estate offering a panoramic view of the sights that define the Capital, from the Ba'hai Lotus Temple to India Gate, Red Fort and Jama Masjid, and Akshardham Temple. It has seen two Thai restaurants, first the Silk Orchid and then the international franchise, Blue Elephant, come and go on one side, and a grill-based restaurant on the other, which has seen many avatars, and is all set now to re-open on the Independence Day weekend as The Grill Room presided over by the talented Ishika Konar, an IHM-Kolkata alumna whom I'd first met at the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park.
Pullman's loss clearly has been The Lalit's gain. And she's fortunate to have as her guide the brilliant chef, Nimish Bhatia, a fount of knowledge and experience who assiduously stays away from the limelight. Bhatia is the Corporate Chef of The Lalit group, so he has collected more frequent flyer miles than most people I know, because he has 11 hotels under his charge, and he has been slowly but surely making a difference to their restaurant offerings.
I got a foretaste of the combination of Bhatia's vision and Konar's skills -- she's a dab hand at the grill -- at a preview dinner where I had been invited by my Delhi Gourmet Club partner in crime, Rocky Mohan, who's too well-known to be re-introduced. Ravinder Kumar, The Lalit's Corporate General Manager (F&B), and the chain's most reliable pillar of strength, gave us company and was his quietly witty self.
As our conversation moved from a discussion on micro-greens to foreign imports imperilled by the new food safety and standards law, to Rocky's experience at The French Laundry, we had a remarkable meal (each one of us ordered different items) of goat's cheese and onion jam tart, cheese empanadas, grilled prawns with a soul-nourishing beurre blanc, baked and blow-torched provolone, grilled Cornish hen's breast (as succulent as they come!) and a wagyu-style steak that didn't require a knife to be cut, such was the extent of the marbling. As you'd expect from a good chef, Bhatia did not make us believe that the steak had just been flown in from Japan, which is not possible under that country's law; it had come from America, he clarified.
The Grill Room is all about honest food, down to the flavoured salts served with the breads, the piri piri sauce and the morel mash. A welcome addition to Delhi's gastronomic repertoire.