By Leia Sharma
India is a food lover’s paradise. Whether you are vegetarian, a meat-lover, spice-aficionado or dessert devotee, there’s something for everyone. From forward-thinking fusion food to higher-end ‘desi khana’, to global cuisine, India has it all. Here’s my pick of 10 of the best restaurants in India.
Courtesy: The Washington Post
Indian Accent simply has to top this list. This restaurant’s popularity has grown so much that it has expanded beyond Indian borders (New York and London). The original Indian Accent is nestled in the boutique hotel The Manor in Friends Colony, South Delhi. It is in such high demand that getting a dinner reservation can be hard to come by. The menu showcases inventive Indian cuisine, drawing on inspiration from other countries to create fusion food. The menu is peppered with Scottish salmon, Japanese miso, foie gras, and of course, traditional Indian masalas.
What to order: Galawat Kebab (lamb), Mango Cranberry Kulfi, or go for the 7-Course Tasting Menu (available in both veg and non-veg options).
Courtesy: ITC Hotels
Located in Delhi’s ITC Maurya Hotel in Chanakyapuri, Bukhara has been a popular restaurant for locals and tourists alike since 1977. The menu is categorically north Indian, with popular creations from their famed tandoor. While chef JP Singh cooks meat-heavy dishes, there are plenty of options for vegetarians as well – you can even order the “Chelsea Platter,” composed of vegetarian dishes ordered by Chelsea Clinton.
What to order: The Daal Makhani (it’s simmered for 48 hours to achieve a rich flavour), Murgh Malai Kebab and Sikandari Raan.
Italian, Mediterranean and European food-lovers absolutely must visit Olive Bar and Kitchen, located in Mehrauli, near Qutub Minar. The stunning setting allows for al fresco dining, making it the perfect spot for the cooler months. Set up in a Mughal Mansion, diners will love their decadent European fare.
What to order: Freshly-baked focaccia, goat’s cheese soufflé and their signature pizzas.
Courtesy: Villa Maya
Set in a restored 18th-century Dutch manor, Villa Maya is a must-visit for both the elegant ambience as well as the contemporary food. Types of cuisine served here include Italian, French, Moroccan and Mexican, as well as Kerala platters. Seafood lovers must order the fish tikkas. Perfect for a candlelit dinner with a loved one.
What to order: Kerala Seafood Platter, baked yoghurt and Srilankan watalappam,
Courtesy: Taj Vivanta
For exceptional local cuisine, visit the Beach House in Goa. Goan-Portuguese fusion food fills the menu here. Legendary chef Rego sometimes dines with guests when he’s not whipping up one of his seafood specialities.
What to order: Clam Chops with Mango Chilli Sauce, Kingfish Peri-Peri, Camarao Tigre con Cilantro, Galina Caffreal
Courtesy: MG Hotels
This little-known restaurant is located in a haveli called “The House of MG.” Perfect for authentic Gujarati food served al fresco on the terrace. Agashiye actually means “on the terrace” in Gujarati. There is no a la carte menu – the menu changes daily and food is served on a kansa thali.
Courtesy: Indigo Mumbai
This multi-award-winning restaurant in Colaba, South Mumbai serves European-Asian cuisine. A favourite of politicians and celebrities, you can enjoy al fresco dining. Perfect for Sunday brunch. Feast on spicy Thai food or Oriental delicacies and then cosy up at the cigar bar with a Cohiba.
Courtesy: Taj Mahal Hotel
For those looking for haute cuisine but tired of Indian flavours, head to Wasabi at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. This exclusive Japanese restaurant is perfect for those who enjoy watching chefs at work: they show off their skills at the sushi counter as well as the teppanyaki kitchen.
What to order: White Fish Carpaccio, Black Cod Miso, Wasabi Creme Brulee, Crab Samosas, Guacamole Pani Puri.
Courtesy: The Table
Consistently voted the best fine dining restaurant in Mumbai for European cuisine, Chef Alex Sanchez’s carefully curated menu includes the signature zucchini ‘spaghetti’, boneless chicken wings and Sea bass roasted in Japanese aromatics. Serving lunch, dinner and high tea, plus a scrumptious Sunday brunch, with a wine list to match, advance booking is highly recommended.
What to order: Panna cotta, Zucchini Spaghetti, Tiramisu Pancake, Truffle Fries