It isn’t monsoon yet but I did drench in the flurry of flavors at Le Meridien’s fine dining restaurant eau de Monsoon. A delightful walk through the nostalgic banquet hallway up the swanky staircase led me to the revamped coffee hub, which has been metamorphosed into a cozy heart for coffee connoisseurs. To the left of which is the high-born fine dining Monsoon – just a step in and you will douse in the fineness enveloping it. I was welcomed by Anasuya Basu, Director – Communications, warm, full of beans and fables. My first mate for the noon was the Shiraz from Australia – beautifully placid. Le Meridien has done something very distinctive for their guests by introducing WOW- wines of world drive in which the guest gets to savor the best wines from around the world before calling in for the one that tickled his senses the best.
Well, sitting right there with this goblet of desires, I indulged in some fun, forthcoming chatter – most of which was not corporeal. As the lunch was a toast to the Heart friendly Leafy Greens, thus began the order of the day. The cordial and superbly trained waiters took the lead. At the head, came the Amuse Bouche on our table, a single, complimentary bite-sized hors d’œuvre – a mixed vegetable cappuccino. Supposed to be taken as a shot, it gives you a warm frothy tang with a trace of a cooler, exactly what the monsoon rain illustrates.
Healthy and hearty keeping in sync with the thematic menu for the day. After the gorgeous start came in an array of antipasto designed chiefly for the noon – the Basil and Cilantro Chicken Tikka, Khasta Roti and Cucumber Raita Jelly – the scrumptious tikka marinated in the dressing of basil and cilantro was just so apt – moist and tender. The culinary gastronomy surrounding the conventional cucumber raita served with traditional Indian tikka took my heart away. Chef’s magical fingers and expertise came together to create an exceptional looking jelly that was nothing but cucumber raita recalibrated. Simply Wow!
The next starter that I really liked was the Fish in Leaf – a traditional Parsi dish made on green marinade. Just so uncomplicated – the freshness of the fish in the coriander marinade could be luxuriated in. Just how I like my food – sans perplexity of flavors.
Another delicacy was the Crispy Spinach Chaat to stimulate the senses – how ingeniously has the idea of Indian chaat been incorporated in the menu of a fine dining restaurant – kudos to the imaginative genius of the Chef at work. The chaat doesn’t fly out of the plate while cutting, slicing and biting. It’s brusque and crunchy at the same time with the spiciness of the traditional chaat in place. The menu undergoes trialing and minute changes all through the year depending upon the wish of its challenging customers.
As a palette cleanser we were given Mango Sorbet – just a spoonful portion to take away the essence of the appetizers to pave out the way for the mains – which looked appetizingly luring.
The mains had Laal Saag with Peanuts and Coriander – absolutely divine and confounding to see the dish as a delicacy there. Loved it! Fresh Methi, Bathua, Potato tossed with homemade masala was delightful – the magic of the greens worked its mojo on me – just so impressively packed in with right amount of spices. The Haaq – fresh water fish done up in Kashmiri chillies, garlic and Kashmiri spinach was delicious. The Lamb curry cooked in creamy spinach and fresh fenugreek was tender and supple – not a red mutton fan, this one’s a must try.
After I gormandized rapaciously on the lavish treat, Pineapple palette cleanser was served to rinse off the lingering nostalgia of the stunning meal, again to give way to the deserts. From a plate full of beauties – Chocolate Pave, Kulfi Red Fruit Compote and Gulab Jamun Malai Cheese Cake, I relished the Chandan Ice-cream the most. Call me modest, but despite having an eroded sweet tooth, this ice cream has the essence of the Chandan infused so aromatically, you’ll have a spiritual orgasm.
Wait! It’s not done yet – the best that they saved for the last – with a tummy that had become a labyrinth of dishes, this was worth the gobble. An after desert as they call it – It was a Paan Shot. The Authentic Indian mouth-freshener given a contemporary twist – diluted with an aerated drink, it was the refreshing capping to the pleasant saga. Awesome service and a lavish treatment made my day. You might get wet in the rains outside but here at the contemporary fine dining restaurant serving haute Indian cuisine in International fashion, Monsoon, you sure to soak up in luminous bliss.
Casa: Le Meridien, New Delhi