Ten commandments for restaurateurs

Though shalt decide on a cuisine and concept before opening. Then, tempting as the idea might be, thou shalt not attempt to beef up sales by calling your Japanese hot pot restaurant a lounge bar. Thou shalt set up a restaurant serving a cuisine thou believest in. Resist the temptation to open a pub just…

Marwari with Mukta

With most of Delhi’s chattering classes making their way to the cooler climes of Europe these days, Mukta Khetan is one busy lady. She is one of the few members of the Marwari community in the city to cater to the culinary needs of her tribe. So well-known are her samosa potlis, chivda and kalmi…

Westin Gurgaon

Westin Gurgaon is the new landmark hotel of Gurgaon, standing proud by the side of the expressway. Inside, the spaces are clean and contemporary. Right now, all that is open is Seasonal Tastes, a cutting edge all-day diner. The best part of the restaurant is the Lebanese spread on the buffet, which also features Indian…

K is for Kimchi

I ducked into the nearest branch of Dunkin Donuts in order to escape the onslaught of the ubiquitous kimchi. In Korea’s capital, Seoul, local food traditions are very strong. During the four days of my stay, every meal featured the highly distinctive Korean cuisine. Even at the breakfast buffet at the hotel I stayed in,…

Chef Luzinier

When Chef Luzinier lived in his ancestral village near Bergerac in South West France, his grandfather had a particular way of drinking his soup. Every night of the year, bar none, Grandfather Luzinier would eat garlic soup, about which more in a minute, into which stale bread would be crumbled. When he was just short…

Cheesecake

There are as many versions as there are places in Delhi that sell this delectable dessert, but you can classify them into a few broad varieties. The first is the chilled versus baked variety. You have to use gelatine to set a chilled cheesecake and usually need to use eggs in the baked version, but…

Circa 1193

The chattering classes of Delhi are talking about Circa 1193, a restaurant in the shade of the Qutub Minar. It is an unusual venture for several reasons. The first is the location: from the terrace on the second floor you can see no fewer than 26 heritage buildings and structures. The second is that it’s…

No Reservations

We food writers have it much easier than our counterparts on television. We can conjure up images of childhood treats or aspirational exotica with words; those guys use reality, or their version of it. Writers and poets can relegate food to the status of ambrosia or to an irritating drudgery (“the smell of steak in…

Spice Water Trail

Suddenly, there are quite a few restaurants in the National Capital Region that serve the food of the southern states. At one time, all we were exposed to were idlis and dosas. Today, each sub region of the four states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is clearly defined in Delhi’s restaurants. Spice…