An old favourite gets a makeover
Atmospherics: The Oberoi’s recent refurbishment has affected all its areas and 360 degrees is no exception. Not only has its interiors changed, but the spelling of its name has become, for an entire group of journalists and bloggers, much simpler: now, ‘360’ is written in figures instead of words, and ‘degrees’ is written in words rather than the symbol! The interiors seem much more spacious and light-filled in the present avatar, and the lounge section has far more practical upholstered seats which allow you to sit comfortably AND eat or drink. The Marzocco espresso machine and the island bar now have pride of place, with the sushi counter next to it, fairly prominent. In its earlier avatar, the invisible-to-most-diners sushi counter turned out to have heralded a revolution. There is a lunch buffet (Rs 2950) that looks tempting, which can be truncated to a soup, salad and dessert buffet (Rs 1950).
Table talk: Asep Hendra, the sushi chef, still presides over the sushi counter, just as before. The best part is that he not only slices the fish himself, he also cooks the rice, so you always get firm, pearly grains in your nigiri and maki here. 360 degrees has, unsurprisingly, managed to obtain an impressive variety of fresh seafood, so I would not hesitate to order a platter of nigiri or sashimi (Rs 1895 for 9 pieces) and leave it to the chef to decide on the exact varieties. Excellent seafood preparations appear to be a leitmotif here. On one occasion, I was startled by the brilliance of soft polenta with crab, red chilli and shrimp and shaved parmesan (Rs 1475). It is a mix of flavours between Thailand and Italy and works well as a light main course or a hearty first course. The other seafood preparation that I’ve tried here has been the lobster brioche (Rs 1975). The softest, freshest brioche (which, however, does not disintegrate) filled with a generous amount of chopped lobster and napped in mayonnaise. There are plenty of other choices on the menu, many in North Indian or western food. Cep veloute (Rs 625) is a thick soup, bursting with umami. Silbhatte ki shami (Rs 1475) has actually been pounded so as to retain the fibres of the meat, and like the best versions, is not full of masala.
Must try: Saffron and asparagus risotto, pomelo salad, forest mushroom and thyme
Food: 4.25; Service: 4.00; Décor: 4.00
The Oberoi New Delhi
Dr Zakir Hussain Marg,
Open from 7 am to 12.45 am
Credit cards, alcohol served
Meal for two: Rs 4,500