One of the few chef-led restaurants in the city
Atmospherics: with a plethora of rooms that lead off from one another, ROOH, run by Chef Sujan Sarkar, presently based in the US, is one of the more pleasant, relaxing spaces in the business. It is ideal for a quiet romantic lunch or when you want a business meal without the fear of being overheard. High ceilings, a view of the Qutab Minar from some of the tables in a few dining rooms, a private dining room and a bar, a visit to ROOH feels as if you are stepping into an interior design magazine. There is a degustation menu and an a la carte one, with a certain amount of cross-over between the two. There are also options for dining on the various terraces of the restaurant.
Table talk: ROOH Koshambari with white bean hummus and seasonal greens had too little flavour or even verisimilitude with the original (steamed dal with mustard seed tadka). The duck shami (which a discerning friend had described as worthy of a Michelin star) was pleasant enough, but with a charcoal biscuit (for textural contrast, presumably) AND pickled radish, spiced apricot and compressed apple, it makes what could have been a promising preparation suffer for too many time-consuming bits and bobs that I could see the kitchen labouring over with tweezers. The double baked souffle, roasted pumpkin sambhar and balsamic gel with pumpkin seed crisps was interesting enough, but as insubstantial as the other plates, in spite of being listed in the main course section. Chilean seabass, Alleppey curry, bone powder podi and sannas was the best dish of the meal because the sauce that was poured out from a bowl actually resembled Alleppey fish curry.
Plus and minus: while the sheer loveliness of the interiors cannot be denied, you are advised to visit when you have plenty of time on hand. Service is painfully slow, even when the restaurant seems to be more than half empty. Waiting for the four dishes I had ordered (at one go) took two and a half hours. While it is modern European food that is served here with Bengali or Indian touches, the desi quotient could well be ramped up far more. The portion sizes have not, alas, been figured out for a la carte dining: they are predicated for degustation meals.
Must try: avocado bhel, crab pepper fry, besan barfi opera
Food: 3.50; Service: 3.25; Décor: 3.75
Ambawatta One Complex, 5/1 Kalkadas Marg, Mehrauli
Open from 12.30 to 3 pm and 6.30 to 12 midnight
Alcohol, credit cards
Meal for two: Rs 4,000