Conde Nast Traveller India

THE THAT MADE 50 THE LIST

1 INDIAN ACCENT

THE LODHI, NEW DELHI

Chef Manish Mehrotra has burnished his reputation by bringing modern Indian cuisine to the world. He chooses from flavours that have been honed over decades and reimagines them, presenting them in fresh, interesting ways. Indian Accent, which came in first even at the 2017 Top Restaurant Awards, prides itself on sourcing most of its produce fresh from in and around New Delhi. While it’s best experienced by indulging in the chef’s tasting menu, the restaurant now also offers entirely plant-based vegan menus for those conscious about what they eat and how it impacts the world we live in. Delicacies such as the pulled kathal phulka taco or the green jackfruit, sweet potato and Goan mango curry are as satisfying as the Chettinad chicken keema and Kanyakumari crab. A meal here is one of those rare experiences fit for a milestone celebration.

RAW & FINE

The restaurant sources its fresh ingredients from in and around the National Capital Region. Whether it is the crunchy baby cucumbers and succulent tomatoes that hero many a dish here, the sweet strawberries used in the desserts and drinks, or the edible flowers used as garnish, a lot of it comes from a hydroponic farm in Greater Noida. Whatever ingredients aren’t used go right back into the soil, thanks to The Lodhi, New Delhi’s composting plant. (indianaccent.com)

2 THE BOMBAY CANTEEN

MUMBAI

When The Bombay Canteen opened in 2015, it called itself an India-inspired restaurant. In the years that followed, it crafted a new identity for Indian food in the culinary space, with an ever-evolving menu that turned the spotlight on regional delicacies, home cooking and seasonal ingredients—all of which made it No. 1 at the 2018 Top Restaurant Awards. Its playful vibe and affnity for Mumbai find expression in its cocktail menus, inspired in shape and form by the city’s cultural melee, local traditions and food lore. Collaborations with farmers, home chefs and food entrepreneurs have kept the going good and marked a move towards sustainable consumption and cooking. One can always expect a surprise, be it in the flavours or hero ingredients. Imagine a taco with a guava sabzi, served with a salad of the elusive succulent known as moras bhaji. While TBC’s approach to food is serious, its presentation is always fun and unpretentious. And clever touches point to its wry take on pop culture—a bowl of pre-liberalisation era candies like Mango Bite and Kismi rests at the entrance, while the waitstaff wear tees emblazoned with ‘bro’ in Hindi.

RAW & FINE

“Our ingredient for the year was curiosity of the wild. Driven by the urge to discover new and exciting local ingredients, we reached a new high in 2019, with over 60 unique, seasonal vegetables and fruits indigenous to India highlighted through our menu.” (thebombaycanteen.com)

3 IZUMI

MUMBAI

In Mumbai, when you think ramen, you think IZUMI. That’s how high the restaurant has set the bar for Japanese cuisine in the city. It evolved from being a 17-seater eatery and a thriving sushi delivery service to one of Mumbai’s favourite spots for food from the East. IZUMI is a powerful combination of Chef Nooresha Kably’s culinary skills and Anil Kably’s command over the Mumbai restaurant scene. While IZUMI reflects the Japanese philosophy of choosing a skill and mastering it to perfection, the menu showcases the more traditional yet contemporary flavours from Japan. And thanks to Chef Nooresha and her team, the city of Mumbai has a place to enjoy a fun approach to a cuisine known for its superior craft.

RAW & FINE

“At IZUMI, we have almost no food wastage, and nearly everything is prepared fresh with special efforts to keep the flavours intact. Chef Nooresha clearly espouses clean eating and an ingredient-driven ethic at the restaurant.” (facebook.com/izumibandra)

4 THE TABLE

MUMBAI

Farm-fresh ingredients, warm hospitality and an elegant ambience define The Table, located in South Mumbai’s Colaba neighbourhood. The restaurant has been a favourite among the city’s crème de la crème since it was established in 2011. If you’re wondering what keeps them coming back, it’s without a doubt the ingredients—it uses locally sourced fish and meat, and some of the greens are from the restaurant’s farm in Alibaug. The menu, which largely features shareable plates, takes inspiration from different corners of the world, from Thailand and Japan to France and the Americas. The boneless chicken wings drizzled with honey glaze, clams and handmade linguini, shrimp dumplings in a spicy ginger broth, yellow fish tuna tataki and the avocado toast topped on sourdough (from the restaurant’s sister enterprise Magazine Street Kitchen) are some of the star dishes at The Table.

RAW & FINE

To ensure that it serves some of the finest ingredients, The Table started its own farm in Alibaug in 2012. A lot of its dishes are prepared with chemical-free vegetables, fruits and herbs sourced from this farm. (thetable.in)

5 TOAST & TONIC

BENGALURU

Bandel from Kolkata, robiola from Maharashtra, chocolate from Puducherry, pork from Tamil Nadu and crabs from Andhra Pradesh—this Bengaluru restaurant helmed by Chef Manu Chandra celebrates all things local on its menu. Add a Toast & Tonic touch, and you get international dishes that champion these ingredients, like slow-cooked pork carnitas served on corn tortillas, smoked Bandel cheese and gin mustard hollandaise, Naga chilli chicken wings

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