We are at Enoki, the deeply luxurious Yakitori restaurant at the spiffy, somewhat Dubai-esque Grand Hyatt in Delhi. From the outside, the hotel looks like a shining example of Soviet Bloc nouveau architecture. Inside, mummified palms, splendiferous fountains and acres of shiny materials make it de trop but nice. The clientele at Enoki has a high Toyota/Honda/ Nissan usage which ensures, therefore, that it is the real thing.
Tahiliani is on Day One of a dietician-approved menu, perfect reason to break it. We chug on beers and dig into delicious Tsukune (chicken ball), followed by the unfortunately-named but delicious nonetheless Shiitake mushrooms done in garlic, soya and sake. Wooden bowls in aubergine and rust colours hold steaming miso soup, a real nourisher, with chunks of tofu at the bottom. The waiters bring on dish after stunning dishno one does nosh prettier than the Japanese, not even the French. Grilled Negima (chicken and leek) is followed by Kohisuji (marvellously chunky, juicy lamb chops).
Tahiliani, meanwhile, has just returned from an interesting exhibition trip organised in three American cities by the fragrant, media-shy Jacqueline Lundquist. He terms it a learning experience and leaves it at that. I later learn from others how the experience involved former US ambassador Dick Celeste sitting in a kitchen of the house of the New York exhibition, making invoices. No one knows if the transition from the High Table to the Low one is now complete. Tahiliani ducks questions on all that, and speaks instead of his upcoming trip to Paris. Hell assist milliner Phillip Treacy at Treacys first ever show in Paris. Then hell come home and prepare for a huge fund-raiser under the Save the Children banner in Londonall his international buddies will chip in. Meal over, espressos sipped, he wistfully speaks of his favourite Sindhi dishes; his eyes mist over at the thought of dhoda and saile and wet prawn biryani. He then tootles off to the ballroom to have a look at the venue for his next big show. All of which makes him a very busy bee indeed.