122-124, Ground Floor, DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
Ph: 011 33106161
Meal for two:?Rs 2,000 approx
We luxuriated on a canopied settee and dreamt of opulent luncheons and dinners at environs fit for a potentate. And when it comes to dishing out a taste of royalty, no one does it quite like celebrity chef Marut Sikka, and Kainoosh, a high-end restaurant at DLF Promenade, is where he lays out his spread. The dimly lighted decor strikes a balance of the traditional (props) and the contemporary (the upholstery). The fragrant clangour from the open kitchen whets our appetite, while a wine cellar stands vigilant next to our table. Designed to appease both non-vegetarians and vegetarians, the menu opens with nouvelle Indian starters attended to by mango and lime chutneys—Jhinga Malvani, a sweetish concoction of prawns nestling in coconut milk, flavoured with Konkan spices. It was washed down with refreshing banta shikanji, kesar elaichi lassi and masala chaas. The main course is served in a crescent-shaped silverware with jade-tinted dishes on a thali (Rs 940 for the veg thali; Rs 980 for the non-veg). There are five dishes in each, accompanied with achari and mirchi paratha. The non-vegetarian thali has Murg Mangal Ram, Bhuna Dhaba Meat, Lal Maans, Harey Masaley ka Bhuna Murg, Daal Tadka, Aubergine Raita and Gosht Dum Biriyani. The diabolically spiced eggplant in the raita makes us suspend our apathy for baigan. The juicy hara masaley ka chicken, combined with fresh mint and green chili, was savoury till the last nibbling. The vegetarian thali was rather modest, with Gobi Hari Mirch Ki Khurchan, Palak Makai, Teekha Lachha Paneer, Dum Ka Karela and Dal Makhni. Surprisingly, the bitter gourd was everything but bitter, and bursting with tangy flavours sparked by the jaggery filling. The yoghurt with crunchy okra was outstanding. Dessert was a kulfi trio of mango panna, fig and pistachio which was, alas, below par. Lasting impressions? Not the service, which was a bit slow, but the delicate Jhinga Malvani, whose flavours linger on still.