Mewat Goat and Millet
The Aravali Pavilion, ITC Grand Bharat, Gurgaon
Tel: + (91)1267 285500
Meal for two: Rs 3,000
Getting there is half the fun. The Aravali Pavilion, the three-meal bistro and dining room at the ITC Grand Bharat, is an epicure’s delight. As you travel 10 km on the country road, your dinner leaps out of the way and chickens squawk with indignation at the idea that they might be your next meal.
At the Aravali Pavilion, chef Shivneet has tried to bring in as many variations on the theme of millet, the hardy grain, with grander ingredients. So we have starters with local chicken first grilled tikka style, then minced and encased in a pillow of filo pastry and served with feta cheese and beetroot Carpaccio. It looks and tastes gorgeous.
One of the Aravali Pavilion’s aims is to mix and match Indian dishes with a more Conti style of presentation and vice-versa. So we get a double rib of goat with candied garlic and a tender salad of newly dug-from-the-earth baby potatoes, with Kashmiri morels. There’s also a superb fish, river sole, crusted with green spices and a touch of garlic. Vegetarians need not feel deprived; the choice is equally fun and elaborate.
But with millets you begin to feel a little less enthusiastic. The Millet Risotto with morels and fried okra, tempura looks fabulous. But millet is a tight little grain and no matter how it’s treated with cheeses, butter and olive oil, it remains unappetising. Why not just make it like the local farmers into a simple kichdi, we wonder.
Then again, the Bajra phirni lives up to its promise. Served in tiny trays of terracotta with compote Lonavla strawberries, it is all that the ITC hopes to provide, with their emphasis on ‘swasth’ cuisine, something for the body and the soul.