50 Of India's Best New Restaurants Part 1

50 Of India's Best New Restaurants Part 1
The interiors of Artushi

After travelling to different parts of India, we have come up with a list of India's 50 best restaurants where the food is divine and ambiance surreal. This story is part of our series ’50 Best New Restaurants in India’

OT Staff
June 01 , 2019
09 Min Read

We’ve done the hard work for you. Now, it’s time for you to go tasting. Happy feasting.

Akira Back, Delhi



What you see is not what it is at Akira Back. A Japanese restaurant at first glance, it has been revealed to serve ‘Asian American’ by the celebrity chef and founder it is named after. Back is not even Japanese, but Korean, and he usually introduces himself as a snowboarder. So, in many ways, his international restaurant chain’s philosophy is to transcend themes and conventions, unless you consider the feisty Akira Back to be the theme himself. His only Indian outlet, in JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity, serves dishes like the AB pizza (thin tuna slices with a tortilla base, magically fashioned into a pizza) and the yellowtail (his hamachi speciality). Go once and then expect to come ‘back’ again and again.

UNIQUENESS: Akira Back doesn’t stray from fusing Japanese, Korean, Indian, Mexican and American elements in the same dish. What could have been a hotchpotch actually strikes a balance, in the case of the entire menu. 

1135 AD, Jaipur


1135 AD is one of those niche restaurants where royalty meets food. Located on the topmost floor of the Amber Fort, the restaurant offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis apart from the usual à la carte options. Both thalis offer three starters with eight sauces and three different accompaniments. The main course offers a total of six dishes each for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Don’t forget to enjoy the rice kheer, shahi gulab jamun and the badam halwa if you have a sweet tooth.

UNIQUENESS: Apart from being one of the few restaurants inside a fort, the restaurant has dotted all I’s and crossed every T when it comes to food, service, ambience and luxury. 

AnnaMaya, Delhi


With AnnaMaya, the Hyatt Andaz presented a unique concept to India—of a restaurant woven around a food hall. And that is what makes this trendsetter unique. From the produce that it stores to retails (and even uses in its own culinary offerings), to the artisanal produce sourced from handpicked farms across Uttarakhand and from traditional makers, it is the first hotel restaurant in the country to practice, propagate and work towards mindful cooking (and eating).

UNIQUENESS: Zero-mile greens, which are essentially tall micro-green cabinets where diners can learn more about ingredients and conscious eating.

La Plage, Goa


Nestled under the canopy of palm trees, La Plage on Ashvem beach is a restaurant you should not miss if you are visiting Goa. Do not get fooled by their simple, yet elegant, shacks as they serve up some of the best fresh fruit cocktails, tiger prawn carpaccio and the ever-popular sesame-crusted tuna fillet with wasabi mashed potatoes and soy sauce. Oh, and did we tell you that they serve a chocolate thali too?

UNIQUENESS: You can spend an entire day here. Go take a dip in the sea, enjoy your drinks, swim again, then come back to eat and, finally, enjoy the sunset. Also note that this restaurant is closed every year between May and September 

Avartana, Chennai


At Avartana (pronounced ‘avartan’), the thought process is simple: reinvent and redefine. The group’s signature brand Dakshin is extremely popular but ITC Grand Chola wanted to go beyond and open a restaurant that emphasised the core of southern Indian cuisine—spices. The menu took two years to refine with no à la carte options. There are four degustation menus; Maya, Bela, Anika and Tara, and the number of courses on each vary with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. A bold move indeed but one that has paid rich dividends as since its opening in 2017, the fanfare is yet to die down.

UNIQUENESS: The concept of tasting menus only. The infused tomato rasam—the one that everyone raves about.

Artusi, Delhi


There are plenty of Italian restaurants but this, the brainchild of Oscar Balon, treats the uninitiated into the authentic cuisine of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. The owner, who loves his food, hails from a port town near Bologna and after deciding to settle in India, opening a restaurant with flavours from back home seemed to be the obvious thing to do. There are currently two outlets, one in Greater Kailash 2 and the newer one in Gurugram. Here, you must indulge in the fresh, handmade pasta because, trust us, it’s to die for.

UNIQUENESS: All the ingredients needed to offer an authentic experience, like flour, rice, cheese, meats and fish, are imported from Italy.

Baradari, Jaipur


It is a restaurant fit for royalty. A former palace café-turned-restaurant, Baradari sits inside the majestic City Palace in old Jaipur. Baradari has an open courtyard, walls stripped down to reveal the original rubble, and a lively, well-stocked bar (a former administrative block that’s come a long way). Locals are drawn to the eatery for its contemporary spin on Rajasthani and Indian food, while tourists flock here after a day in the sun exploring the palace quarters. 

UNIQUENESS: Mozzarella kachori with potato chaat, and a royal lal maas made with a self-professed secret recipe.

Bastian, Mumbai


Bastian, the seafood hangout of Mumbai, is famous for two reasons: local seafood and Canadian Chef Kevin Cheung’s innovative cooking style which has spawned such a legacy of seafood (and pork) dishes that it is called a seafood lovers’ paradise. The surprise element, however, is his small, but constantly changing vegetarian offering that includes a series of interesting Buddha and ramen bowls.

UNIQUENESS: Chef Cheung’s ability to take bhut jolokia and house-fermented hot sauce and turn them into hot-sellers. 

Emily’s, Landour


You don’t really utter Landour and culinary excellence in the same breath but Emily’s continental fare can put any of its city cousins to shame. It’s not just that it is housed in an old alpine-manor-turned-boutique-hotel called Rokeby Manor—once occupied by the infamous Pahari Wilson—the décor happens to be so picture-perfect and dainty, that the chicken olivetti (chicken-wrapped olives) tastes better in the warmth of the furnishings. If you really want to enrich your experience, grab a cuppa in the balcony and muse at the Garhwali mountain-scape. 

UNIQUENESS: Emily’s is adjacent to Rokeby Manor’s library, which appears right out of a Harry Potter book. It’s a wonder that the staircases here don’t move by themselves. 

Nueva, Delhi


Had it opened in the noughties, Nueva may have had to brand itself as a Spanish restaurant. Otherwise, its mere mention as a ‘Peruvian restaurant’ would have invited confusion. But now that Delhi has welcomed international cuisines with open arms and curious taste buds, restaurants like Nueva, co-owned by Virat Kohli’s brother, find a place in the capital’s restaurant culture. Chef Ashish Singh’s food is unapologetically Peruvian—so expect your tiradito to be raw and tiger’s milk (not to be taken literally) to be a legitimate accompaniment for the escabeche. 

UNIQUENESS: Enjoy the live demonstrations at the sushi-cum-ceviche bar. The menu even lists them together and the variety—from a miso salmon roll to a shrimp ceviche—will leave you spoilt for choice.

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