There are not many restaurants that can beat the rustic appeal of a good road side joint, especially when it comes to replicating their flavors. Star hotels are miles apart here. Hence my take on the good North Indian food is simple – Dhabas are for food, and star hotels are for ambience. So far this thumb rule has withstood the test of time, but with my recent visit to Crowne Plaza – Rohini, I am happy to report that this interpretation is no longer true for me.
I have done two kulcha trails to Amritsar to search for the best kulchas in town. After tasting and ranking various well-known shops in the city, we shortlisted Ashok Kulchey Waale as the best kulcha joint in Amritsar, and were happy to share Indian Food Freak seal of approval certificate with them. Never in my wildest dream did I think that an eatery in Delhi will beat them hands down and that too a leading five star hotel which as I mentioned earlier, in my personal opinion, could never match those rustic flavors.
The ambience at Crowne Plaza is similar to any other restaurant in its class, there is nothing that immediately grabs eyeballs. What impresses is the food. We started with the Chatpati Chaat Platter (595). A platter consisting of kurkuri palak chaat, dahi golgappas, gujiya and tikki, this is one platter your international guests can ill afford to miss when they are in India and don’t want to get Delhi-belly. Even otherwise, it is a good sharable platter which will set the tone of the evening. Paya Potli Shorba (345) was a fragrant mix of appetizing shorba. Made in the right consistency unlike few who make it thick like an Indian version of Chinese soup, we loved it.
Makhmali roomali paneer and hare matter ke kebab were well made basic dishes which don’t go wrong, and neither did they here. The expertise of a restaurant can be well judged by the way they made tikkas out of salmon. Salmon is difficult to handle and making perfect tikkas out of them is an art. Kale masale ki chicken tangri was cooked as well in a clay oven. So far it was an interesting evening.
In the main course, the award winning recipe of the restaurant Makhamali Chhena (725) though well presented, failed to strike a chord with me. The soft-velvety texture was a little sweet for my palette. The tawa ghosht (895) was excellent and even on sake of repeating myself, the Chana-kulchey were the show stealer.
Not all star hotels can proudly present Indian cuisine with such finesse. Whenever I am at Spice Art again, a sure shot dish in my menu will be Amritsari Kulcha and Chana Masala.
Food: 4.0/5 | Ambience: 3.5/5 | Service: 4.0/5 | Overall: 4.0/5
Meal for two: Rs 2500 | Credit cards: Yes | Alcohol: Yes
Address: Spice Art, Crowne Plaza, Twin District Centre, Sector 10, Rohini, New Delhi | Tel: +91 11 44884488