Old World Hospitality, the company behind the hugely successful Indian Accent, has now launched its invitation-only private members’ club, Zehen at The Manor, New Delhi. The whole idea is that Zehen will help address each member’s health, well-being, nutritional and fitness needs; connect them with likeminded people; offer culinary experiences and privileges at Indian Accent and a host of other privileges at The Manor, all of course with a hefty price tag.
I am here to taste the Zehen Food For Thought menu that the Wizard Chef Manish Mehrotra and his team at Indian Accent have crafted. The menu is individually crafted from a repertoire of hundreds of dishes, including vegan dishes, gluten free rotis and other special dietary needs that may exist. The menu will have Indian, Thai, Chinese, French and Mediterranean dishes that will change weekly with some dishes changing daily too. For the members who are not able to come for every meal, the meals shall be packed in special tiffins and bento boxes. Natural, organic (when possible) and fresh seasonal ingredients is actively used in the menu.
I ask Manish about the thinking behind the menu. He says “This whole Diet Food movement started on a wrong note, sacrificing taste. Through the use of right ingredients and through intelligent portion control, it is easy to have tasty food. There is healthy food and there is diet food. In our menu we have included both to give people a choice of healthy eating, whether or not, they want to lose weight.” This is what a typical menu at Zehen will look like.
Cucumber rolls, himalayan red rice, cashew nut cream
Ash roasted sweet potato salad, lemon squeeze
Flaked tandoori fish, tomato and fennel salad rainbow salad
Slow stewed lamb, fresh coriander & mint couscous
Steamed chicken, lemon dill yogurt sauce
Seared Scottish salmon, broccoli and orange
Grilled beetroot tikki, golden walnuts, green beans fogath
Zucchini spaghetti, fresh tomato and basil
Pumpkin and brown rice risotto, spiced pumpkin almond confit
Slow cooked traditional khichri
Brown rice and jaggery kheer
Fresh berry pie, nuts and date crust
And this is where the tasting session for the new posh diet-food begins. Since I am not on a diet (though I should be), Manish also throws in some of the perennial favourites from the Indian Accent kitchen. From the Zehen repertoire of dishes, I try the Uttappam Pizza first, which is a light and spongy mini uttappam topped with tomato based sauce and a parmesan crisp. Next is a simple Beetroot Tikki with a crunch of walnuts inside. It is simple, elegant and tasty.
The mains are a real eye opener. The Quinoa Lamb Biryani is simply delicious. It has captured the taste and depth of a real biryani with none of the guilt. It is a dish I could happily have for every meal. Zucchini Spaghetti, Fresh Tomato and Basil is carved out of the humble zucchini and cooked perfectly al dente, delivering a fresh taste with the texture of pasta. Sheer Genius.
Chef Manish Mehrotra has the midas touch when it comes to crafting out memorable dishes. In Zehen menu, he now has Indian Accent version Light! Taste Bhi. Health Bhi.
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.