New Summer Menu @ The Park, Delhi: India On A Plate

Connaught place, more often referred to as CP has a charm of it’s own and that is what pulls in the crowds here no matter how many malls, hotels and markets may have come up in the other parts of Delhi. Architecturally beautiful with the entire market wearing a uniformly white look CP is a must visit esp for travelers, explorers, food freaks and avid photographers with all that it has to offer. It is not for nothing that Connaught Place is known as the heart of the city and situated here is India’s first boutique hotel The Park which has been a landmark in CP since 1987.

The Park has three restaurants – Fire, Aqua and Mist along with Agni which is a bar apart from Flurys (one of the most popular bakeries in Kolkata) as their bakery and desserts counter. I am visiting The Park after a long gap and as I walk in I am reminded of my college days and partying nights at Someplace Else, the very popular pub at the hotel in those days. It was one of our favourite destinations and I still remember the long queues for the entry. I still wonder why did they close down Someplace Else. However today I am here to try the new seasonal menu by Executive Chef Abhishek Basu who has used over 70% organic products and recipes from across India.

In times when everything we are consuming seems to be adulterated it is a good idea and initiative by The Park to not only provide better quality food to their customers but also promote organic products and its suppliers who work hard to produce healthy and toxin free products.

The most interesting part of the restaurant menu is the tasting menu which offers everything from refreshers to desserts for both vegetarians and non vegetarians. Since it is a tasting menu the portion sizes are small with plenty items packed in and a taste of different parts of India. Even the pricing of their tasting menu that we tried is a inducement. At just Rs1500 per person one can have a wholesome meal in a 5-star comfort.

On a hot summer day one could not have asked for a better start. The menu has three refreshers to offer Kerala Sambaram, Sattu ka ghol and Phalsa ka sharbat served in test tubes.Each refresher was true to it’s word and had us feeling all refreshed. My favourite ofcourse was Kerala Sambaram which is butter milk which had all the flavours of chilli, coriander, curry leaf n ginger coming out well with just the right consistency.

Since we are non vegetarians we opt for the non veg option from the menu. Burrata, aragula and watermelon is our salad to start with. A well balanced salad with walnut candied bites, not too bitter rocket leave balanced by sweet water melon and digging into the kasundi sprinkled Burrata (an Italian Cheese). To use the Indian product, Executive Chef Abhishek Basu has used the Burrata supplied by Father Michael from Bangalore who learnt the art of making cheese while he was living in Italy and now makes and supplies the same from Bangalore. I have never tasted Indian Burrata and while I like it, i wanted it to be a bit more soft. The salad was a good start with the portion size being sufficient.

After a cold salad we are served the fire platter which consists of two starters and two dishes for the main course. Small portions of Chingri Macher aam kasundi (tiger prawns from the coast of Gujarat, raw mango + kasundi), and Jardaloo Salli boti (classic Parsi mutton and apricot speciality) are our starters. The mutton in this dish was fabulous and its spicy notes were so well complimented with sweet apricot. In addition to these starters the Chef served us Chettinadu mushroom fry to taste from the veg menu. I thoroughly enjoyed eating the mushrooms which were very well made and flavourful with home ground spices used.

Our main course consisted of Gongura mamsam (mutton with sorrel leaves) which is a speciality of Andhra.The curry has a distinctive taste of it’s main ingredient Gongura which is widely consumed in Andhra. Our second dish is Manchatti meen curry which is a traditional fish curry of Kerala. This curry is made in a “Man chatti ” or clay pot hence the name. Both the curries were nice and could have gone better with some rice. No rice or bread is served along with the main course but the Chef tells me it can be served on request.

Their signature achari pearl barley rissotto is a lovely mix of organic pearl barley, ladakh black peas, edamame beans, desi cow ghee and kurkuri karela. This was probably the only dish with an imported ingredient as edamame. I enjoyed every bite of it so much that would love to have it as a complete meal. The sliver of kurkuri karela was the icing on top.

Sweet times arrived with our portions of gulab ki kheer, mango and mint panacotta, and Jamun and Yoghurt parfait. The Mango and mint panacotta was exceptionally good , I cleaned up the plate to the last bite. The aam papad made inhouse has to be one of the best I have eaten while my friend kept praising the jamun and yogurt parfait which was made without using any additional sugar.

Having tasted a bit of Andhra, Kerala, Gujarat, Bengal and the North at the same time I come away feeling truly Indian. I can easily call it a fulfilling food experience with the best part being one doesn’t come away feeling heavy. If you are a true foodie do visit Fire and bring home this organic Indian food experience.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for two : Rs 3,000/- | Wheelchair Friendly : Yes| Credit Card : Yes | Alcohol : Yes

Address: The Park , Fire Restaurant, 15 Parliament Street, New Delhi | Phone: 011-23743000

Disclaimer : This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement 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.

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