For some the highly acclaimed, award winning restaurant Indian Accent moving to it’s new abode was just another news but for many others it was heart breaking. The beautiful boutique property at The Manor with good open space gave Indian Accent an edge over other restaurants in a commercial property. The Manor located in Friends Colony West is quiet and serene. Even though guests had to make an effort to reach The Manor braving the traffic, they would typically be late but hungrier too to appreciate the food better. However an ambiguous court order suspended alcohol sales within 500 meters of the State and National highways thus impacting Indian Accent as well. By the time Indian Accent finalised and signed up for their new location at The Lodhi hotel, the court clarified and lifted the ban. However it was too late to stay.
Food at the Indian Accent has always been excellent which is why it has not only been adjudged the best restaurant in India but it rates amongst the Top 30 in Asia and Top 78 in the World. Yes, it is the only Indian restaurant to make it to this list. This time my visit to Indian Accent was more to get a feel and vibe of the new location at The Lodhi than for the food. However, I ended enjoying my afternoon with many new dishes that are part of its new chef tasting menu.
I hate being late (I am still an Indian) and I enjoyed my effortless afternoon drive to The Lodhi from Gurgaon to reach just in time. Palki Singh, Guest Relationship AGM agrees – “Guests reach our new location much in time than earlier. Thanks to the normal traffic in the new surroundings”! She further adds, lunch hours are much more busier given the central location. I looked around and except for just 1 table the 70-seater restaurant was fully occupied on a Monday afternoon. Though I did not enquire about the same but my gut feeling said that even the table that was vacant would have been a last minute cancellation.
The new Indian Accent is located right at the entry of Lodhi with a separate parking and entry. It is the same place where earlier OTW (On The Waterfront) a multi-cuisine restaurant was located. I visited OTW last year at almost the same time and though there are no major changes in the interiors I could notice the differences. The high ceiling area along with the staircase has been cut-off the main restaurant to give the place a subtle note like Indian Accent’s earlier avatar. As at the earlier outlet it has marigold flowers decorated all over with some green lilies thrown in to go with the decor at their glass house that seats 10-12 guests. Good to note, that unlike OTW, Indian Accent has still not started charging an extra amount to book this romantic seating which will soon become the powerhouse of Indian dining space.
In the meantime I order a repeat of the achaari pork (it is too good and has to be reordered to satisfy my gluttony), and Palki is happy to make me note that they have a much bigger wine menu too. “We have increased the wine label from 65 to 90 and they are going to increase even further with a bigger bar and space for wine cellar”, she adds. I agree with the space. Now all tables have enough space to enjoy a personal conversation without others unknowingly being a privy.
The day I visited the restaurant Chef Manish Mehrotra was traveling and Chef Shantanu Mehrotra was not keeping well hence was off for the day. This gave me an opportunity to meet their young talented sous Chef Dhiraj Dargan. With the senior team not there in a packed restaurant, the team seems to be taking care of the entire operations effortlessly, with the chef coming in at regular intervals to check on the guests and how everyone is enjoying the meal besides also sending some surprises off the menu on his own. With such an experience it is no surprise why Indian Accent is what it is.