Authentic flavours of Pan Asia, a superb view of the capital... Sampan in Hotel Suryaa, New Delhi, offers all this and more.

Proper Delhites don't need an introduction to Hotel Suryaa, which is at least a couple of decades old. Located in the posh south Delhi, it was once the perfect eating-out place.

But with the youth lured by glitzy malls and their many dining options, Suryaa kind of faded into the background.

But now the restaurant is back with an all-new décor and menu. For those craving for Asian cuisine, Sampan is probably the best bet.

As you ride the elevator to the rooftop restaurant, you tell yourself that while the food comes at a cost, this beautiful view is free! The greenery at the entrance soothes the eyes.

Different styles

On one side is the bar' on the other is the beautiful dining space. This area is divided into different styles: luxurious lounge, casual family and discreet private but what impresses is the dim lighting on each table.

The walls, ceiling and corner areas are Oriental in appearance and the open kitchen has Chinese motifs inscribed. I decided to opt for the family dining area right next to the French window once I finished admiring the decor.

The first glimpse of the menu leaves you wondering what to choose since most of the names are unfamiliar. From traditional Chinese to new age Shanghai, Thai Massamans to hot-selling Bangkok sea food, Vietnamese Popiah to Japanese Hitoku, mouth-watering Singaporean spicy crabs to Indonesian sambals, the menu is a thorough tour of Asian cuisine.

I left the choice to Rakesh Prasad, Executive Sous Chef and stuck to sipping my dry red wine. The combination of wine and oriental cuisine is tricky as the food has so many raw tangy flavours.

Healthy mix

My starter was an unusual mango salad served amid leafy vegetables. Before it could settle on my taste buds, beautiful green dumplings and corn cakes had arrived. The dumplings had a wonderful flavour of spinach as its dough is kneaded with spinach juice. The corn cakes had a strong flavour of lemon leaves. Served with Teriyaki sauce, the starters were fulfilling.

Before I could start my interaction with the chef, a frozen green apple dish appeared to indicate it was time for the main course.

The main course, Thai curry with steamed rice, tasted normal but the dominant flavour was lemongrass not the usual coconut.

Next were traditional noodles along with hot vegetables. The authentic flavours of Pan Asia were a healthy mix of greens and spices.

“The flavours you find so authentic are local ingredients sourced from those countries like takhrai or lemon grass, tuna and eel from Japan along with shiso buds and fresh wasabi roots ...  The speciality of Asian food is strong spices and rawness in every dish. We believe in serving the true flavours for a great experience,” said Rakesh. Well, I couldn't doubt that! 

Quick facts

Meal for 2:Rs 5,000 with alcohol, Rs 4,000 without alcohol plus taxes

Signature dishes:Organic Black Soy Tempeh, Sampan Oshi Zushi, Western roll, Chirashi Sushi, Sampan Tea smoked Lamb, Minced Prawn on Lemongrass stem

Contact:011-47808080 ext 1188 or 9971536053 for more details