True to its name, Chutney emphasises the use of this basic condiment that is as important as any other ingredient in a dish

Recently I dined in a restaurant in Connaught Place, the commercial hub of Delhi, and its name rekindled some of my sweet memories of my grandmother. Apart from cooking food with her heart she always emphasised the use of condiments. I always used to have various chutneys with food. In summers, mango chutney was one of my favourites.

With biryani, she used to serve a red chilli and garlic chutney which was as important as any other ingredient and enhanced the flavours of the whole dish. The Metropolitan Hotel’s pan Indian restaurant is named after this basic condiment - “Chutney”. There are various chutneys served along with every dish at the restaurant.

To start my gastronomic journey I ordered a nimbu aur maas ka soup and enjoyed some papads with variants of chutneys in the meanwhile. The kiwi chutney tasted delicious – a bit tangy and sweet and fine in texture too. The grapes chutney was a bit coarse but worth a try.

My soup arrived and was perfectly seasoned; the lamb dumplings in the soup absorbed the lemon juice and tasted tangy. For starters, chef made my job easier by preparing an assorted platter. In veg. broccoli was delicious; I loved its tender texture. Seekh kabab was juicy and flavourful and adraki chaap, cooked in onion tomato masala, was tasty too.

Chef Irfan likes to innovate; he made a fish roulade for me. Stuffed with different chutneys, the rolled fillet of fish tasted divine. After eating such delicious starters I was sure something good would follow in my main course and I was right.

The rara gosht came with a khasta kulcha and was rich and aromatic. The lamb was finely machine minced and had a smooth texture, though I must admit I prefer eating the hand pounded keema in rara gosht. The biryani needs a special mention. Be it the presentation (served inside stuffed roti) or the flavours, the biryani was made to perfection.

I wanted to preserve the aftertaste but the chef insisted that I try their in-house kulfi. It was creamy, perfectly sweetened, and I liked it. It helped to leave with a refreshing feel.

Meal for two: Rs. 3500

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