Delhi looks even better with the grills of the West View on your plate, says Rahul Verma

It’s nice to have friends in the right places. I don’t mean the Prime Minister’s Office or the White House. What gives me pleasure is the fact that one of our close friends works at the ITC Maurya. And every now and then, she gives us a fabulous meal in one of the hotel’s many restaurants.

Some days ago, she called up to ask if we were free for dinner at the West View, which serves the most delicious grills. I hummed and hawed for five seconds, and then quickly said yes before she could change her mind. So we — a group of seven— landed up there. The restaurant is on the top floor of the hotel, and has a very pleasant open air seating area from where you can see almost all of Delhi. It was a chilly night, so we sat inside. Someone was playing some nice jazz in the background, and the antipasti table looked most divine.

There was a nice cheese board with a good selection of cheese including some camembert. I looked at the vast spread of veggies, and restricted myself to some palm hearts and pineapple with beetroot. Then I took small portions of tenderloin carpaccio, chorizo, serrano ham with port wine poached pear, Norwegian salmon, smoked lamb with mint jelly and wine poached prawns with celery salsa.

Needless to add, each and every dish was excellent. I particularly liked the smoked lamb, and thought the mild sweetness in the mint jelly beautifully balanced the smokiness of the lamb. The pork products were delicious, too, and being greatly fond of carpaccio – which is a raw and thin strip of meat— I enjoyed the tenderloin immensely.

Main grill

Once that was done, I had had my cherry tomato soup. My friend thought it was a bit like rasam, but I enjoyed its tangy taste. Then I moved to the main grill, which was just as good as I thought it would be. One side of the room had these counters from where you could pick up all that you liked— tenderloin steak, two kinds of lamb chops, lamb fillet, chicken breasts, prawns, lobster tails, pomfret and salmon. I could see some veggies at the other end (feta cheese stuffed bell pepper and so on). But I focused on the meats and fish, which the chef grilled the way I wanted them to be done— rare medium for the tenderloin (with pepper sauce) and the usual for the seafood and lamb.

My tenderloin was perfect— nice and juicy, with just the right sauce to go with it. I asked for a grilled pineapple (to balance my meaty plate, I suppose) and that was superb. The lamb had been marinated with rosemary and olive oil, and was grilled so well that it actually melted in the mouth. The prawns were fresh, but I was told by a couple of my friends that the lobster tail— which I had not taken— was a bit dodgy. The grills came with your choice of veggies — greens or mashed potatoes or potatoes grilled in the jacket.

The delicious meal ended with a choice of desserts. I had a raspberry chiboust, while the others had tiramisus and so on.

As expected, it was a meal to remember. I just hope the friend remembers me from time to time.

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