Food

Savour all the fine Elements

At Elements, taste both Italian as well as Indian cuisine.  

There is a sense of conscientious satisfaction about being served salad. The first dish to grace our table at Elements, the newly opened fine-dining restaurant on Chittoor Road, is an Italian goat cheese salad—a crisp, fresh dish of greens and chunks of cheese.

As we nibble on the lettuce, taking in the décor, Santosh Mullapalli, partner of Elements, talks us through the various elements of the property. Saffron, where we are seated, is the modern Indian restaurant, which serves the combined cuisines of North India (Awadh, Punjab, Kashmir and Rajasthan) plus a choice selection of Kerala food. The partly open area outside is Basilico, the classic Italian restaurant with its pizzas, pastas and grills. Towards the left of Saffron, a few cabanas have been thrown in for quick bites and an evening coffee. It also has a banquet hall with a seating capacity of 200 above Saffron.

For our benefit, Santosh serves a mix of both Indian and Italian at Saffron. Three soups arrive together—rustic tomato, marinara and wild mushroom. These are a complete surprise to the palate, entirely different from the standard soups one is used to. The tomatoes can be tasted in the soup and Santosh informs the richness comes from roast tomatoes, oregano, basil and thyme and a little bit of mascarpone cheese and pesto sauce.

The wild mushroom soup is a delightful balance of flavours. Made from oyster, button, enoki and shiitake mushrooms, the soup is light yet fulfilling. The marinara again is a must try for seafood lovers as it has got prawn, squid, clams and mussel.

The menu boasts a selection of salads such as the chicken tikka salad with red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and peanuts. What Santosh picks as a special is the eggplant chaat, which has deep fried egg plant, curd, tamarind chutney and pomegranate seeds.

“The most important thing about a restaurant is that it should leave a great aftertaste. If you have eaten somewhere and if the flavours leave your mouth even before your leave the restaurant, what is special about the place?” Santosh asks. And this, he says, was one of the founding principles of Elements. “If you remember the flavours, you will certainly come back,” he says.

The starter tikkas—juicy paneer and chicken—look a little washed out because the restaurant does not believe in artificial colour. The only food colouring that is used is made naturally from beets, saffron and the like.

The main course that we are to try comprises an odd combination of pizza, tikka and rotis with dal and paneer. The first to arrive is the impossible to dislike primavera pizza. Then comes garlic naan and butter rotis with dal makhni and kadai paneer. The oddness instantly gave way to feelings of pure joy. The dal makhni, according to my friend, is authentic fare, which brought back warm memories of the kind of dal makhni she has had in South Delhi. “We have experienced chefs who have been exposed to international as well as Indian cuisine,” says Santhosh, who is preparing a mocktail for us.

A fashion and food consultant, who has worked with a few luxury brands in Russia, Santosh is also an informal mixologist. At the mocktail counter, which shows off an impressive collection of glassware, he whips up a passion fruit mocktail with lime juice, soda and a hint of orange juice.

At Elements, one can have good non-alcoholic wines or beers, which are imported.

Dessert keeps up if not out does the rest of the meal- a dense chocolate mousse, which can be savoured and longed for and gajar ka halwa with ice cream.

From April, Elements will host Sunday brunches from 12 noon. It will also have a ‘farmers’ market’ where people who have farms growing organic produce will be setting up a small fair.

All this food is not all. The breakfast menu is an entirely separate affair—purely English style with scrambled and poached eggs and toast and pancakes and sandwiches. A wide selection of omelettes is available, too. The breakfast is available only on weekends (Saturday-Sunday).

If you are at Elements, do try some of their blended teas, as well.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 6:49:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/savour-all-the-fine-elements/article7057769.ece

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