Food

Appealing to sight and taste!

LINGERING FLAVOUR Grilled goat cheese offered at Amuse House

LINGERING FLAVOUR Grilled goat cheese offered at Amuse House   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Served in the midst of pleasant ambience, the array of Mediterranean dishes at Amuse House are worth relishing

I was a little taken aback when my host urged me to try out the vegetarian dishes at a new restaurant in town called Amuse House. Vegetarian? When there is pork on the menu? Did I hear that right?

That the restaurant’s most efficient publicist had a point became clear to me when I dipped my fork into a dish of grilled goat cheese, with beetroot and burnt orange. The cheese had a layer of beet jam in it and came with beet served in different ways — with a piece poached in wine, sliced and beet crisps. And it was simply out of this world.

Of course, I had the pork, too, and was equally happy with it. It was soft, with a nicely crisp sheath, and had been slow cooked in sous vide. This came with parsnip cream, pickled pear and prune purée.

But before I tell you more about the food, let me first describe the place. Amuse House is in Ansal Plaza, C Block. The restaurant, started by a young man called Tushar Kapoor, serves Mediterranean food as well as some dishes from neighbouring regions. It is an airy and well-lit restaurant, with a verandah for those who like to dine al fresco. The covered part is air-conditioned, with a comfortable sitting area and a pleasant décor.

I had an interesting conversation with Chef Arvind Bharti. Their idea, he tells me, is to present authentic dishes, but with a tweak that appeals both to the sight and taste. Each dish is served beautifully — with a splash of colours and a mix of textures. With vegetable purées, for instance, they make crisps of different patterns and colours, which give a bite to the dish, as well add to the taste.

The chickpea and mint falafel came with a mint-yoghurt and chive dressing, and was topped with a light green spinach and pea crisp. The artichoke and potato ragout bruschetta with shaved parmesan was a riot of colours and flavours, all complementing each other.

Chicken bourak

Chicken bourak   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

I loved the chicken liver pâté with chicken terrine and poached egg. The pâté melted in the mouth, the terrine was wonderfully smooth and the egg added some more softness to the dish. The chicken bourak with onions, cheese and parsley, with just a hint of cinnamon in it, was a crispy phyllo with chicken stuffing.

One of the signature dishes at Amuse House is its manchego and sweet corn stuffed chillies with spring onion and chipotle aioli. The sharp flavours of the chillies (green ones right now, but they will soon have the red peppers, too) partnered the mildness of sweet corn.

Then there were seafood buñuelos — fried balls with a mixed seafood filling, served with fresh green apple-plum salsa and horseradish aioli.

I was by then bursting at the seams but had to try out at least one of the entrées. So I had their grilled lamb chops with spiced gremolata, served with an aubergine dip. I would have liked my lamb a little more rare — but with the tangy gremolata, it was a pleasant mix of flavours.

My favourite, though, was the grilled goat cheese, over which I had — as advised — squeezed the burnt orange slice. And what a delightful dish it was, with the sharpness of the cheese doing a lively tango with the beet jam.

I am not much into Mediterranean desserts — but the Amuse House Med Box came with an interesting mix of sweets from pistachio baklava to basbousa.

Chef Bharti tells me that everything, including the wide variety of breads, is cooked in-house. The ingredients are all locally sourced, barring the Belgian pork and the New Zealand lamb.

It’s a place that I would like to go back to. The prices are reasonable (around ₹300-400 for the appetisers, ₹450-900 for the main dishes), the ambience is pleasant. And, then, there is the goat cheese beet dish.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 12:15:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/appealing-to-sight-and-taste/article23934885.ece

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