Review | Food

How In-Q at The Manor promises to surpass Indian Accent

Sambar broth with masala idli

Sambar broth with masala idli   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement


The restauarant also has a 14-course tasting menu, which shows you the chef Aditya Kumar Jha’s talent

It takes courage to enter Manish Mehrotra’s Indian Accent space — both the modern Indian cuisine that the chef excelled in, and the physical area, because the restaurant opened and stayed at The Manor for eight years until 2017.

The much younger chef Aditya Kumar Jha, just back from a stint at Abu Dhabi’s Tamba and Bangkok’s Gaggan, has managed to play in the same area, with In-Q that now occupies The Manor’s lazy old-world premises. His age is both an advantage and a disadvantage: You’ll find fresh takes on so many dishes you wouldn’t have imagined that way, but there are also inconsistencies in planning. For instance, much of the tasting menu is delicate with the flavours gently claiming you, like the very thin kachori-style kuttu casing with its tamarind-avocado-wasabi filling, does. Until you reach the Chicken Lababdar, and you wonder why there’s no nuance, no subtlety. You’ll forgive him though, because what’s good is excellent, and he gives the we-try-harder Avis vibe that is always appealing.

The vibe: It’s really all about spending an afternoon with wine and the tasting menu — as we did, in the enclosed patio with the sun pouring in.

The speckled mosaic floor doesn’t seem at odds with the ‘modern’ food. The bar is cozy, with just a few tables, so if you’re going in the evening, a couple of drinks before dinner would be a good idea.

Do try: The Grilled Lamb Chops (with kaffir lime butter and cranberry sauce), and the Air-dried Halwa (berry yoghurt kulfi with Tequila strawberry), if you’re going a la carte — these are what we had on the tasting menu that are also available on the regular menu. If you’re going the first time and have a few hours, go with the 14-course former, because it shows you the chef’s talent.

Coco curry

Coco curry   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

We began with a Valrhona white chocolate ball filled with gol-gappa (spiced mint, the menu says) water and celery dust, the flavours surprisingly going together well. The dehydrated radish leaf topped with radish cheese, lemon gel, and fennel dust was melt-in-mouth. The yam steak (from off the veg menu) tasted more like pastry, an achievement in itself. The star though, was the Sambar soup, a decanted version that smelt and tasted of the lentil, but looked like rasam. This went over sous vide veggies with some texture, and miniature idlis, some steamed, some fried, the latter forming crunchy croutons.

For dessert, Coco Curry that appeared as powders on a plate to be mixed with green gel, was a dehydrated moilee curry with a crumb mixed with Madras curry powder. It brought together flavours that the palate is not used to together, yet it worked, because we wanted more.

We didn't try the duck, but , the chef promises something special.

Skip: The Snow Balled Srikhand that is on both menus — a large white yoghurt ball at -20° C that when cracks open reveals more whiteness with a soft yoghurt filling. It looks lovely, but the rose distillate was a trifle overbearing — the chef promises to tweak it though. The Butternut Squash ball, which wasn’t anything to write home about.

Go with: Someone who likes food, so you can take apart flavours and have a conversation together

Space bar: 40 covers, with 16 covers on the verandah, 3,000 square feet

How much? Approximately ₹6,000 sans alcohol

Reach: 77, Mathura Rd, Friends Colony West; drive or cab it because there’s no public transport until you reach the main road

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 1:53:07 AM |

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