A pizza for Rs.9999!

The interiors of The Qube. Photo: Special Arrangement  

It is the newest address to luxury in town. It quells trends when everything in vogue is darting towards Gurgaon or Noida, by perching itself in Delhi's soul in Chanakyapuri. The Leela Palace with its towering arches and high ceilings could well be the latest Lutyens' construction in Delhi.

Spread across three acres, the hotel has two functional restaurants at the moment — the all-day dining The Qube and the Indian fine dining Jamavar. Awaited in eager anticipation is the arrival of Le Cirque which will make its first presence in Asia through The Leela Palace. Megu, the Japanese dining space, will also open soon.

The Qube opts for a glasshouse effect. Again tall glass columns are the norm giving an uninterrupted view of the garden which has a splendorous sculpture of the ‘devi'. Within, the colours are stark — black and white interrupted by piercing orange. The menu, like most all-day dining, is a bit of everything, but definitely with some welcome surprises.

The Leela Palace, touted as the most expensive hotel built in the country, sure lives up to the luxury it wants to associate with. Your eyes may linger a little longer at their signature wood-fired pizza with Canadian lobster, thyme- scented mascarpone and finished with 28 gms of Iranian beluga caviar and frozen blue goose vodka chaser, priced tantalisingly at Rs.9999.

Once you muster enough courage to move beyond this “signature,” one discovers The Qube and its Executive Chef Glenn Eastman have put in some innovative creations here. From his mother's recipe to a handful of Mexican dishes bear his stamp.

I begin with Maryland crab cakes, said to be the chef's mother's recipe. The cakes are a fine example in balance. There is no overt attention to spices, a few flakes of red chillies and whole pepper occasionally to liven up the wholesome minced crab meat. Served with chipotle aioli, the crab cakes thrive in its minimum interference ambience.

Mushroom quesadillas too speak of fine assessment of proportion. Right from the melted Jack cheese to the button mushrooms within the folds, know their place. The tortillas are done right and the tomato salsa and avocado guacamole are fresh with their respective flavours given due respect.

Goat cheese and arugula salad is full of spite and spike. With oranges, maple dressing and the rudimentary olive oil, there are a whole lot of sharp flavours at play here.

For the main course, on offer is Mexican Sarrandeado chilli glazed red snapper with Mexican red rice and stewed zucchini. The red snapper unabashedly enjoys the limelight, is all vigour and flesh and hints of smoke. With the red rice and zucchini it makes a whole.

The chef gives a sample of his Oriental kitchen with steamed rice, the vintage Thai green curry and sweet and sour prawns. The gaeng koew wan, the green curry with vegetables, speak of skill. The flavours are all under control, there is no lemon grass out of leash here, but vegetables bathing in silken gravy. Sweet and sour tiger prawns though would do with some amount of reining in. The overt sweetness of the gravy somehow comes in the way. The Qube speciality dessert of araguani chocolate and gianduja is for the connoisseurs — subtle. Their pistachio parfait with raspberries and green apple sorbet is for those who love the understated.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 1:32:33 AM |

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