Chef Hemant Oberoi of Taj Group of Hotels helmed the conceptualisation of the fine dining restaurant ‘Varq’ at Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, a few years ago. At that time, it was one of the first restaurants to have a menu that focuses on modern Indian food – keeping the authenticity intact, yet giving it a contemporary touch – a concept that was already in vogue at Michelin Star restaurants in the US and Europe.
As a part of Taj hotels’ initiative ‘Culinary Trails by Taj’ that brings dining experiences of iconic restaurants to various cities, Guest Chef Rakesh Singh from Varq restaurant has come to the city for a four-day food promotion.
With starters like Ambedi Fish Tikka marinated in raw mango, Ganderi Kebab that are minced chicken on sugarcane sticks dipped in amchur chutney, the vegetarian version using minced vegetables rolled over sugarcane stick and flavoured with sorrel and the Corn ke Kebab – American sweet corn interestingly, stuffed with garlic and mint flavoured mash, the visual treat begins.
Tangy, chat pataa chaat masala, fiery achari chillies, Indian spices, traditional marinates – the menu has the flavours of India in all its variants - Kale Channe ki Cappuccino, a soup made out of mashed black peas with spices served with foam cappuccino style; Greenchilli Tulsi Pinenut Fish, the pan seared bassa marinated in the greenchilli and tulsi paste (pesto style) and served over the Allepey style coconut curry and the vegetarian option that has stuffed peppers served in a filo mesh over the same coconut milk based curry that tastes wonderful with rice; the signature dish Martabaan Ka Meat cooked in spices used to make achaar in a martabaan making it soft and succulent, deliciously so; Murgh Sirka Pyaaz served in a ring of flaky filo pastry – giving a crunch to the already flavourful chicken dish – the menu is in short, India rediscovered.
A few Varq touches are added to the meal like the Mango sorbet served over a bowl filled with nitrogen gas and the signature rose flavoured herbal tea served towards the end of the meal to enhance the experience.
Be it the Camembert cheese and Truffle naan or Jalapeno paratha, Apple Kheer or Crispy Kalakhand, Sous Chef Rakesh and his team entice the guests with delicious food and exquisite presentation – “Soon we will be going in for a menu makeover at the restaurant giving new options every month,” they promise to whoever wishes to visit the legendary restaurant in New Delhi. The specially curated Varq menu will be available at Taj Krishna till August 20 for lunch and dinner.