Monday, August 27, 2012

Tres -> Delhi's sparkling star

The mood

A much needed dinner outing had Skeety thinking and after closing in on a Chinese favourite Skeety dumped it for the Modern European food serving restaurant in town: Tres. And no cheesecakes for guessing Skeety came home happy after the dinner. It was an absolute impulsive, 'I must get out today' evening. Skeeter was not hungry. Okay not much. She called up for the directions, and was told the exact directions (it pays to have well-informed staff). Reached there without event on the broomstick.

The drinks

Our table set in for the evening with an Apple Rosemary julip (Rs 225) that had fresh apple chunks, a twig of fresh rosemary, zesty lemon topped up with lemonade. A rather refreshing take on a drink. As perfect as it could be. The second drink we ordered was the Tres Mary (Rs 225), which the menu says is a Classic Virgin Mary with house made tomato jalapeno relish. A lovely drink again, though I'd have liked the rim of my glass much better salted (It could just be a Skeeter thing). We also had a generous and very fresh bread basket accompanying the drinks.

The food

The menu lists these broad categories: Small plates, Sharing plates, Salads & Appetizers, Soups, Mains, Meats and desserts.
We chose to order Roasted goat cheese and beetroot, apple walnut dressing and olive bread (Rs 419) from Salads & Appetizers. What we got was a giant slab of goat cheese on the slightly toasted olive bread with a taste bud teaser, finger licking good, beetroot, apple walnut dressing on a bed of lettuce. A medley of flavours, each distinct and each binding all ingredients together for a unique flavour. This was a dish Skeeter will definitely go back and order again. We requested our attendant to leave the plate so that we could polish off the dressing to the last drop. Skeeter does believe in helping nice restaurants clean the plates you see.

Next, we opted for the vegetarian sharing plate, which is a trio of chef's selection served with dry salad, relish and crust bread (Rs 659). The chef can never be wrong. We trusted them blindly and got our share of a)Baked artichoke hearts b)Roasted summer peppers, aubergines and mushrooms and c)Deep fried corn tortellini with salsa verde for the sharing plate. The baked artichoke hearts stole Skeety's heart. Naughty them. The roasted peppers, aubergines, mushrooms had bulbs of garlic thrown in and a chunk of cheese for company which altogether made for a very, very warm and hearty plate. The tortellini were perfect but the salsa verde did not shine much. As much as Skeeter would have liked to order the Mains, she thought an almost full stomach would not be able to do justice to those plates of art. And then, Skeeter wanted to secretly make some room for dessert.

The list of desserts made us slightly dizzy (so many good options to choose from), so we went ahead with the chef Julia's recommendation of a "little different" Cajita (Cajeta) cake with seasonal fruit, a Tres speciality and trademark. An extraordinary end to a magnificent dinner.

The people and some titbits

Chef Jatin Mallick, Chef Julia and Fatima Lobo are the people behind the place. Tres means three in Spanish.
If you make a reservation and go you are likely to be better off as the place got almost full by 8:15ish.
They are open for dinner only and start early at 6pm.
The plating of each dish was outstanding and made each dish very, very visually appealing.

The not so good

Our tiny table could barely accommodate the beautiful big plates. 
The waiters were in a rush to take away our glass of unfinished beverage which we did not like. We had to stop them but our lovely bread basket was taken away. *Insert very sad smiley*

None of the above will deter us from going there again and again, and more. Will try to update this post as and when.

How to reach

Shop No. 17, Main Market, Lodhi Colony, Delhi, 110003
Opposite Vir Savarkar Park 
Ph:  011 24625520

Damages: Approx Rs 3,500 for two without alcohol.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Of red wine and Yeti spotting in Delhi

Before heading out to dinner the other day we decided to open a bottle of Fratelli's Sangiovese wine. Fratelli comes from Akluj in Solapur district of Maharashtra. Piero Masi, a master wine-maker from the Tuscany (Italy) has provided the wine-making expertise. He is renowned in the Chianti region where the famed Chianti wines are produced. So, with much excitement Skeeter opened the bottle. It comes with a regular screw cap and not the traditional cork and the labels look pretty. As far as the taste goes, it is an intense red wine with floral notes of cherries,
raspberries, and a hint of vanilla now and then. Skeeter enjoyed the wine with not cheese but the Indian mildly flavoured dahi kebabs and was pleasantly surprised with the lovely pairing. The
finish of this super Sangiovese was rather nice and long.

Encouraged by the fine wine we had the Fratelli Chardonnay a few days later. Skeeter is not a big fan of whites but enjoys them once in a while. The Fratelli Chardonnay notes that I made read something like this: Citrusy, with apple and and a hint of sweetness.
When Skeeter visits Maharashtra land again, she will hit the wine trail and Fratelli offers accommodation at the vineyards with tasting and much more. For details click HERE.

Yeti spotting in Delhi

Reeta Skeeter did spot Yeti but it was only a restaurant!

The Dinner at Yeti
We Delhiites are an impatient lot. We honk at red lights, hate standing in queues (love breaking them) and waiting is a word that has been long dropped from our dictionaries. As much as Skeety is head-over-heels in love with Dilli, she is aware of the city's bad habits that keep pulling the reputation to newer lows. The other day we wanted to have a nice but quick dinner and went to Yeti the Himalayan Kitchen in Hauz Khas. We had about 4 groups of diners (non-Indians of course) waiting patiently apart from us. They were sipping their Tuborg pints and seemed unusually calm, unlike us. Despite being in a huge hurry we decided to wait (something Skeety doesn't remember doing at a restaurant in many many years). Yeti does not take reservations on phone any more. Skeety guesses it is because of the large clientele this newbie restaurant has amassed in a very short span of time. The reason Skeety supposes is that the cuisine they serve is atypical to what is being served in restaurants across Delhi. They serve Himalayan cuisine (Tibetan, Nepalese etc). Though non-vegetarians enjoy the fare served here the most, vegetarians have a lot to gorge on too!
As we were escorted to our corner seats in this quaint restaurant, we decided to call for the platter. A platter, Skeety firmly believes, is a good way to try many dishes on the menu at a go and at a nice price. But the platter at Yeti was a meal in itself and gave us our money's worth. An amalgamation of unknown tastes in familiar foods. Potatoes, chana, and noodles are known to us all. All came on the platter with a twist and are listed on the menu as individual items (under snacks) as well. It consisted of the Alu Sadeko (Yeti's version of what North Indians call Zeera Aloo), the Bhuteko Chana(black chana tossed with spices), the Wai Wai Sadeko (uncooked Wai Wai noodles crumbled and assembled into a kind of bhel with chopped onions, green chillis etc) and the Tingmo (a Tibetan bread). The portions were generous. Skeeter has become a big fan of Tingmo nowadays. On another ocassion Skeeter ordered the Veg Wai Wai noodles. Yeti has explored the taste of Wai Wai beautifully. They came with a little gravy and mildly spiced with lots of greens and other veggies thrown in. Skeeter's NV friends are crazy about the pork chops Yeti serves as well as the Jadoh with Dohkhleh.
Your best bet!
Their momos are to die for! Once you have had their aloo momos, Skeeter can bet you will go there again and again for more. They are just perfect on the outside and melt as they enter the mouth. Skeeter often gets aloo momo cravings now and can be found at Yeti hogging on a plate of 8 big fat momos all by herself. Skeeter vouches for the consistency of aloo momos. She has ordered them EVERY time she's been to Yeti. Glutton!

When the owners Aradhun Pinky Passah and Tenzing Sonam say that at the time they set shop they did "not really" think that the place would be such a hit Skeeter believes them. They had a simple vision: a nice dining space for Nepali, Tibetan cuisine. "We did not want to head to 'Majnu ka tila' everytime we craved for cuisine of our homeland, we came up with Yeti," tells Pinky. Pinky recommends the veg thali, Nepali veg platter, Mushroom Dagchi, aloo and vegetable momos for the vegetarians.
They have done justice to their vision. They have opened a nice place for people to enjoy the Thukpa and momos. They also have the distinction of elevating Tibetan and Nepalese cuisine from being mere shack food to a nice dining option. They have also brought to diners some unknown flavours that could have otherwise remained hidden in the hills, unnoticed.

Pocket matters: Rs 800 for two