It’s that time again where mangoes have started disappearing from your local fruit shops and supermarkets – the 3 sweetest months of the year have finally come to an end and we have to bid goodbye to the king of fruits. Mango was also termed as the fruit of the kings or food of the gods in ancient India, where the kingdoms used to pride themselves on the possession of large mango gardens!
However, in South East Asia, mangoes are probably the most popular fruits among the Thais. From the sweet bright yellow mangoes to viridescent green mangoes that find their way into many Thai dishes, both sweet and tangy!
I wanted to celebrate the mango season to it’s fullest and also have my last hurrah for the year so I indulged in the exquisite Summer Collection Menu at The Spice Route, The Imperial, New Delhi.
The restaurant does make you breathe a peaceful sigh when you walk into its restful and serene interior. Out of all the restaurants I have been to, I am yet to eat at one with such an elaborate design scheme as The Spice Route.
The decor made it feel as though I had left India and taken a trip to the Orient. The walls have elaborate paintings which narrate cultural stories of Asia.
Chef Veena Arora, Chef De Cuisine has designed a remarkable mango menu this year and she won me over by incorporating raw mangoes into her dishes. I was transported to a vibrant South East Asian setting, with a menu which had bags of character too!
Packed with amazing flavours and textures, Yum Mamuang Kung Krob made it’s appearance as the starter. It is a Thai Raw Mango Salad With Crispy Prawns. I was in awe with the bold flavour of the raw mango making it one of the best dishes on the menu.
The delicious and aromatic Amba Curry, is a Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry with Raw Mango and also happens to be the Chef’s Special!
Chef Veena has beautifully recreated flavours and aromas just like in kitchens across East Asia – she makes the sauces, stocks and spices at the restaurant every day from the freshest market produce.
Every dish possesses layers of sweet, tangy and salty flavours but at the same time being in a delightful symmetry.
Maambalam Katrikai is Curried Baby Eggplant and Water Chestnuts Flavoured with Raw Mango and Coconut Paste. I personally love roasted eggplant dishes and this version gave me a fresher perspective and also inspired me to cook it myself!
Chef Veena explained how she still goes back to her roots and incorporates classic and uncluttered cooking techniques which bring out the best smack in her dishes.
I picked up a few tips myself while talking to her – she shared how she boils the raw mangoes with the skin on for preparing Aam Panna in order to really preserve the taste and tang of the mango! It is always an honour to be able to discuss food philosophies with her and learn so many new concepts!
The traditional Ga Xao Hot Dieu is a Vietnamese Style Stir-fried Chicken with Fresh Mangoes & Cashew Nuts which brims with goodness!
One of the highlights of the menu was the rice which had been boiled together with diced mangoes. This not only added to the presentation but was one of the most ingenious elements I saw on the menu – I admired the clever simplicity!
The Spice Route has an elegance and refinement that is all its own. Reflecting the diverse cultural influences, Chef Veena brought together a wonderful cuisine.
The Summer Collection Menu ends on 31st July, 2017. Celebrate the Sunny Mango Eden before it ends!
Address: The Imperial
Janpath Lane, Connaught Place,
New Delhi, 110001
Restaurant reservations Number: 011-41116605
Photo Courtesy: Rahul Lal Photography for Appy Bistro
Post By: Sakshi Deswal / Appy Bistro