Leafy greens and healthy notes
There’s a lot that I could say about Le Meridien. It’s French and it is the great circle of the celestial sphere that passes through its poles and the observer’s zenith. But in Delhi, it’s an upscale hotel in the heart of the Capital. It’s located on a circle, true to its spherical meaning. It’s the hotel which had the first transparent lift in Delhi in its lobby. It’s a hotel where I used to go to get my hair cut long, long time back. So when leafy greens came up at Eau De Monsoon on a bright spring afternoon, it was something I had to experience.
Water flows on the main wall; the décor is all glass and light. There are private dining spaces with onyx dining table, chandeliers from Italy, cutlery from Japan and where you got to look and behave your best. It’s for those who want to have their formal cocktail dining. Actually, I think people would enjoy hosting their diamond and silver jubilee anniversaries here, or maybe celebrate family’s important occasions. What the hotel said was that these spaces were very popular for formal corporate parties.
The restaurant is four years old and has an extensive wine library. You get a taste of the best wines from across the world. What we had was the Shiraz from Australia—fresh and red. What’s different about this place—it educates you about wine pairing. It offers a palate cleanser after every course. So we got a mango sorbet, which was not like crazy sweet, after starters. There is also a palate cleanser after the entire meal. Cheese is a must with wine. Even if you don’t have food and just order some wine, you still get your cleansers and cheese!
Another interesting fact about Le Meridien is that people who work here don’t like to leave it. The man behind the food, Chef Davinder Kumar, has been around for more than two decades and has even authored two books with recipes on salads and soups. I was gifted one on soups from which I shall try a recipe very soon. For the Chef, food is an art.
Now to what we ate—the focus was on ingredients, so the leafy greens obviously were loaded with healthy nutrients, well cooked, well blended and well served with a smile. There were a lot of interesting dishes such as Crispy Spinach Chaat (Rs 995), Red Saag (Rs 1,125), Fenugreek Flavoured Creamy Chicken (Rs 1,295), Trio of Greens Porial Stir Fried in South Indian Style (Rs 1,125). What I liked best were the fish preparations. Fish in banana leaf is a traditional Paris preparation with spicy green marinade (Rs 1,275). This was light and easy to digest and tasted really good with the Shiraz. The Red Saag was another not-to-miss dish cooked as it in the eastern parts of the country (this was news to us from the North of India as saag is always associated with Punjab). We had a choice of breads—garlic naan and chilli parathas. Something you must try, for the jelly that comes along with it, is the Basil and Cilantro Chicken Tikka (Rs 1,125). This came with a khasta roti and cucumber-raita jelly along with micro greens. This is an unusual pairing but goes very well on the palate. The Crispy Spinach Chaat is easy to eat with a fork and knife, so anyone from abroad would also like to have it.
The Chef enlightened us that it takes three to four months of trials before the new dishes are introduced. Actually, Eau de Monsoon is a something to experience at night, as the lights are an interesting feature, the walls inside have gold leaves and there is a glass wall with a view of the tall trees around the circle.
And you have a choice of some delectable sweets to end your meal with–Chandan Ice Cream, Berry Compote, Gulab Jamun Malai Cheese Cake, Chocolate Pave, Kulfi, Pistachio Snow or Red Fruit Compote. My vote goes for Chandan Ice Cream and Red Fruit Compote.