Flavoursome, light and digestible, the food at Chutney, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa gets the taste buds tingling with some innovative kebabs and dum biryanis.

Best place for Indian cusine--Chutney platter with 12 fresh dips, which includes Sweet chilli, Tamarind, Pineapple, Beet root, Kiwi, Broccoli, Coconut, Pudina, Zucchini, Mustard, Tomato, Garlic, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, Delhi, India

Words & photographs: Ambica Gulati

The heart of Delhi is full of flavours. So our decision to lunch at Chutney, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa turns out to be an extremely flavourful affair. Specialising in Indian cuisine, the restaurant offers a delectable menu that is bound to woo the health conscious and global traveller. No curries with floating oil, no hard spicy bites and no breads dipped in butter.

Indian restaurants--Bar at Chutney, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, Delhi, India

With its old world sofa seating, the restaurant has a very pleasing and comfy feel. This reminds you of the time when not just families but communities ate together. With a bar that has a wide range of liquor, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. Kebabs being the favourites for most Indians, our meal begins with Karele ki Shaami (bitterguard patty) and Malai Santra kebab (cream orange patty). Breaking the myths about the bittery karela, this is simply delicious. And giving the melt-in-the-mouth malai kebabs a fruity twist is the santra aka reduced orange. “This is a favourite with guests,” says Rajesh Khanna, F&B head. “The focus is on giving a lighter twist to popular dishes for heavy meals are no longer the demand now.”

A must-eat is the Maahi Methi Dariya (Fish). The goodness of fenugreek and the smokey flavour of the tandoor–this king-sized fish tikka is a delight. The Chef’s special is Aatishi Jhinga which is a creation of barbequed jumbo king-sized prawns marinated in a rich creamy paste of spices and herbs. This is simply a pleasure to bite into. Of course, for chicken lovers there is Gazab ka Tikka, Irani Murg Tandoori and plenty more. Among the vegetarian starters—Tandoori Malai Broccoli and Bharwan Aloo Tilnaaz are good too.

Indian cuisine--Fish Tikka, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa , Delhi, India
Fish Tikka, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa , Delhi, India

Now, soup time—there are healthy ones on the menu such as quinoa and cauliflower chowder. But we decide on the favourite Tomato Pimento Shorba (tomato soup) and Murg Shorba Lasooni (chicken and garlic soup). When it comes to soups, I generally never go beyond the tomatoes and this is made of fresh ones! No shortcuts here.

For the mains, there’s bhindi (okra), mushroom and all things green. But the omnipresent paneer (cottage cheese) undergoes many transformations. We try the Chef’s special Shahi Paneer Firdoshi which is stuffed paneer roll cooked in buttery tomato gravy with cashew nuts. Among the prawns, there are options but I like the Gulnaar Jalpari. These are tiger prawns marinated in unique batter, then put on dum gravy.

Indian cuisine--Chicken Biryani, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa , Delhi, India
Dum Murg or chicken biryani cooked in flour mould

Take time to savour the biryani. We try both the Dum Murgh (chicken) and Vegetable Biryani. No handis for dum here—an edible cup-shaped flour covering is what gives these a unique flavour. Exotic spices, nuts, aromatic basmati rice, raita and salan—yummy.

There is a huge variety of breads, which makes it a difficult choice. But we try laccha paratha and naan. We end our meal with another Chef’s special–Rajgira ki Kheer made of amaranth seeds. Take your time and go through the menu slowly for you will find a lot that would please your palate and make it a sumptuous meal. After, all the heart likes nothing more than being pampered.

Indian cuisine--Amaranth kheer or quinoa pudding The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa , Delhi, India

While you are deciding, you can keep licking from the chutney platter which has 12 fresh dips. These include Sweet chilli, Tamarind, Pineapple, Beet root, Kiwi, Broccoli, Coconut, Pudina, Zucchini, Mustard, Tomato, Garlic—satiating enough to make it a fine Indian meal. (top picture)

Price: Rs 3,500 plus taxes (without alcohol, meal for two)

Address: Chutney, Bar + Tandoor, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, New Delhi

Chutney, Bar + Tandoor - The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato