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Evolution is a continuous process. it starts with the marriage of different traditions. One such marriage has been happening very quietly at a quaint little fine dining restaurant in Friends Colony. For quite a few years, chef Manish Mehrotra has been cooking up quite a storm there.

The summer menu that he has crafted catches flashes of his brilliance. Mehrotra marries unfamiliar flavours with familiar ingredients, retaining some of the old favourites and adding some new ones which would probably be added to the favourites’ list.

Don’t be fooled by the name Indian Accent if you are planning to head here for a leisurely meal. And don’t expect
dhaba
style Indian food here either. Everything about Indian Accent has just that — a whiff of Indian-ness that you sort of catch once in a while.

The décor is very European, with occasional Indian touches like brass lamps. Ditto about the food. It titillates you and flirts with your taste-buds and senses. It is a happy montage of smells and tastes and memories picked up from street corner stores and the flashy finesse of Europe.

The chef ’s tasting menu ensures that you get the right pairing of wine with your food. The menu is extensive, and lavish. We started with an intoxicating mushroom shorba
before moving on to headier pastures like potato sphere chaat with ragda that almost reminds you of Mumbai’s chaatwallahs till the sparkling wine arrives. Before you settle down, you are served green mango and papaya salad with mango murabba, cranberry, salted pistachios and chicken. Who would have thought murabba tastes so good with chicken? It’s sweet but not sweet enough to mar your taste-buds.

The dry Riesling paired well with soft shell crabs with sprinklings of coconut that we had with — hold your breath — a delicious tomato pickle cream. There’s an unusual combo if there ever was one. The starters were light and non-oily with heady flavours. Mehrotra has taken care to not keep too much seafood in the menu. ‘A lot of people don’t eat seafood in the summers,’ he says. Another interesting bit about the menu is that though there are a lot of vegetarian options, there isn’t a barrage of
paneer
. So if you are vegetarian but still hate paneer, there is hope in the world.

The khandvi ravioli (yes, you read that right) cannot be missed for anything in the world. It’s soft, cheesy (with a generous stuffing of goat cheese) and is sans onion and garlic. The taste lingers in your mouth even after you have savoured every morsel.

Once you are done with the main course, kulfis in various flavours are served as palette cleanser.

Other must-haves in the menu are the various stuffed kulchas. I relished the wild mushroom, duck and applewood smoked bacon kulchas. Pair them with meethe achari Canadian spare ribs with sun dried mango and a Sangre de torro. It is soft and sweet. And completely different from it is the rolled John Dory moilee with idiyappam stacks.

Deserts take you down nostalgia lane — complete with phantom cigarettes, ram laddoos and aam papad served on a charpoy and a kulfi box with flavoured kulfis. Don’t leave without trying the aamras. It is that good.


DETAILS
At: Indian Accent, The Manor, 77 Friends Colony West
Timings: 12.30 pm to  3 pm (Lunch), 7.30 pm to 11 pm (Dinner)  
Phone: 4323 5151
Meal for two: Rs 4,000
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