Food is pretty (and delicious) at Niche in Connaught Place, New Delhi
Can you imagine a concoction of our humble Parle-G and vodka? I could not have too but for that one particularly interesting Sunday afternoon when I was introduced to Hokkaido.
There I was staring at an edible cocktail of dill, Parle-G biscuit crumbs, honeycomb powder, vanilla infused vodka panna cotta and citrus sea salt. And such a show—the cocktail was served on a real scallop shell.
Niche, in Connaught Place, New Delhi, makes a brave attempt to live up to its name.
While talking to General Manager Matthew Radalj, I glanced over the interior. The sitting area, right in front of a live stage, was open and bright, thanks to the huge glass ceiling. They take sky-light pretty seriously!
So I started my tasting session with soups of the day—the first, cold French onion soup. The crispy onion rings gave a lovely texture to the gruyere cheese laden soup. Second, smoked salmon on a bed of Nicoise salad with gazpacho. Third, New Age Caesar salad—fried grapes, deconstructed eggs cooked at 64 degrees Celsius with a layer of parmesan chips and parmesan snow.
Sounds like some science lab scene, but the restaurant likes to say that they are not into the at-present popular tradition of molecular gastronomy. Well, ok then! All I know and cared for was that whatever they were aiming to do, it tasted good.
Onion rings, Nicoise and Caesar salads with fried grapes—as soups? You have to taste it to believe it. The perfect balance of textures, taste, looks, ingredients, everything made the soup session pretty interesting.
Who knew that the humble jackfruit would have such a tangy avatar in a hard-shell tacos served with salsa and kasundi sour cream? That’s Pulled Katahal tacos for you.
The folks at Niche take presentation very seriously, take the Polenta or the cornmeal for instance. When introduced with lightly cooked baby carrots, asparagus, seasonal mushrooms and a shower of parmesan, the humble polenta is pretty as a picture.
While the first of the main course items—cardamom butter and mace (from nutmeg) flavoured chicken breast, cooked at the specific temperature of 62 degrees Celsius—was delicious, I found the next item, Hari Saag—fried yogurt ball, a side of corn bread and jiggery chips—was an acquired taste. The smoked mushroom risotto, laden with assorted mushrooms, mushroom sheet and chive oil looked promising but it tasted slightly undercooked to me. The disappointment faded away when the very desi Rogan Josh came to the table along with a side of seasonal vegetables.
The long and heavy session with the food had to be balanced with a few drinks in between. The African Daisy, a cocktail came with a cute refill bottle; Green Machine—a healthy juice of cucumber, celery, ginger and lime—perfect for the health conscious—I realized was not one for me. And the last but the best; Threesome—a cool drink of orange, strawberry and watermelon—would have remained untasted if the name had not aroused my curiosity.
Where: M-16, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs 1400 approx
Timings: 11am to 1am
Contact: 011 33105917