The buzz around Kheer, the new Indian restaurant at the Roseate House, has been on slow burn for a while now: we’ve been hearing about the restaurant for months and chasing down a table for the last few weeks, when it opened only on special request of guests staying at the hotel.
Still, when we walk in during the first week of its full-fledged debut, just one other table in the sprawling restaurant is occupied, by a mysterious gentleman and his lonesome glass of Scotch. He sits under a wide square of dark pink fabric encased in glass, lit by a battery of jharoka lamps. Ankur Bhatia, owner of the Roseate chain, was inspired by the décor of Japanese restaurants Zuma, and designer Nariyoshi Muramatsu’s aesthetic is unmistakeable at Kheer. Here, upholstery is a patchwork of indigenous fabrics, sorted into light green or dark pink. There is ambient light below each table, which is rimmed with intricate wood carving that echoes on thick pillars and the entire ceiling. Copper glasses and earthenware gleam on various surfaces, including a chaat bar, a wet bar, and a fourteen-seater table complete with bells hanging from the ceiling. It’s all very regal, veering deliciously close to a-bit-too-much.
The service is exquisite, beginning with a cup of hot water for our sniffling friend, which is discreetly filled throughout our meal. Just like at Zuma in London and Dubai, our host informs us, the servers will step back after delivering dishes to the table. Whoever is hosting the dinner on the table is supposed to serve the others, a nugget of information that has us immediately worrying about our inherent clumsiness and thankful we're not drinking tonight.
We start with highly recommended and excellent pather ke kebab – tissue-thin slices of lamb cooked on Himalayan stone with spring onion chutney; this primes our palates for Murg Kolhapuri, run-of-the-mill chicken curry that’s not nearly as exotic as we were promised it would be.
Try instead paneer in pumpkin and tomato curry, spooned over outrageously indulgent Kashmiri pulao, studded with raisins, cashew, pomegranate and pineapple, glinting with a polish of ghee. This is a dish fit for kings.
There is only one way to end our meal, with a kheer tasting platter (intriguing desserts such as zucchini pudding and betel-flavoured rasgulla are sadly not available). We comfort ourselves with a trio of bottle gourd, tapioca and jaggery rice puddings that offer perfectly balanced, escalating levels of sweetness. We would drive all the way to Aerocity for this, we realize, and maybe a serving of lamb kebab. Together, they are the perfect balm to Sunday evening blues.
Getting there: Roseate House, Asset 10, Aerocity, call 71558832, Rs 5,500 for a meal for two.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This story was contributed by Urvashi Bahuguna, a writer based in New Delhi.
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