Thursday, 15 December 2016 18:00

Try the Winter Menu at the Spice Route, Imperial Hotel

There was a bit of darkness around us, but the pillars with beautiful murals were highlighted by discreet lights. We were sitting at the Spice Route restaurant at the Imperial Hotel that takes you to a different world of ancient charm filled with hand painted murals, beautiful gods and goddesses painted on thick pillars around the restaurant. The restaurant is almost two decades old and was designed by Rajeev Sethi, a celebrated Indian designer, noted for his love for preserving the rich cultural heritage. By sheer luck and on this very day the designer of the restaurant Rajeev Sethi is sitting just a table away with a guest enjoying lunch.

There are some things in life that must stay the way it is, the Spice Route restaurant at the Imperial is one of them. It is an architectural stunner that offers a unique dining experience in a distinctively beautiful setting. The Restaurant, that took seven years in the making, is completely hand painted with vegetable and flower dyes by mural painters brought in especially from a temple in Guruvayur in Kerala with a tradition dating back to 3000 years.

We are seated at the sanctum sanctorum of the restaurant which is fairly well lit up, it gives us the best views of the four corners of the restaurant that is a must visit if you are a fine dining connoisseur. I am seated next to Chef Veena Arora who has been with Spice Route since its inception. Soft spoken and humble she declared the winter menu open while taking us through the winter menu that she innovates every season making her own set of additions and deletions.

I opted for the vegetarian rasam that had just the right amount of tanginess and warmed you up with its variety of whole Indian spices. The table by then of course had been filled up with Meen (sea food) rasam, Rendang Udang - a Malay styled prawn curry with roasted coconut, lemongrass and coconut milk. This was served with Khao Phad Thalay - stir fired rice with seafood and flavoured with Sri-racha sauce. Although it's not on the menu, if you are a vegetarian the tofu and bean curd here is a must try which is what I did exactly. 

Among the winter menu Chef Veena this time has included the Kung Hom Pha-prawns flavoured with lemongrass and white pepper wrapped with por-pia skin and crisp friend which is just one of the appetizers. The main course includes Kadugu Meen Masala or the fish stir fried in mustard paste, bishhop's weed and garnised with cilantro leaves. You can also opt for Kung Nang Phad Saparos or the wok friend lobster with cubes of pineapple flavoured with oyster sauce.

Chef Veena Arora

The much talked about Chicken 65 gets a twist here Year Arvat Anjj with prawns and Kerala spice. There are really a good mix of dishes from Thaliand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Kerala according to your taste in the menu to spice up your taste for the winter. Finish off your delicious meal with green tea, coconut or the cinnamon flavoured ice cream.

Arati Thapa

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