I hadn’t visited Delhi’s Radisson Hotel in years so the sense of déjà vu that I got when we walked into its six-month-old restaurant, The Med, was unexpected. Wasn’t this the old restaurant where we used to come for Sunday brunch many years ago? The two-level layout, the blue and yellow galleries, an exhibition kitchen, the wood-fired oven and the super-sized bar… hadn’t we been here before?
Fact is, we had. Only, The Med was then an Italian restaurant where I’d often get hopelessly high on unlimited champagne during Sunday afternoons. I vaguely remember the pastas and pizzas, too, but it was the champagne guzzling that stands out through the blur of years. Pizzas and pastas are still on the menu at the rechristened restaurant but the cuisine has widened to go beyond Italian and include a wider swathe of the Mediterranean. They don’t seem to do brunches on Sunday any more, either.
The wine list is exhaustive, though, and tempting. We ordered a half bottle of Riscal Tempranillo (Rs 1,500), a Spanish red that was full-bodied and had notes of berries, and sat back to pore over the menu. For starters, we ordered the Morel Souvlaki (morels stuffed with goat-cheese; Rs 750) and the Tenderloin Carpaccio (Rs 695). The morels were tasty and flavourful, the goat cheese adding a bit of zing to the experience but the tenderloin carpaccio just didn’t do it for me — it smelt a bit strange and was a trifle chewy.
We were three diners, so three main courses were ordered. I went for the Grilled Lamb Chops with Parmesan Crust (Rs 1,800), which came with the parmesan all melted on top instead of a crust but was, well, alright. Across the table, the Porchetta Romana (pork shoulder roast; Rs 795) was flavoured with a sauce that seemed to have wine, fennel, rosemary and a hint of star anise, all working together in perfect harmony with the roast pork slices. My third companion ordered the fish of the day, which happened to be a Grilled Albino Salmon filet (Rs 1,000), splattered with good balsamic vinegar and sitting atop some crisp veggies. I stole a forkful to discover that rosemary (doesn’t really go with fish, does it?) was an ingredient in it, too. Perhaps thyme would have been a more appropriate herb for the fish.
The wine, meanwhile, was doing alright and a half bottle — what a brilliant idea — was perfect for the two of us who drank it. For dessert, we shared a Melting Chocolate Surprise (Rs 400), with warm chocolate oozing out of a crusted cup — neither sickly sweet nor too bitter. Two espressos (Rs 145 each) brought things to a satisfactory closure and we left The Med, our pockets far lighter but our bellies content.