From Japanese, Lebanese, Thai, Burmese, Oriental, Italian to Brazilian, Gurgaon is fast becoming the capital of global cuisine.
Residents are enthusiastic about experimenting with their taste buds. "Gurgaon is always hungry for more options. Anything that is new and different will do well here," says food critic Aalok Wadhwa.
"Gurgaon has a mixed crowd, including expats and well-travelled business people. They have a changing palette and want to try different things," says Radhika Singh, marketing manager at Crowne Plaza Today.
This Gurgaon hotel runs Wildfire, which serves Brazilian cuisine, perhaps the only of its kind in India. The restaurant is popular with meat-lovers.
"I love the wide variety of meat available here, especially beef, which is so hard to get in most parts of India. The chefs grill the meat and carve it at your table as per your requirement and taste," says Paul Moulinier, a pilot from Venezuela. To cater to the growing awareness about different cuisines, most restaurants have flown in chefs from the native place of the particular cuisine to retain authenticity.
"The taste for international cuisine is acquired while travelling. It is also about exposure to different cultures," says actor Gauhar Khan. She likes Asia 7 restaurant in Ambience Mall.
"I love the chicken khousey they serve. It retains the taste of coconut the way it's supposed to be," she says.
Korean restaurant 'Gung' in Sector 29 is also finding many takers. "Their kimchi tofu casserole is authentic, while the pork galbi (marinated pork) just melts in your mouth," says Pawas Soni, who writes a blog 'Food Freak' on restaurants in Gurgaon.
"There is also a great demand for Japanese food since many Japanese companies are based here," says Prashant Mehta, assistant food and beverage manager at The Leela. "At our international cuisine restaurant Spectra, the most popular cuisines are Italian and Japanese," he adds.
Human resources professional Amit Bedi likes to take his international guests to Sakura for authentic Japanese food. "They serve the best sushi," he says.
As people travel and expand their horizons, their knowledge of Lebanese and Italian cuisines is also moving beyond the pizza and pita. "Lebanese cuisine is popular among the clued-in crowd of Gurgaon because of its taste and health quotient," says Daman Sodhi, who owns Oz restaurant in MGF Plaza. "Most Lebanese food is grilled in olive oil with special herbs for flavour. It is light, fulfilling and has a great taste," says Ankita Chowdhary, a regular visitor at Oz.
Nicholas Francis likes to visit '56 Italian Restaurant' in sector 53 for its Carpaccio di Manzo (thinly sliced beef in a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice). Spaghetti Kitchen, another Italian restaurant, recently opened its doors in Gurgaon.
"Many people from Gurgaon came to our Saket restaurant for dinner, so we decided to open an outlet in Gurgaon too," says Arun Chopra, head operations, Blue Foods.