Crystals action heats up
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Crystals action heats up

Foodies have started voting for their favourites.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2010 00:37 IST
Hindustan Times

It’s only been one week and the votes are pouring in. Delhi foodies are casting their ballot for their favourite eating spots and watering holes, to ensure they win in the second annual edition of the city’s most thrilling culinary awards — the HT City Crystals People’s Choice Awards 2010.

200 restaurants are pitted against each other in 21 cuisine categories, while 27 nightspots are vying for Best Bar award. The nominees have been picked by HT City and will feature in our 2010 Eating Out and Night Out Guides as the City’s Top Tables. The guides will be launched later this month.

The web, too, is abuzz with the excitement, with foodies from across the Capital logging in to Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Owners of nominated restaurants are also raking in support from patrons through emails and SMSes.

This is your chance to become a food critic! Each week, over the next four weeks, we will feature the nominees, along with our reviews. You can tell us your favourite in each category through three simple ways — by SMS, by logging on to our website, or by filling out a form and depositing it in a box at the nominated restaurants. Voting stops at midnight on October 10 and winners will be declared in a sparkling awards ceremony in mid-October.

The excitement is palpable. It has been one week since voting for Delhi’s most exciting culinary awards — the HT City Crystals People’s Choice Awards 2010 — began, and the votes are pouring in. Delhiites have taken on the role of food critics in order to pick their favourite restaurants and bars as the best among the best in the capital.

200 restaurants and 27 bars nominated by HT City are vying for the crown of Best Restaurant in 21 cuisine categories. The nominees have been selected by the HT City team, headed by our food critic Jimmy Chew. They have been declared ‘Top Tables’ in the 2010 HT City Eating Out and Night Out Guides, that will hit bookshops later this month.

Those whose restaurants and bars have been nominated are excited. Shiv Karan Singh, co-owner of Smoke House Grill, Smoke House Delhi and Mocha says he is “very honoured” about being nominated for the “prestigious awards”.

Prashant Ojha of Urban Cafe says the nomination has given him a “big sense of achievement.” “It gives you the confidence that you are moving in the right direction,” he says.

While Saurabh Khanijo, owner of Poison Ivy, Kylin and Sartoria says winning and losing are “part of the game”, he adds that he is “bullish” about Kylin in Best Pan Asian category.

“It’s great that people are being given a chance to vote,” says Atul Binny Kapur of Q’ba and Spice Restaurant and Bar. “We are asking our patrons to vote for us.”

Here’s how you can cast your vote for your favourite restaurants. Each week over the next four weeks, we will carry a complete list of the 200 Top Table nominees and 27 Top Bars, along with their respective voting codes for your SMS votes. Each week, we will feature a few of the categories, along with our review for each nominee.

The categories featured each week will be highlighted in the panel of 200 nominees which you will find in the special Crystals pages.

You can vote in three simple ways — by SMS, by logging on to our website, or by filling out a form and depositing it in a box at the nominated restaurant. Refer to the boxes to the right for details. Please note that voting will stop at midnight on October 10.

It’s time to vote for your favourite food and drink destinations...

Crystals awards 2010 nominees

Best Pan Indian

Indian Accent
Indian Accent at The Manor is a path-breaking restaurant, not only because Chef Manish Mehrotra has given Indian food an international twist, but also because he has created a menu that offers a taste of Indian food fifty years from now. Once here, we suggest you simply close your eyes and order the tasting menu in order to sample a whole spectrum of fare on offer.
Where: The Manor, 77, Friends Colony (West), New Delhi; 26925151 ;
Pan Indian
Timings: 12 pm to 3 pm & 7 pm to 12 am
Cost: R 2500

Modern Indian cuisine could find no more sumptuous a setting or be presented more beautifully than how it is at chef Hemant Oberoi’s crowning achievement, Varq. The interiors reflect the USP of the menu here — contemporary Indian. The dining experience gets a unique touch thanks to an extensive menu of teas that are paired perfectly with various dishes.
Where: The Taj Mahal Hotel, 1, Mansingh Road, New Delhi; 23026162;
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Timings: 12.30 pm - 2.45 pm & 7.30 pm - 11.45 pm
Cost: R 3500:

There’s no denying that the food at Fire will rank as some of the best you will have in Delhi. What also gets our thumbs-up is that the menu undergoes a seasonal change. For the main course, Tenderloin Sukha Fry, Nadru Kofta and Gucchi ka Salan are excellent options. Round up your meal with some Manipuri Black Rice Pudding or the Rose Petal and Cardamom Brûlée. Service is warm and efficient.
Where: The Park, 15, Parliament Street, Connaught Place, New Delhi ; 23743000;
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Timings: 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm
Cost: R 2500

Monsoon has mastered the art of blending traditional Indian cuisine with the avant garde. This contemporary Indian restaurant boasts plush interiors, including a great wine library and two private dining spaces. Try Chicken Tikka on Poori Bread with Pineapple Curd and Jelly on the side, Millefeuille of Sole with Mint Chutney and Tamarind Glaze, and the unique Coconut Bavarois with Soan Papri Crush.
Where: Le Meridien, 8, Windsor Palace, New Delhi; 2371 0101;
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Timings: 12 pm - 3 pm & 7.30 pm - 1 am
Cost: R 3000

Marut Sikka’s new restaurant, whose Persian name translates into ‘emperor’s private dining chamber’, scores high on food, service and ambience. The menu is divided into two sections — India Over the Ages, that offers traditional fare, and the creative India 21st Century. We suggest you go for the Bespoke Thali to sample a broad selection of dishes. And do try the Paan Mojito.
Where: 122-124, DLF Promenade mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi; 9560715533
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Timings: 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm & 7.30 pm to 12.30 am
Cost: R 3000

Made In India
Made in India continues to stand out amidst the host of high-end restaurants mushrooming on the other side of the Yamuna. Here, you’ll find traditional Indian dishes — including even rare and almost forgotten recipes such as Dorra Kebabs — alongside a range of nouveau creations. A vibrant live kitchen and a polite service staff make the dining experience unique.
Where: Radisson MBD hotel, L-2, Sector 18, Noida; 0120-4300000;
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Timings: 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm & 7.30 pm to 12 am
Cost: R 2500 Facilities:

Done up in conspicuous tones of red and gold, Saffron is a place where Gurgaon’s swish set and corporate honchos congregate for a true-blue Indian meal. The plush ambience is equally suited for a romantic evening. The menu features specialties of two regions every month, which is a great touch. Among the dishes, Tandoori Raan is the runaway favourite, followed by Mutton Biryani. The wine list is quite extensive.
Where: Trident Gurgaon, 443, Udyog Vihar- V, Gurgaon; 0124-2450505;
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Timings: 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm & 7.30 pm to 11 pm
Cost: R 3000

Daniell’s Tavern
The restaurant serves dishes inspired by the diary of two British landscape artists, Thomas and William Daniell, who arrived in India in 1786 and made a note of every dish they tasted from all the regions they visited. The ambience is that of an English tavern with chairs and plush sofas, giving it an old-since-forever feel. Murgh Tikka Butter Masala, Jheenga Lahsuni and Bhindi Masale Wali are among the popular dishes here.
Where: The Imperial, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi; 23341234;
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Timings: 7 pm to 11.45 pm
Cost: R 2500

First Published: Sep 17, 2010 17:46 IST