Flavours from the Southeast
Move over Punjabi-Chinese; it's time for Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian and Vietnamese. If the past months are an indication, the Capital's hitherto staid taste buds have finally embraced adventure, and South-east Asian cuisine seems to be the flavour of choice.
"Delhiites are experimenting more now," says Sudha Kukreja, partner, Blanco. Her restaurant recently concluded a month-long Vietnamese food festival, Hanoi O Ho!, the response to which was "better than expected". "People tried a lot of dishes that we thought were too hardcore and authentic to be put in the menu," says Kukreja. Blanco now plans to hold a Singaporean festival towards the end of July .
Thai food, especially spicy red curries, seems to be especially popular with the city's crowds. As Vivek Bhatt, executive sous chef, Shangri-La, says, "Its basic flavours are similar to Indian food, hence Indians can relate to this kind of cuisine."
Travel, greater disposable incomes and a shift towards healthy eating are some reasons industry insiders cite for this growing partiality towards the flavours of the east. And with a slew of Pan-Asian restaurants, menus or festivals being introduced to the city in recent months, the trend certainly seems here to stay .
Is there any one thing that will stand out more than others? According to Bhatt, Vietnamese cuisine will "definitely make a big indent." Here's to some exciting new flavours!