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Par excellence

It may test your patience to get a reservation, but the experience leaves you with a great taste.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2010 02:32 IST
Jimmy chew

On Saturday evening, when I tried calling the ITC Maurya to make a reservation for Sunday brunch at My Humble House, I almost changed my mind about eating there. The hotel’s telephone operator was kind enough and transferred me quickly to the restaurant, but there the phone just kept ringing and no one picked it up. I disconnected and called the operator again. The experience was repeated. I took a third try, this time asking the operator to connect me only if someone picked upat the rooftop restaurant.

It worked and I got my reservation.I was glad we went for brunch to this award-winning contemporary Chinese cuisine restaurant. My Humble House has a minimalist décor. The tables and chairs in the main dining area are not gaudy or ornate as they tend to be in Chinese restaurants, and there are a few private dining bays next to the windows. We opted for one of those and the aerial view of Delhi’s green ridge area turned out to be a good complement to the food.

My Humble House has a fixed brunch menu. It starts with an amuse bouche — a cube of silken tofu with red and green dabs of sauce, the red a wake-up-right-now kind of spicy! The brunch (at Rs 2,500 a head) comes with unlimited beverages —you can have beer, wine or even champagne. They were serving an Aussie Shiraz Cabernet, Penfolds Koonunga Hill, the day we went and its fresh and vibrant flavour appeared to go well with the food.

The waitstaff was generous with the refills (in any case, the wine glasses are huge balloons at My Humble House) and gracious with their service.

The first course was a trio — a lightly flavoured scallop, a crispy noodle-encased chicken ball and a delicious wasabi-enhanced prawn. I’d give it full marks for everything — taste, garnishing and presentation.

Next up was a chicken dumpling soup, the dumplings bite-sized and tasty and the clear soup made from a stock that oozed flavours of pork ribs, soya sauce and rice wine. Nice. The third course was fish. Cooked in a fragrant sauce, it was a fillet of cod, crisp on the outside and soft and flaky inside, and it came with a helping of green sweet-peas in their pods. Excellent.

Now, we were nearing the end of the meal and the fourth offering was Udon noodles parceled in thin egg-wrap and spicy chicken cooked with ginger and pineapple. I’m not a big pineapple-in-your-food person (unless its dessert we’re talking about), but I was pleasantly surprised to see how the discreet bits of the fruit subtly counterbalanced the red chilli in the sauce.

For dessert, we got something called the Noon Glow Chocolate Melt, rich but not over-sweet, and then the brunch wound down to an end. As you have likely guessed by now, a great meal was had at My Humble House and I don’t really have anything bad to say about the experience.

Oh, no, wait, I do, really. Why on earth do all their dishes have those tiring poetic names?

Vital stats

Address: My Humble House, ITC Maurya, Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi-110021
Tel: 26112233
Brunch for two: Rs 5,300 (including taxes)