For a food connoisseur like me, a restaurant visit is no longer restricted to food only. I look for the complete experience - from ambiance to decor, from lighting to seating, from staff to service, from presentation to quality - everything has got to click! A foodie who spends a significant amount of time and money on great dining options doesn't want to settle for anything less.
Wifey also believes in being pampered. For a lot of folks like us, dining out is all about a great experience!
When it comes to upscale, fine-dining options in Delhi, most brands sell themselves in the name of global cuisine and internationalized interiors. Only a few manage to impress though!
This weekend I stumbled upon a Pan-Indian restaurant by the name of Veda, a decade old leader in fine-dining. Situated in one of the busiest corners of Delhi, this property literally took me by surprise.
A Property of Gateway Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
Owned by Mr. Alok Agarwal
H-27, Tropical Building, Connaught Circus, Connaught Place,
New Delhi - 110 001
To say that I had a fairytale like experience would not be an exaggeration. From the moment you enter Veda, it feels as if you're being transported to a royal court from a bygone era. The kinds you've seen in flicks like Mughal-e-Azam.
What makes this lounge unique, and in many ways exceptional, is the level of detailing that has gone into the making. Exquisitely ornate interiors bear resemblance to Arabian Nights.
Rich-red brick walls, carefully arranged backlit mirrors, dim lighting, and flickering shadows from low intensity chandeliers create an experience like no other.
Reminiscent of a forgotten era, Veda sizzles and shimmers in true beauty. Thanks to ace designer, Rohit Bal, Veda continues to impress with its opulent designs and magnificent interiors.
As I tried to pull myself together, I was warmly greeted by one of their staff who also escorted me to a reserved table. From pulling my chair to arranging the cutlery, this man continued to service for the entire duration of my stay there.
Later I was joined by Mr. Aman Sahani, who is the general manager - operations at Veda. Aman provided valuable insights on Veda's cuisine, which is a contemporary twist on classic Indian cooking. If you're a sucker for utterly authentic Mughlai and North Indian cuisine, Veda is the place you should be headed to.
This single, bite-sized hors d'oeuvre was not accompanied by a complementing wine, but still offered a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of Indian cuisine. A perfect mouth amuser, this dish in essence is "Pudine Mutter Ki Galouti" served with Philadelphia Cheese.
We all know that Asparagus is considered one of the world's healthiest foods and a delicacy since ancient times. In fact the fleshy green spears of asparagus are known to be both succulent and tender.
Asparagus Shorba is essentially a creamy soup made out of Asparagus. Smooth and delicious, this soup is served hot in a traditional handleless terracotta cup called Kulhar.
I instantly fell in love with the Chili Coriander Martini, a signature cocktail comprising vodka with basil, pepper, lemon juice, and pounded chilis. Left more than a tingle on my lips.
|Chili Coriander Martini|
Other personal favorite was the Apple and Cinnamon Mojito. Made of apple chunks, lime, fresh mint, and cinnamon simple syrup, the Apple and Cinnamon Mojito recreated the spirit of summer through the spices of fall.
|Apple and Cinnamon Mojito|
Wifey couldn't stop raving about Californian Chi-Chi, which is essentially a Lychee drink with peach and apricot syrup. The slush is made of cranberry. Add vodka and you have a near perfect cocktail at hand.
Starters - Vegetarian
Taking the concept of Molecular Gastronomy a tad higher, Veda introduces a sumptuous Nitrogen Palak Patta Chat. Imagine savoring Nitrogen treated spinach and curd, frozen at minus 160 degrees.
|Nitrogen Palak Patta Chat|
Here's a video snippet that shows perfectly how it is made.
Dahi Ke Kebab
Made of Greek yogurt (hung curd) and dry fruits, these mouth-watering kebabs had a soft texture and were quite easy on the palate. Perfectly cooked and balanced in taste, Dahi Ke Kebab must be consumed with green mint chutney only. One bite and you'll be craving for more.
|Dahi Ke Kebab|
This one was not perfectly cooked yet managed to score brownie points for its heavy malai dressing.
Paneer on Fire
Served in a black circular deep cooking-pot called kadhai, this dish comprises cottage cheese, bell peppers, and onions. The unique thing about this dish is the flavor of ketchup, which I couldn't stop admiring.
|Paneer on Fire|
Starters - Non-vegetarian
There are a plenty of options to drool over if you're a non-vegetarian.
Murg Malai Tikka Fondue
Served in a traditional Copper Table Service Tandoor, this dish comprises soft, well cooked chicken tikkas. Lending a fusion flavor is the rich, creamy molten cheese fondue.
|Murg Malai Tikka Fondue|
Lamb Seekh Kebab
This flavorsome Indian lamb mince kebab is soft, seasoned, and authentic. Served with green coriander chutney, this highly recommended dish has a potent taste of garlic, ginger, and chili. It'll remind you of just one word - perfection.
|Lamb Seekh Kebab|
Lahsooni Fish Tikka
Served with mint chutney, this soft and tender fresh fish tikka is prepared in special achari marination.
|Lahsooni Fish Tikka|
Main Course - Vegetarian
Some of my favorite dishes from the main course - vegetarian are listed below:
- Paneer Kundan Kaliyan - served with pepper, onions, and cheese.
- Veda Dum Aloo - whole stuffed potatoes served with onions and cashew.
- Daal Veda - black daal cooked overnight with cream.
- Vegetable Biryani - served with raita.
|Daal Veda & Veda Dum Aloo|
Main Course - Non-vegetarian
Some of my favorite dishes from the main course - non-vegetarian are listed below:
- Chicken Shahi Korma - cooked in Royal Mughal sauce.
- Nihari - morsels braised with saffron and whole spices.
- Kadai Prawns - stir fried with assorted vegetables.
- Lamb Biryani - served with raita.
|Chicken Shahi Korma|
Litchi Ki Tehri
Prepared with shahi litchis and sultanas, Litchi ki Tehri is essentially rabdi with a twist. Must applaud Chef Amit Shah for preparing a unique delectable dessert that leverages milk reduced in a kadhai.
|Litchi Ki Tehri|
What Doesn't Work
Having to consume assorted breads at Veda was a real bummer. But thankfully that was my only pet peeve.
Each dish at Veda will take you on an amazing culinary adventure, and while you're at it, don't forget to notice the restaurant's commitment towards preserving their authenticity and identity.