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Monday, August 02, 2021

The Importance of Being Indian

Like a phulka on a flame, Indian restaurants rise in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 list

Written by Shantanu David |
Updated: March 2, 2016 12:05:13 am

Even as our Parliament gathered on leap day to devour the new budget, a different kind of feast was being celebrated in Bangkok, Thailand. The S Pellegrino and Acqua Panna’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016, an annual list by Restaurant magazine of the continent’s top 50 eateries, announced its latest edition. Maverick Indian chef Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant was crowned as number one. Gaggan, located in Bangkok, celebrates its chef’s love for Indian street food through Anand’s “progressive Indian cuisine”, which marries Indian flavours with scientific cooking methods. The restaurant’s signature dish is Yoghurt Explosion with red matcha and charcoal.

There was good news for the country’s contingent as Delhi-based Indian Accent, helmed by chefs Manish Mehrotra and Shantanu Mehrotra (no relation), cracked the Top 10 List, coming in at number nine. It’s been a landmark year for the modern Indian restaurant, with the opening of a second outpost in New York last week, as well as the release of The Indian Accent Cookbook by Manish in January. The gorgeous hardbound collection is coruscated with images

of the cuisine that has made Indian Accent the best restaurant in the country, with signature dishes such as Meetha Achaar Canadian Spare Ribs with Sun Dried mango and Roasted Kalonji Seeds, and Foie Gras Galouti.

Like a textbook phulka, the restaurant rose from number 22 last year to its present position, while Gaggan climbed up from number three. While modern renditions of India’s cuisine may be en vogue, ITC Maurya’s Bukhara and its classic North-West Frontier cuisine, as exemplified by the rich, diet-be-damned Dal Bukhara, came in at number 45. The final non-Indian Indian entry, at number 44, was Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai’s Wasabi by Morimoto, which serves contemporary Japanese cuisine.

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