Noida: Have you been yearning to visit Purani Dilli to gorge on authentic kebabs, nihari, phirni and the like -- but the fear of large crowds and congested areas is holding you back? Then head to Radisson Blu's "Made In India" fine-dining restaurant, which, besides excelling in Avadhi and Lucknowi cuisines, has now added Delhi 6 "tadka" to its menu to entice and appease the palate of its patrons.
Made in India has a luxurious and cozy set-up inspired by royalty. The decor is classy with imperial furniture that includes special "maharaja" and "maharani" chairs. There are black marble walls, golden panels all over the place and long, flowy white curtains. The vibrant ceiling has an interesting display of shlokas, while artefacts like the "sainik" figurine and "prakash yantras" -- used by royals to know the time of the day -- add to the awe factor of the facility.
The staff -- from servers to chefs -- are warm and extremely hospitable. With soothing classical music playing in the background, dining here transports you back to the regal era of kings and queens.
The restaurant has recently introduced a new menu, incorporating the tempting Delhi 6 cuisine. Talking about it, Restaurant Manager Dipak Kumar Sharma said that the dishes comprising traditional kebabs, biryani, korma, stew and others are curated by their chef Khursheed who has close to 30 years of experience in the business.
"He (the chef) stays in Chandni Chowk, makes his own secret spices and mostly uses herbs to create the magic on plate," Sharma told IANS.
"We are now focusing on the Delhi 6 cuisine so that people don't have to travel all the way to Old Delhi for their cravings," added Sharma.
I kick-started the evening with appetisers on the chef's recommendation. First, I was served Bharwa Paneer -- deep fried cottage cheese marinated with gram flour, turmeric, ginger and spices with fresh pineapple stuffing. It had a crispy crust and juicy paneer on the inside. The fruit flavour elevated the taste of the dish, giving it a unique twist. It is a veggie delight.
The Murgh Tawa kebabs -- chicken and Bengal gram patties infused with green chillies -- were delectable and melted in the mouth.
Samak-e-Sakhnavi, a mix of minced fish, coriander, chilli and onion paste, was skewered and cooked on sigree. Served sizzling hot, it was heavenly and is a must-try.
Next came the Tala Murgh which will tantalise your palate and take you back to Old Delhi's lanes with its rich aroma and authentic flavour. It was the clear winner of the evening and I ordered it twice.
I also tried Mutton Tikka kebabs on the chef's insistence. These were prepared to perfection and deliciously spicy. This was another favourite of mine.
Vegetarians can opt for Khumb Gilavate -- mushroom kebab marinated with kachari masala. These delicacies were enjoyed with Shahi Jaam -- a paan flavoured cocktail topped with a lemon wedge. It was sensuous and left a sweet lingering aftertaste.
Dead Panic is a worth-mentioning cocktail -- an exotic version of the classic Long Island Ice Tea. Decorated with a pineapple slice, this well-balanced concoction would leave you happily high.
Not a drinker? Then go for the tangy Ginger and Lime Crush mocktail. It is stimulating and I relished it to the last drop.
Coming to the main course, I asked for Khubani Bhare Koftey -- cottage cheese dumplings stuffed with apricot and simmered in a blend of almonds and reduced milk. I am not a fan of koftas, but this one left me pleasantly surprised. The dumplings were squishy and went well with a laccha paratha.
Being a Punjabi, my plate is incomplete without Dal Makhni, which was silky, well-executed and had me salivating.
Next up was Nihari -- lamb shanks cooked in its own steam with mace, brown onion and cardamom -- with khameeri roti. It was by far the best I have had in town. The taste was exceptional and meat was so tender that one can easily cut through it with a fork.
And it's not over yet!
I also gobbled Mutton Korma and Murgh Estew with sumptuous biryani. And I must say these dishes gained a special spot in my heart. The thick curries had a robust blend of flavours and would please even the most finicky gourmand.
I wrapped my grand dinner with yummy phirni and homemade malai kulfi. The latter was a little extra sweet though.
The new menu has added zing to the existing one while retaining the traditional Delhi 6 flavours. The menu is now more diverse and elaborate to cater to different palates.
Made In India is thus a perfect stop for your next dine-out, whether an intimate dinner for two or a large group celebration.