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To enjoy pan-Indian restaurant Chutney, dine with friends or family; the more the merrier! Having dined at Metropolitan Hotel's restaurants on several occasions — each with a distinct theme and cuisine, attention to detail and flavourful dishes — my expectations of the summer menu was high. And I wasn't disappointed.


Taking our reserved table, my colleagues and I perused the menu and appreciated its sheer variety and diversity, as F&B Head Rajesh Khanna came over to discuss culinary preferences and made suggestions. He was knowledgeable, attentive and indulgent as he catered to queries and we left it up to him to curate the luncheon accented with Chef specials. Pretty soon, he sent out papad and bread sticks with an assortment of chutneys — date; kiwi; tomato-garlic; bell pepper; coconut; peanut; mint; mango; tamarind; leeks; onion-chilli; zucchini. Wow! I was at a loss for words as I dipped breadsticks in chutneys; sumptuous is understatement: I emptied the mango and tamarind bowls!


Service was efficient and pretty soon luncheon began with 'Malai Santra Kebab'. The freshly curdled milk and hung curd patties coated with orange reduction was refreshing and flavourful! Trust me, I never ask for seconds and I was salivating for more! Up next, was 'Karele Ki Shaami'. The bitter gourd tikkies is perfect for health-conscious vegetarians! Chef then brought us his hot-seller — 'Kakori Zaitoon'. The lamb seekhs accented with green onions and olives had melt-in-the-mouth texture; tender and spiced to perfection. 'Gazab Ka Tikka' would go down well as accompaniment with drinks: the bite sized chicken tikka marinated in cheese was decadent!


As conversation flowed, amid camaraderie and giggles, our entrees were served. 'Shahi Paneer Firdoshi' was the first to arrive — the stuffed paneer roll cooked in butter- tomato- cashewnut gravy was the perfect comfort food, with a rich creamy taste slowly building flavour. My friends and I mopped it up in no time, with tandoori roti. Up next was a culinary masterpiece. I think my heart rate went up at the sight of 'Gulnaar Jalpari.' The tiger prawns in dum gravy was "off the hook" fresh and flavourful, which made it finger-lickin' good. I will be back for this one and recommend it to fellow sea-foodies! Wait! There's more! 'Nilgiri Korma', mutton cooked with fresh mint puree and coconut milk, had a tender, juicy texture that melted in the mouth, mopped up with naan.


Though we were satiated, Chef suggested that since we were reviewing the summer menu, how could we leave without a hot-seller entrée and dessert? On his recommendation, we tried Murgh Biryani, wondering what made it special. Until it was served — full marks for presentation! The biriyani was shaped like a dome and concealed in a baked roti, which the chef cut and served. You bet I demolished it in seconds! Now, I didn't have much room for sweets but the selection was impressive and I finally settled for a light, summery 'Rajgira Ki Kheer' made using amaranth seeds. The stellar team of Chutney wanted things to end on a sweet note… and it sure did!


Reminiscing about the new summer menu at Chutney, the descriptions on the menu doesn't come close to describing the intensity of the flavors that await!! And the growing number of diners at the restaurant just proves it. Bon appétit!


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