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THE SPICE ROUTE, THE IMPERIAL

The high point during my stay at The Imperial was dinner at their Oriental restaurant.. heralded as one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. Designed by Rajeev Sethi, it reflects the journey of spices from Kerala to Sri Lanka and Myanmar.. Malaysia and Indonesia.. Thailand and Vietnam. Is it any wonder then it took the team seven years to design it—hand painted by mural painters brought in from a temple in Kerala with a tradition dating back 3000 years!!

 

Besides the stunning décor, The Spice Route boasts an eclectic menu devised by Chef Veena Arora. Browsing through it we ordered 'Stir Fried Crispy Chicken with Bell Peppers' flavored with fresh roasted black pepper and 'Thai Por Pia'. The chicken was tender and retained some of its juices while the latter was a generous portion of fresh skin-wrapped fried vegetables served with sweet chilli and plum sauce. For entrées the chef recommended 'Chicken in Thai Green Curry' complemented by 'Stir-fried Baby Pok-choy with Black Mushrooms' and 'Roasted Duck cooked in Thai Red Curry'. I had heard a lot about the duck from my friend and it turned out to be the best poultry dish I've ever had.. anywhere!! It had a fresh aroma that lightly permeated the blend of tender roasted spicy duck garnished with pineapples and rambuttan. I highly recommend this dish as incomparable and way better than you'd get in any restaurant! The vegetarian dish too was flavourful with a generous quantity of black mushrooms laced with soya bean paste. Then the chicken in green curry came. Peas and cherry aubergines adorned the top and pieces of sliced chicken floated in the rich coconut broth. I loved the aroma and portioned some out onto the rice I'd put on my side plate. The first forkful was heavenly as this is one of my favorite Oriental dishes and I quickly went in for seconds!!

 

With no room for dessert, we walked out satisfied with a promise to return soon. Known for it's high food quality since each dish is freshly prepared.. if you forget to make reservations be prepared to wait a little while as his place is packed any day of the week.. it's well worth it. Bon Appetite! 

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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The Imperial, Janpath, New Delhi

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