It’d be quite shocking if you didn’t hear about Indian Accent this whole year. In some context or the other, Chef Manish Mehrotra’s flagship restaurant at The Lodhi, New Delhi, was amongst the newsmakers in the restaurant space all through 2018. Earlier this year, Indian Accent made it to TIME magazine’s list featuring the best places to visit, shop and eat at. The list was called the 100 Greatest Places For 2018 and Indian Accent was the only restaurant from India to make it to the coveted list. It was No.19 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant and No.1 in India, not to mention several other ‘Best Restaurant lists’ it made it too. While this was going on, Chef Manish Mehrotra was busy extending the success of Indian Accent to London, even as the New York branch was simultaneously wowing guests and critics alike.
The latest from Chef Mehrotra is called Comorin, named so in reference to Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari); it opened for guests in early December at Gurgaon’s Horizon Two Food Plaza. Comorin is unlike Indian Accent in many ways; firstly, it’s not a fine dining restaurant that serves tasting menus. Secondly, the space is envisioned as a hub for community dining over comfort food and drinks.
The menu has been designed by Chef Mehrotra, and flourishes with the kind of interesting flavour combinations that have come to be his signature style. Take Samosa with Gujarati kadhi chaat, for instance. The combination of kadhi and a crispy samosa, served like a chaat, is fairly common in Rajasthan. Some even try a variation withpunjabi kadhi, which is thicker and creamier as compared to the Rajasthani version.
Chef Mehrotra uses Gujarati kadhi (mildly sweet, usually with the use of jaggery) in his take on this regional street food to come up with a winner. Another super dish is the Sweet Corn Khichhdi. Who would think that a khicchdi of any kind could occupy a place of pride at a restaurant of this level? Well, Chef Mehrotra does and what a fabulous play of textures this one has! Some of the other popular dishes include Andhra Chicken, Hot Buttered Seekh Kebabs, Haleem with Toast and Doda Tart.
Some of the other popular dishes include Andhra Chicken, Hot Buttered Seekh Kebabs, Haleem with Toast and Doda Tart.
There are three distinct sections in addition to the restaurant space: a cocktail bar, coffee bar, and a market section. The space is well designed and does a good job of addressing locals as well those working in those plush offices around. There are little pockets here that you will find relaxing even when it’s not meal time. The market area, where they stock and sell house-made sauces and syrups amongst other curated items, is a nice little nook to plug in your laptop and enjoy a black coffee or a dessert, or both! The coffee bar (that also serves as a takeaway counter) is meant for office-goers who want to get a quick caffeine-refill between meetings. There’s also a private dining area at the back for when you are hosting a quiet do. A lot of thought seems to have gone into creating little areas to cater to all kinds of customers who work or live nearby.
Another interesting feature here is the Sous-vide bar. Many of you must have heard of sous-vide cooking, for the one who have not, it is a style of cooking where you literally cook food in ‘vacuum’ in a hot water bath. A sous-vide cocktail counter essentially helps you create interesting infusions that may otherwise take days to get their flavours right. These are meant to be infused right there, and served fresh. The house-made liquors are a good try too if you like experimenting with uncommon flavours. These are served in small 15ml tasting portions that allow you to taste more than one! The Dark Khus Vermouth and Coffee Liqueur were liked the most by our table.
The opening of Comorin has certainly made the Food Plaza at Horizon, Gurgaon a very exciting food destination. Given Chef Mehrotra and his team’s dogged persistence in creating and maintaining a balance between quality flavours and great service – Comorin seems to be on its way to becoming a bestseller already.