Kanyakumari to Kashmir: Highway flavours meet molecular gastronomy at Grand by GRT Hotels' new NH44 menu
Expect a degustation of close to 20 dishes like Kozhi Suruku lollipops and Kanyakumari Kattu Soru
What happens when a chef has his car break down on a highway? Chaos is likely followed by a liberal dose of creativity — if the new NH44 menu at J.Hind is anything to go by. The progressive Indian dining restaurant at Grand by GRT Hotels is serving a novel degustation of close to 20 dishes inspired by highway plates from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. En route, look out for a bunch of plot twists including a Kachcha Kella Ka Chaat Mela with raw banana chips and nitrogen freezing.
Taste of travel
Settling into our seats, we get a brief orientation of what to expect with executive chef Sheetharaman Prasad, who is the brain behind the menu. We bite into juicy logs of pineapple slathered in a savoury curry leaf paste instead of the usual chilli powder as he tells us that “travel and food go hand in hand.” The fun part of the story for Sheetharam, however, is marrying familiar flavours with modern techniques. Cue the amuse bouche: Hot Kashmiri Kahwa Tea with biscotti, served alongside ‘apple caviar’ prepared by spherification.
Meat and greet
We find ourselves also enjoying little décor touches like a bright yellow toy lorry on every table to go with the highway theme, as we lap up a golden Yakhni Shorba poured over mutton spheres. Wholesome and comforting, this is the perfect pick-me-up on a rainy day. And later, we enjoy some theatrics as a bevy of meaty appetizers are blow-torched on the grill, making for ideal footage for one of those hot-as-hell Insta reels. Don’t miss the Kozhi Suruku lollipops doused with South Indian spices and the Tabak Maaz (mutton chops cooked in a clay pot). The vegetarian platter features a curious Elaneer Kozhakattai but the description turns out to be more impressive than the dish itself.
The mains feature a number of gravies that arrive in everything from glass bottles to banana leaves. We recommend the sunshine yellow Kashmiri Gosht Curry served with Bakarkhani bread. The latter is sweet and almost biscuit-like, making for an interesting texture alongside the curry. In stark contrast is the tangy Kanyakumari Meen Kozhambu, which is not to miss and the homely Kanyakumari Kattu Soru (rice wrapped in a banana leaf with bits of chicken, mutton and egg). Simple, rustic and fulfilling. Dessert is a toss-up between a Karupatti Halwa tart, rich with palm jaggery and ghee, and Gulabi ice cream. The latter has our heart as it arrives with a frozen rose, courtesy liquid nitrogen.
INR 1,700 for vegetarian, INR 1,950 for non-vegetarian. On till September 30.