Food review: Here's what you must try at Meluha - The Fern’s multi-cuisine restaurant, Tiara
Last month, we dropped by at the eco-hotel Meluha: The Fern’s multi-cuisine restaurant, Tiara. After a hiatus of around eight months, the decade-old restaurant is back to serving its full-fledged menu which features Thai, Korean, Asian and Indian cuisine. However, we were looking forward to their new additions and took our seat inside the now 70 seater restaurant and ordered our first dish - dim sums.
We were served two kinds of dim sums, the first had a filling of spinach and cheese and the second one had water chestnut, baby corn and shiitake mushroom in it. The dim sum wraps were translucent, not too delicate but soft when we bit into it. Upon asking, we were told that they have been made from a mixture of rice flour and potato starch to retain moisture and softness. When it comes to taste, spinach and cheese dim sums were mildly flavoured and baby corn and shiitake mushroom were spicy.
The next item that reached our table was Malai Chicken Tikka - a recipe of which was sourced from Abdul who runs a Kebab shop in Old Delhi. “I was in Old Delhi some time ago and when I tried Malai Chicken Tikka at Abdul Ka Kebab’s, I was blown away so much that I asked him if he could share his recipe. I brought it here with me. Though, we top it with our secret masala to make it even tastier,” shares Culinary Director Parimal Sawant. True to its name and chef’s description, the dish was dense flavoured. The kebabs were tender, juicy and creamy, boasting of a rich flavour that stayed long after the kebabs were over.
We then moved on to the main course and tried two dishes, an Italian Ratatouille Crepe and a traditional Maharashtrian delicacy Zunka Bhakar. Interestingly, both Ratatouille and Zunka-Bhakar were traditionally considered peasant food and both are healthy owing to the ingredients. While the former dish is a semi-solid porridge made from gram flour and is served with Bhakar, chapati made from Bajra (a millet), ratatouille is a vegetable stew made from vegetables like tomato, bell peppers, zucchini and aubergine.
The ratatouille was served inside a crepe, which sat in a thin pool of saffron sauce. While the sauce was creamy but bland, it complemented the flavourful filling inside the crepe. Moving on, Zunka, which had a tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies, was boasting of flavours albeit mild, and the Bhakar was bland. However, what enhanced the taste and flavour of this dish was Thecha, a paste made from peanut, green chilli, garlic, rock salt, lime and peanut oil, a common accompaniment to this dish, it was very spicy and lifted the overall dish.
Finishing off the meal on a sweet note, we tried their signature dessert Nizam ki Nazakat. The dish features mini Gulab Jamun and sweet Boondi, which are topped with Rabdi and then baked. It was sweet but not overwhelmingly, and although there were three independent dishes in this dessert, none was dominating the flavour or texture of the other in any manner - making for a fitting end to a balanced meal.
Meal for two: INR 2000 (without alcohol)
Our recommendations: Zunka-Bhakar and Nizam Ki Nazakat