Street food gets prominence in luxury hotels

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 25 2014, 23:53pm hrs
FoodStreet food has come to occupy prominent space on the menus of various luxury boutique hotels in the national capital and seems to be favourite among travellers. Reuters
Street food has come to occupy prominent space on the menus of various luxury boutique hotels in the national capital and seems to be favourite among travellers.

From renovating menus to adding new innovative dishes on the platter, five star hotels in the capital are adding flavours from the streets of Delhi among traditionally-served international cuisine.

Hotels which have been offering Italian, Pan-Asian to Americana and continental cuisines, have made space for exotic dishes like 'Aloo Chaat', 'Chana masala', and tandoori dishes, which are typical to the capital.

'Chaat Platter' is one of the hot favourite dishes in Delhi's The Park hotel, that has captured attention with food lovers.

"A surprising number of tourists, and corporates, who do not have time to eat chaat outside on the streets of Delhi like to try the flavour here," says Abhishek Basu, the Executive Chef at The Park Hotel.

'Tandoori Kebab' platter, 'Vegetarian Kebab' platter and 'chicken tikka' are among the other items on the menus that the restaurants has to offer.

"From Delhi Chaat platter to tandoori tikka, we have a wide range of Delhi street food to offer to the food lovers among the newly introduced international cuisine," says Basu.

Five star hotels like Taj Mansingh and The Imperial have successfully included tandoori delicacies among Malaysian, Thai, South Indian, Sea Food, and Japanese cuisines.

Culinary cooking sensation Vikas Khanna, a better known face from Masterchef, however believes that whereas street food inspires his cooking style, it is beyond his capacity to reproduce the taste that is served on the streets.

"One cannot do better street food than the people who serve on the streets. To be really honest, I can't do it," Khanna told PTI.

"I can't re-create the same 'golgappa paani' in my kitchen. That particular 'paani' has its own texture and flavour which is hard to get in a room similar to an operation theatre (the restaurant kitchens)," Khanna says.

On the contrary, hotels promise the same taste acquired from the streets and they "try to keep the rustic flavour intact in their dishes."

Not only from Delhi, but street-borne dishes countries like Italy, Japan and Indonesia are also gaining prominence in the restaurants.

"Sometimes travellers love to have a pinch of Indian flavours on their palate. And sometimes they like Italian, sometimes Chinese, sometimes Indonesian," says Basu.

The reason behind adding the street dishes from across the globe, he explained, is to provide an experience to the food lovers who have travelled extensively and want to have a hang of everything.

So in a nutshell the hotels are offering everything available from pasta, pizza, biryani to international cuisine.

"We continue to constantly present something new to the customers. The menus are prepared keeping in mind our new age customers who are well travelled and eager to try out new dishes and offerings," Basu says.

Another restaurant in the capital, Claridges offer North Indian highway cuisine at Dhabha. With its truck mural rustic interiors the place offers signature dishes like 'tandoori kebabs', 'balti meat', 'baingan ka bharta' and the chef's special thali.

Cha Bar at the Oxford BookStore here has introduced a 'Namo Chai' in celebration of the election verdict. A new addition to their extensive tea menu, the Namo Chai priced at a nominal amount of Rs 30 is being offered on a 1+1 scheme. The chai is presented in the typical truckwala tea pot and is served in cutting cha glasses.

"The dhabawala chai has a distinct strong clove and ginger flavor and aroma," says the servers.