Two unrelated yet very affable dining experiences that I have been privy to—one in each city.
If there is ever a debate about who has it better: Delhi or Bombay, I, for one, will sit it out. For what counts, both cities have their pros and cons and if looked at healthily, it is also what possibly eggs them on to try and outdo the other. And they do it in every manner possible, Delhi has dirty air, Bombay has a filthy sea, Bombay has glitzy showy Bollywood, Delhi has Punjabis, Delhi has the best black dal and butter chicken, Bombay has pav bhaji and Konkan curries to die for. The two compete even at being ridiculously naive: if the Bombay Sea Link was built at an inexplicably exorbitant cost and stretched out over time, Delhi spent even more glaringly during the CWG and still couldn’t finish in time. More recently, when Bombay was washed away in a deluge of sludgy rain, Delhi was being battered by the heatwave of the century.
This competitive spirit carries further over into the food and beverage scene too. Indian Accent, Rooh and Varq in Delhi compete with the more chilled out but equally food-centric Bombay Canteen, O’Pedro and Arth in Mumbai. For Italian, one has Artusi while the other touts Romano and Vetro. And in cocktails, the mantel for the best drinks list passes almost ceremoniously every few months between the two cities.
Today, I am going to write about two unrelated yet very affable dining experiences that I have been privy to—one in each city, just to keep things in balance and such. The first was Indian Accent. I won’t go there too often but I did manage to make it often enough to know a significant chunk of the menu which was being served. Which is why when they opened Comorin I was more than delighted to visit it. I say visit and not frequent because it is in Gurgaon and getting there is only marginally quicker than flying to Mumbai for me.
Recently, Indian Accent launched their new menu. Tough task—trying to innovate at a place where the classics have become the common call—but safe to say that they have achieved the near-impossible and executed the task with much success. For those who know the food philosophy here will not once feel out of beat when dining here with the new dishes.
And then, I was in Mumbai where I was lucky enough to grab a few quick bites at the newly opened space by Chef Boo Kwang Kim, Dirty Buns. I loved the name from the word ‘go’ and had to get myself there. The reviews I gathered were a mixed bag but I never entirely rely on them. I suggest you don’t either because from what I got to try, there was no doubt in the conceptualisation and execution of the dining concept in that space. I won’t get into individual dishes but this has been one of those rare moments when I have truly enjoyed eating (Korean) fried chicken, or chicken in any form for that matter.
The menu reflects Chef Boo’s American upbringing as also his Asian roots, a nice melange of the eastern with the western. The drinks are modest yet comprehensive.
All in all, it’s a fun meal. You can reign in the carb content by getting some dishes with lettuce leaves rather than brioche buns or bars. So
Delhi, what will you serve up that takes on this new uber cool dinner place? One can only wait with salivary anticipation.
The writer is a sommelier