New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) What’s common to the countries of Southern Europe and the Levant? Mediterranean cuisine! Cooked in olive oil, it is light on the stomach and, what’s more, you can relish it at a typical European bistro here in the capital.
At the Amuse House, blue flowery walls, cozy brown couches, a wooden bar, muted lights and soft music playing in the background appropriately set the mood for the rest of the evening.
The food is inspired by the regions around the Mediterranean Sea, with famous and traditional dishes tweaked into a modern avatar to make them more presentable, comfortable and fun.
Head Chef Arvind Bharti, an alumnus of the Institute of Hotel Management J&K, says that although they use local produce to the extent possible — which enables them to take a seasonal approach to the menu — the accent is on imports.
Without much ado, first up was a bread basket along with home-made garlic butter, herb butter, tomato butter and chilli and bacon jam.
I started with the vegetarian platter, which included bite-sized falafel dipped in mint-yogurt and chive dressing. Also, the upper portion of crunchy bread of the artichoke and potato ragout bruschetta, soaked in melted butter along with a thin slice of Parmesan cheese easily melted in the mouth.
As much of the ingredients and spices are imported, the outlet successfully retains the authentic taste of each dish from different regions.
“We use a wide range of Mediterranean spice mixes; some of them we make in-house, like bas-el-hanout, Cajun spice, Baharat, Italian spice mix and the like,” Chef Bharti told IANS.
As the next dish came up, the freshness of the ingredients became evident as I nibbled on a beetroot served with grilled goat cheese and few drops of burnt orange over it.
The dinner couldn’t have continued so well without a sip of classic French white wine that forms a distinct combination with the Mediterranean palate.
It was then time to sample the non-vegetarian platter. I opted for the cooked pork belly with parsnip cream and prune puree, and a flavoursome chicken served with baby potatoes sprinkled with rosemary on the top. Cutting the well-cooked meat into pieces was just like slicing a slab of butter.
The cheesy and creamy texture of the barley risotto with chicken and spices, one of the signature dishes of the House, reminded me of southern Italy.
To complete my platter, I was provided a Med Box, which consisted of pistachio baklava, basbousa — a sweet cake made out of semolina and finger Zainab, which would definitely mark a happy ending of your tiresome day.
What: Amuse House
Where: C-108, 1st Floor, Ansal Plaza, Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi
Meal for two: Rs 1,800/-(+ taxes) excluding drinks
Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight
(Nivedita Giri visited Amuse House at its invitation. She can be contacted at [email protected])