Delhi outpost of the famous ROOH scrambles the usual traditional Indian flavours and serves it on a silver platter with a side of finesse and modernity to match. This winter, Rooh’s limited-period chef’s tasting menu also comes loaded with seasonal ingredients that warm one’s heart, all in the company of the gorgeous Qutub Minar.
A Review of the winter menu at ROOH, Delhi
It’s an explosive start to the chef’s tasting menu…literally! Spanning 10 courses, the first dish—the Passion Fruit explosion—is a bright orange take on the popular gol gappa. In this elevated amuse-bouche version, the papdi is reimagined as a tart shell, on top of which sits a glistening orange fluid gel-like dome adorned with edible flowers. I’m advised to eat it whole, much like the regular gol gappa. An explosion of tart, sweet, and spicy liquids wash my palate clean. A flavour so powerful that I’d happily devour bucketloads of these bite-sized wonders. But, course two awaits.
The Butternut Pumpkin Soup is heartwarming. The powerful punch of the pumpkin leaves a delightful lingering taste. Cutting through the luscious flavours of the soup is an accompanying jeera khari which is just the right amount of flaky and crispy.
Course three, the Sweet Corn Liquid Bhurji, takes me straight to the streets of Maharashtra. Served with zaatar pao (bun), this variant of soup is designed to surprise with every scoop, courtesy of the corn kernels’ cameo. The thick liquid also comes peppered with a generous topping of crunchy—and spicy!—peanut thecha.
At the fourth course, the vegetarian and non-vegetarian chef’s winter tasting menus at ROOH diverge. While meat-eaters are served a Lemon-pickled Prawn with a beetroot carpaccio, the others are treated to a banana fig galouti with a sheermal crisp and strawberry-mango chutney. While the former is a juicy catch that pairs well with mustard, the latter is a soft melt-in-your-mouth delicacy. Not one to ordinarily enjoy the flavour of fig, the subtlety of the fruit in this version leaves me happily satiated. The sheermal crisp gives the overall offering a needed crunch.
The final appetiser is a tandoori portobello for vegetarians. Served whole, this mushroom is almost unrecognisable owing to the generous shaving of cheese hiding it. One bite is all it takes to remind me of its umami goodness though. It is soft and indulgent, and ticks all the boxes for a cheesy delight. Non vegetarians, on the other hand, find a rendition of the sweet fried pastry gujiya to tease their palates. The Butter Chicken guzia marries one of the nation’s favourite flavours and repackages it in a new avatar. Despite flavours that stray away from the classic, the accompanying mango chutney reminds of its traditional roots.
After a long journey through the appetisers, the limited-edition winter menu by ROOH takes a break with a guava-chilli sorbet. While too sweet for my taste, it does exactly what it is cut out to — cleanse my palate entirely. Bring on the main course!
The Pumpkin Asparagus Manti served with yakhni and walnut parmesan crumble is an intriguing taste that sways between savoury, cheesy, earthy and nutty. The dough itself is light while the asparagus is crunchy. The celebration of winter veggies, here, is evident with each bite. The Tandoori Smoked Duck is best devoured quick while still hot to prevent a chewy mouthfeel. The Burrata Cheese Roulade, too, is ideal when savoured hot and crisp. The smooth and creamy pepper makhani in which the roulade swims is intriguing and complex. The fried kale adds a nutty and crunchy element. Meat eaters can enjoy a similar flavour profile with the Osso-buco Nihari that is served with a mash potato and butter toasted edamame. In each case, a well-seasoned mix berry pulao, a delectable khamiri roti, and edamame-palak gravy completes the dish.
After a long bout of experimental flavours and dishes, the sweet treat pulls me back to nostalgia. The Ras Malai Cheese and Rum ice cream reminds of a quintessentially North Indian lavish winter wedding. The cheesecake-style ras malai pastry is light and airy, while the rum ice cream is yum. The lack of ice crystals in the frozen dairy delight is a huge plus!
While the winter menu by ROOH gives an option for wine pairings, I opt for the restaurant’s signature cocktails instead. The Buttered Old Fashioned (INR 695) gives a twist to the regular whisky-based concoction by bringing butter-washed goodness and angostura bitters to the mix. The Turmeric Collins (INR 695) entices with gin, lime, elderflower, and tonic soda. The infusion of turmeric gives it a healthy touch, helping me wash away all the guilt of a lavish meal that was.
Every few weeks, ROOH, Mehrauli rolls out a limited edition chef’s tasting menu that puts the spotlight on seasonal flavours and ingredients. The picturesque backdrop of Qutub Minar from the restaurant’s terrace adds to the charm. Indoors, at the refurbished 180-year-old haveli, ample room allows diners to book the space for private gatherings while an intimate outdoor venue creates the ideal setup for intimate proposals. Head here if you’re looking for innovative food that surprises with every bite, and crafty cocktails that entice with every sip.
Price for two: For vegetarians, INR 3,700 (exclusive of taxes, without alcohol); and for non-vegetarians, INR 3,900 (exclusive of taxes, without alcohol). Wine pairing is priced at INR 2,995 (exclusive of taxes)
Address: H-5/1, First Floor, Ambawatta One, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi
Timings: 12:30 pm to 11:00 pm
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