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Sip and slide away... .It's okay

Opened to the public this past week, The Manor's Onyx Bar boasts of interesting cocktails and mocktails and not-so-plebeian starters and main courses. SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY tests the taste ... .


SIP IN STYLE: Models displaying new drinks at Onyx Bar at the Manor hotel in Delhi.

STYLE AND elegance tail you from the entrance of The Manor Hotel. Tucked inside a secluded acre in Delhi's posh Friends Colony, the renovated version of this four-decade-old hotel is thanks to the creativity of a Japanese designer couple.

As you look around to admire the Italian terrazzo flooring, murano light shades, granite walls and geometric style furniture, the hotel's manager Kul Bhushan Dhawan volunteers that it is one of Conde Nast Traveller's 21 top hotels, features in Tatler's 101 best hotels and is paired by France's Elle with `a la mode' hotels of New York and London. Also, the former union minister Ram Jethmalani got married here.

Whether that is motivation enough for you to visit is up to you, but the hotel now has news to entice the city's guzzlers. It has opened a bar this week, stocked with interesting cocktails and mocktails - apart from the normal hard drinks - in a spacious ambience capable of transporting you from the city's hubbub. Considering the generous use of Karachi onyx, the name `Onyx Bar' seems apt. To blend with it are round peppery-hued wooden chairs overlooking sprawling manicured lawns.

Of the bar's cocktails, `Rock N Roll' and `Lazy Sunday' stand by their names. Rock N Roll - a combination of tequila, cointreau, blue curacao, fresh lime and cranberry juice, is a heady medley - and Lazy Sunday, with rum, triple sec, crème de menthe, fresh lime and sprite, can put you at once in a weekend mood. Among the mocktails, Purple Rain and Crazy Mango are worth a try. The bar's all-new snacks menu includes interesting starters like broccoli pakoras, asparagus and spinach cutlet, or minced duck rolls cooked in the tandoor.

Some of the not-so-plebeian main courses are lobster chunks with mango and coconut milk sauce served with tempered rice noodles; curry leaves and chilly marinated chicken smoked in a tandoor paired with broccoli, spinach risotto and saffron nan; and pan-grilled breast of mustard chicken served with smoked aubergine and green peas mash. Another interesting combination is upma clubbed with pan-fried spice marinated pomfret fillets, yogurt and turmeric sauce.

The hotel also has an in-house bakery.

If you appreciate the imported good things in life and possess a pocket big enough to pander to your whims, maybe The Manor is your kind of place. If exquisite African textile art adorning the walls, Japanese designer bathtubs and foreign guests do not deliver the message, Dhawan has no qualms in telling you that they prefer foreign customers. For dollars score over rupees after all.

Photo: R. V. Moorthy

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