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Gourmet Gallery indeed!


CALL IT the heart of South Delhi or visualise it as the land of complete bedlam. Attribute it to the big showrooms or blame it on the traffic. South Extension somehow always gets the better of your time. It is all about an Ebony here and a Barista there and maybe, and significantly, a "Gourmet Gallery", somewhere near.

Promising the hospitality of its sister concern Ebony, the restaurant complex offers some sizzling oriental mix, some tantalising Indian stuff and a bit of Tex-Max. The emphasis is on providing authentic food. "We generally don't use red chillies when cooking oriental, even though we Indians won't mind them," says the head chef, Ritesh Kumar Sinha.

The salt-and-pepper prawns and Dim Sums vouch for that. Dim Sums, which literally mean "touching the heart", incidentally have as many takes on them, as the number of joints serving them. The ones served at the Whispering Bamboos, the oriental part of the Gallery may not touch your heart immediately, with their uninspiring vapid appearance, but along with the sauces, which are concoctions of sorts, they may live up to their name. In stark contrast to these pallid, albeit scrumptious, appetisers is the lobster that is as much a work of art, as it is a gastronomic delight.

The first major deviation from the chilly formula comes in the varieties of diced chicken, Singapore or Hong Kong style as you choose. Then of course there is Tex-Mex which marries Mexican food with that of southwest United States. Whatever the cuisine maybe, the bamboos here whisper little to the vegetarians. Vegetarians may rather choose to appreciate the décor, with bamboo being the theme, or contemplate an art exhibition or a fashion show in the lounge or may be they can go for an altogether different restaurant.

"Tasveer", the Mughlai arm of the Gallery gives the comfort and joy of familiar cuisine. The good old paneer in its several manifestations, the ever-so-delicious Dal makhani and numerous other culinary delights such as the Shabnam Curry that is a mélange of mushrooms and peas are nothing short of manna. The health conscious for once find more than just tandoori food in the form of Tepanyaki which will present a range of vegetables just tossed in to retain nutritional content.

With eyes on a bar license, the restaurant is all geared up for a complete dining experience. That only time and diners can tell, but the cornucopia on offer certainly vouches for it.

S. M. YASIR

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