Indian food is often clumped together as one type of cuisine when, in fact, every region of India has something different to offer; food and culture are inexplicably linked, and every experience is available to the intrepid traveller to enjoy and read much more on the culture and the Country.
Fine dining is the latest thing to entice us: so let’s look at what’s on offer in some of these remote fine dining locations in India.
1. Rajasthan – Northwest India
This region is situated north by the states of Punjab and Haryana, to the east and south-east by Uttar and Pradesh. The most dominant flavor influences come via the Punjab and Pakistan.
Rajasthan is known as the “Land of the Maharajas”, famous for its forts and stately homes and palaces. The famous Balti dish is from Rajasthan.
Jaipur – Cinnamon – Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur,302006, India
Owned by the Taj hotel group, the restaurant situated in the Jai Mahal Palace, and this alone should give you an idea of the quality of the food and the dining experience. This grand old palace is 272 years old and set in beautiful Jaipur.
The search for the best curry in Jaipur is over. The signature dish “Cinnamon” chicken curry is outstanding: follow that with Lasooni dal tadka, lentil dhal and all that’s left to do is sit and admire the view.
Sitting in the middle of landscaped Mughal gardens, while not remote, it is stunning and worth a visit the next time you’re in Jaipur.
2. New Delhi – Union Territory
Union Territory is the home to the capital of India; north of the country and one of the eight union territories formed in 1959.
The food in the north of India has influences from the Mughals, full of rich spices and soulful gravies, slow-cooked meats and vegetable stir-frys.
Olive Qutub, New Delhi – One Style Mile, 6-8, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi
This is a hidden gem of a restaurant: fine dining at it’s best, award-winning and beautifully set. This restaurant is not remote, but it’s not easy to find either – which is part of its charm.
Imagine a mixture of European and Indian cuisine, and you have an idea of what delights await you. If dessert is your thing, then this is the palace for you. Imagine mango pudding with cardamom, and you get the picture.
Small plates in a mezze style, beautifully presented and served with love. What more could you ask?
3. Kerala – Southwest India
On the Malabar coast of India bordering Karnataka to the north and Tamil Nadu to the east, this southerly state of India is popular with travellers. Kerala is very influenced by its colonial past, the, and the with coconuts, after all, Kerala means coconut tree.
Here are some facts to mull over while you’re eating your lunch. The Kerala tourist office has created a slogan “God’s own Country”, and it’s easy to see why. Kerala is the cleanest state in India, offering second to none facilities to travellers and residents alike.
Predominantly Hindu, Kerala has the most expensive temple in India, the Padmanabhaswamy temple, covered in gold and precious stones.
Hungry now? Let’s eat at the Rice Boat, not remote but certainly atmospheric ….
The Rice Boat – Ground Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Malabar Road, Willingdon Island, Kochi, Kerala
This restaurant is on a traditional rice boat but with a difference. Right on the coast in a backwater close to Willington Island, the restaurant offers delicious, locally caught fish presented in classic style. Try the tiger prawns cooked with shallots in a coconut curry sauce served with a crab and coconut soup, and steamed white snapper served in a banana leaf with – you’ve guessed it – coconut chutney.
4. Rishikesh – Uttarakhand
Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, in northern India known as the gateway to the Himalayas, Rishikesh is a pilgrimage town. Amongst other things, Rishikesh is the Yoga capital of the world.
There are four holy temples in Rishikesh, and food plays an essential part of any ritual. The Beatles famously travelled here in the ’70s to find enlightenment. But, more importantly, what’s for dinner at The Glass House?
The Glasshouse on the Ganges
Sitting right on the Ganges this resort in Rishikesh is set in peaceful parkland. The restaurant is in lychee and mango orchards within the tropical garden of the Maharajas of Tehri Garhwal.
The food is southern Indian mixed with Italian and Chinese dishes served buffet style and with the quality of the ingredients a top priority: locally grown and all homemade.
Wherever you go, please remember that travel restrictions may not have been lifted, and remember to adhere to social distancing where ever possible. Most of all, enjoy yourself. After all, a foodie trip to India is something you will never forget.