New Tasting Menu offers a contemporary approach to Indian fine dining
With a name like Indus—a title that pays homage to one of the oldest and greatest civilizations in India—one can’t but expect a great meal in the grandest of Indian traditions. And this well-known restaurant, with its art deco style, old world charm, and elegant atmospherics, does not disappoint.
However, with a new awareness of customer profiles, changing tastes, and contemporary trends, the new ‘Tasting Menu’ at Indus adds a modern dimension to an establishment already well noted for its traditional dishes and authentic flavours.
Since it opened in 2005, I’ve visited this restaurant often, so I was curious and excited to try this new approach. The 7-course meal (priced at B1,600, and B2,600 with wine pairings), was created after much planning and discussion between Chef Nitin Kumar and a reputed sommelier. The result is a phenomenal feast that offers the best of the restaurant’s famed Mughlai cuisine.
An important point to keep in mind, for anyone trying this unique multi-course meal, is that it’s a long, drawn-out affair that gives diners plenty of time to savour the tastes and admire the style and design of a highly creative dining experience.
We started with a delicate, melt-in-the-mouth semolina puff, accented with a sprinkle of kaffir lime dust and mango cream, and paired with a fruity Italian Prosecco. That was followed by a superb makai-pudina soup, which had dashes of corn, mint, and cinnamon, and a juicy spice-marinated tiger prawn with cream fenugreek, smoked broccoli purée, and tiny frills of buttermilk froth. Both were accompanied by a delightful 2014 Australian Chardonnay.
Next up, chicken breast spiced with brown onion and fresh ginger, all surrounded artistically by a beetroot spread, then onto a tangy, piquant, scallop dish, spiced with crushed peppercorns and garlic chutney. The accompanying wine was a 2015 New Zealand Riesling.
Just when we thought we were satiated, out came a pair of outstanding but diversely different dishes—a juicy and tangy lamb chop accompanied by a unique truffle naan, and finally, the ‘mother’ of all Indian biryanis… the marinated and sealed Dum Biryani. We were bursting at the seams, but a lovely Australian Shiraz kept things together.
The dessert platter was the proverbial “icing” on the cake. The innovatively flavored kulfi ice cream and kheer were outshone by the kalakand sweet, which was served as a cheesecake. Being a mad lover of Indian desserts, this is one dish I would have preferred to have in its original incarnation, without the innovative flavourings. And you can bet we needed masala chai after this mega meal, which took nearly three hours to complete.
The Tasting Menu is made for foodies with large appetites, a penchant for innovation, and plenty of time on their hands (also the food items will be changed on a regular basis). Of course, Indus also has its sumptuous and superb à la carte Indian fare to choose from as well.
Indus, Contemporary Indian
71, Sukumvit Soi 26 | Tel: 02 258 4900
Open daily: 11am-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm