As in most cultures, food and special cuisine are very important lifestyle aspects in India. Families pride themselves on serving the best food when they are visited by friends and family. In a traditional meal, there are usually two or three main courses with many side dishes (like chutneys) and desserts.
With over 5,000 years of history, India has welcomed a multitude of settlers, creating a variety of belief systems that have not only affected the country’s culture, but also changed the diversity of its food. In order to understand the evolution of India’s cuisine, one must realize this country is anything but homogeneous. Regions and religions make up a large portion of the cultural fabric of the food. Given global influence, the food, or may I say, restaurant scene in India, has also evolved a lot in the last two decades.
People are moving to bigger cities and are becoming a colourful collage of various communities and cultures. The upcoming middle class wants to experience the new and trendy. They want to experience upscale dining from various international cultures. This is very well reflected in some of the top restaurants below, which truly reflect the impact of globlization on the Indian food scene:
Wasabi by Morimoto (The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai)
This restaurant was recognized by San Pelligrino as one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013. It is known for authentic Japanese cuisine, and the menu is designed by Iron Chef Morimoto.
Specialties: Japanese beer, guacamole pani puri, rice wine along with crab samosas, and iberico ham with figs
Bukhara (Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi)
This award-winning restaurant is a favourite with the Clintons. The restaurant brings in the cuisine from the north western frontier of India, and is known for dishes cooked in a tandoor clay oven.
Specialties: Dal makhani and kebabs
Indigo is know for its stunning decor and European/Asian fusion cuisine. It has been a favourite with many politicians and Hollywood celebrities.
Specialties: The pork ribs are something you wouldn’t want to miss
KOH (InterContinental Marine Drive, Mumbai)
KOH was opened in Mumbai by Ian Kittichai, famous chef from New York, and has become one of the trendiest Thai resturants in town. Kittichai gives his Thai food a modern and innovative twist.
Specialties: Rice cakes, green curry, coconut cheesecake, and Hamachi (Japanese white fish)
Travertino (The Oberoi, New Delhi)
Declared by Forbes Magazine as one of the most expensive restaurants in India, Travertino is one of the best places for Italian food in Delhi.
Specialties: Signature truffle dishes, such as risotto with fresh Umbrian black truffle and tagliolini with pancetta and Umbrian black truffle.
Zen (Leela Palace, Bangalore)
Zen offers a wide range of exotic Asian cuisine. The restaurant has created a unique menu that takes inspiration from Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Chinese cuisine.
Specialties: Japanese sake, Korean soju, sushi, and Korean barbeque
Karavali (The Taj – Residency Road, Bangalore)
Karavali has been nominated, not only as one of India’s, but one of Asia’s finest restaurants by the Miele Guide. It has been designed to look like a Mangalorean home, featuring wooden ceilings, furniture, and antique lamps, and serves tantalizing South Indian cuisine
Specialties: Coorg fried chicken and Alleppy fish curry
These restaurants offer traditional Indian foods as well as international cuisines, set in a contemporary manner – bringing India at par with international standards. Flavours that were earlier only found in grandmothers’ kitchens are being resurrected. More and more Indian chefs are choosing to celebrate culinary traditions from home, rather than from Europe, where most of them receive their training.
We at Goway offer a variety of itineraries in India, where you can enjoy some of these great culinary experiences.