Delhi's Connaught Place, located at the heart of the capital city of India, is a hub of entertainment, shopping as well as the favoured destination for food lovers. From small shacks and cafes to fine-dining restaurants and pubs, Connaught Place has something for everyone. However, the prime location of the national capital doesn't blunt the effect of the steep competition posed by the seemingly never-ending list of popular places to eat in Connaught Place. Imperial Spice is a new name that was added to the area's dining scene last year and it has already made an impression on the city's food lovers.
Ambiance: Classy and perfect for a romantic date
The moment you enter Imperial Spice, located in M block of CP, you're sure to be enraptured by its dimly lit, yet classy, candlelit vibes. This is the kind of place you bring your 'someone special' for a dinner date on a special occasion. It is also great for a quiet, fancy dinner with your loved ones. The ceiling is adorned with what looks like an upside-down lotus pond. The lotuses serve as the beacons of light shining down on the diners, seated in the main central area of the restaurant. The bar is also located in this area and the entire floor can seat around 150 to 200 guests. The place is done up in regal tones, with the golds and the maroons dominating, and the pillars have dark mirrors, giving the place a slightly surreal feel. One tends to feel instantly at home in this beautiful setting that is designed to create an aura of mystique.
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Food: A combination of innovation and great taste
Chef Monu Kumar has done a fantastic job of crafting a menu that stays true to taste and yet is refreshingly innovative. The cuisine at Imperial Spice is a mix of Indian, Asian and continental dishes. Starting our meal with the Ghewar Chat, Mango Dahi Kebabs, Paan Paneer Tikka, Zatar Spice Fish Tikka and Roti Pe Boti, the stellar starters were great for whetting our appetite. The Ghewar Chat was crunchy and rich, and was doused with fresh curd and topped with crispy sev, tamarind chutney and pomegranate seeds. It was delicious to boot, but perhaps a little less spicy for chat. Mango Dahi Kebabs were served with tangy pickled mango jam and were soft and flavourful. The Paan Paneer Tikka deserves a special mention for the ingenuity of combining the familiar paan flavour with spongy, lightly toasted paneer tikkas. They were served wrapped in beetle leaves topped with in-house gulkand.
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In the main course, we ordered, Aloo Nargisi Kofta, Fafda Kadhi with Ghee Pulao, Imperial Gosht along with Pudina Lachchha Parathas, as well as the Nasi Goreng to get a taste of the Asian flavours here. The Koftas were indulgent and rich from the first bite. The Gosht was perfectly juicy and made for a comforting Main well-suited for every carnivore's taste buds. But it was simplicity of the Kadhi fafda with Ghee Pulao that stumped us. Made in the true spirit of home-cooked meals that are simple and yet oh-so-satisfying, the kadhi was subtly spiced with coriander seeds and went extremely well with the delicious besan fafda and basmati rice. Even non-vegetarians wouldn't be able to resist the taste of this dish.
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We ordered three mocktails with summer fresh flavours - Black Cat (pomegranate drink), Orange Blossom and Guava Blast and all three were refreshingly delicious. The restaurant has an extensive menu dedicated to delighting the Indian palate with a solid medley of dishes from Northern Indian states, as well as some popular continental favourites. The place is sure to delight you no end, if you truly appreciate food that has been prepared with passion, and is devoid of any gimmickry.
Where: Imperial Spice, M Block-89/90, Outer Circle Connaught Place, New Delhi
Cost for two: INR 2,000 (excluding taxes and alcohol)
Timings: 11:30am - 12midnight