DID YOU 'Tamra'?
Flavoursome/Ravi V. Chhabra
Connoisseurs of fine cuisines have their distinct yardstick. They go with the reputation of the eatery and by the dining experience they have had at least once before. At the Shangri-La’s Eros hotel, New Delhi, not only have their thematic food festivals impacted my epicurean sensibilities since many years; their restaurants always evoke an unusual and perfect dining experience.
‘Tamra’ (means copper in Sanskrit) is a recently opened fine dining multi-cuisine restaurant at the Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel. The very entrance greets you with the wonderful avant-garde view of its interiors that offer an instant feel about what is going to be served. The five open kitchens are a delight for the eyes, as one can see the dexterous hands of the master chefs at work.
All photos copyright: Right Impact Media Inc.
The restaurant’s major cookware and interiors – even pendant lampshades are done in solid copper. Also the fact is for cooking, copper is an excellent conductor of heat and has been used since ages. It responds fast to changing cooking temperatures, giving the cooks leverage to manage the food. Traditionally, the finest copper pans have been made in France, with names such as Mauviel considered the finest. The excellent conductivity of copper cookware allows in preserving the moisture inside the foods.
Conceptualized by the renowned Dubai based Stickman Design, Tamra is a visual depiction of culinary delights from around the world and is adorned with offbeat and strong elements of design. The spacious restaurant with 189 cover provides a blend of modern culinary styles with friendly and dulcet service. Its repertoire comprises authentic South East Asian cuisine as well as Japanese, Indian and European fare from its five interactive cooking theatres. These open theatre stations offer Asian, Indian and regional, Japanese and Teppanyaki, homemade gelatos and a Dessert Bar, Cold Cuts, Cheeses, Breads and a Salad Bar.
Tamra has a Master Chef for each one of their specialty cuisines, thus effectively combining five specialty mini-restaurants under one roof. The Japanese section is under the banner of Jungha Choi, while Chef David Leung and Chef Nattasak head the Chinese and Thai sections. The European kitchen is manned by the leader of the pack Chef Martin Bracker, while Executive Sous Chef Ravi Kumar manages the Indian section and its branch the Ghar Ka Khaana section. Pastry Chef Sukanta Das is at the helm of the fine desserts portfolio.
The Japanese section offered me the juiciest sushi I had ever tasted. The tuna and the Californian roll were true to their taste while the Ika sashimi bubbled out the freshness of seawater on my palate. The Chicken Dimsums were enthralling with moist chicken intertwined with spices rolled up in paper thin wraps. I gently dipped it into sweet chilli sauce and savoured its fine flavor along with celery and leek broth and Khao souey with prawns. Chef Bracker’s delicacies pamper the tongue instantaneously in the European Section.
The tenderloin steak is perfected to a medium consistency and is cooked in red wine rosemary and fine herbs; while the prawns are covered in a creamy butter sauce and the fish is sealed with layer of herbs that characterize French cuisine. Harrisa marinated cottage cheese steak, grilled vegetables and Cajun spiced grilled chicken with BBQ sauce enhanced my starters experience as I downed it with chilled fresh lime in a tall, unusually light and stylish bamboo signature glass. Beyond the assorted dimsums, I relished the Shredded lamb with chilli oyster sauce and stir fried vegetable with garlic sauce that complemented the fried rice with ginger and spring onion (a favourite) and fried noodles with chicken.
Tamra can be a blessing for fussy eaters too as there is customization at every counter! You can mix your own salad, order noodles or for that matter cook your butter gravy with just the perfect consistency. The Indian section is equally impressive with Chef Ravi Kumar head of the Ghar Ka Khaana section that gives the guests the true flavour of India with Roghan gosht, Tarkari pulao and Lauki chana. The entries in the menu are overwhelming, some of these are: Ohn no khaoswè and Nasi goreng from the Asian section; Kohitsuji and Gindara yu an yaki from the Japanese section.
I simply loved Tamra’s teppanyaki grills of the Far East and the tandoors (earthen ovens) of Central Asia. The Thai yellow curry vegetables, Malaysian chicken curry and poached fish with Thai herbs were delectable as were the Tamra chocolate and the myriad cheese cake mousse. The chic restaurant is a fine confluence of old world cooking with plushy décor. A meal for two will set you back by at least Rs. 3000; the food and dining experience makes it worth a repeat visit.