Chef Manish Mehrotra’s unique dining destination also ranked as the best Indian restaurant on the prestigious list that was decided by a team of over 300 restaurant industry leaders from across Asia.
Launched in 2013, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is created by a group of over 300 restaurant industry leaders from across Asia to provide diners from across the world an insight into the local culinary scene as well give them expert recommendations. This year’s list has just been unveiled and for the seventh consecutive year, it sees Indian Accent in New Delhi by Chef Manish Mehrotra featured on it. The restaurant ranked 18 among the 50 restaurants in Asia and also took the spot for the best Indian restaurant on the list.
There’s reason for Indian Accent’s consistent presence on this prestigious list. Aside from Chef Mehrotra’s approach, where he likes to adapt classic Indian recipes and present them in an entirely new avatar, constant innovation is imperative for the restaurant. It opened its doors to diners back in 2009 and its great reception prompted a move to the extremely challenging market of New York, where an Indian Accent iteration opened up in 2016.
However, presenting Indian food to global audiences needs careful thought behind it. “Modern Indian cuisine can only be drawn from traditional Indian food. It should taste like an Indian dish; it should strike a chord,” says Chef Mehrotra.
The chef’s penchant for experimentation is evident from the various formats Indian Accent has experimented with since the pandemic struck. Since it opened its doors in October last year, despite delivery taking off like never before, the restaurant has stayed away from it, maintaining that “the kind of food Indian Accent serves does not lend itself well to home deliveries”.
Instead, it catered to bespoke home dining and catering experiences where a lot of infrastructure including chefs were transported to homes to recreate the kind of experience Indian Accent has always prided itself on.
Yet another example of Chef Mehrotra’s passion for innovation is the restaurant’s chaat tasting menu. “COVID has hit street hawkers and small restaurants serving chaat hard. Delhi has also missed these chatpata offerings. So, we researched all through the lockdown to create a chaat menu with dishes drawn from cities such as Lucknow, Banaras, and Old Delhi.”
With the pandemic far from over and the situation changing from day-to-day, innovation will be the primary driver of business growth going ahead. And perhaps this is why the award is so well-deserved and significant. Not only will it encourage the team behind Indian Accent but also, galvanise the rest of the industry to dive deeper into the realms of innovation.