When it comes to the Indian palate, there are times when the taste of most dishes are all too familiar, leading to a monotonous eating out experience. The reason to step out must be the fact that it should be more elevated compared to what is being made at home. Very recently, I was invited to Kangan at the Westin Garden City for the new menu tasting, and was fascinated to see the variations made to a basic dish.
“It took almost a month of experiments to make sure we got what we wanted for the new menu”, were Chef Danish Mohammad’s words to me on how the menu came to life. The event witnessed the city’s who’s who in attendance, savouring artisanal Indian Cuisine and live Indian classical music at an unconventional networking and food tasting event on a memorable Saturday evening. The elegant restaurant’s latest menu is a tribute to classic delicacies, which included melt in the mouth Galawat Kabab, Paneer Azami Tikka, Subz Ki Shikampuri, Lucknowi Ghosh ki Seekh, Kastoori Murgh Tikka, Lehsuni Jeenga, and more! At once refreshing and comforting, the menu left our tastebuds singing with the subtlety and richness of spices on offer.
Complementing the menu were bespoke cocktails that fittingly featured Godawan’s single malt, making its home in a carefully curated cocktail menu. Boasting enough guts, spice, and spine while nestled in the heart of a Coffman’s smoky cocktail, where the espresso heartily sang from the same hymn sheet as the Godawan, creating a beautiful melody that served as an ideal antidote to the monsoon’s ambient fatigue.
What matters the most when people dine out – the taste or appearance of the main course? This question would have held no substance half a decade ago as the focus of chefs earlier was clearly aligned towards creating lip-smacking food. Today, things have changed. What diners get on their plates is not just a dish but a piece of art that involves thinking like a designer, right from conceptualising, combining the sketch design to executing an idea, which is much beyond that which we saw emerge earlier, even from five-star kitchens.
Chef Danish believes that every dish has its own story. Right from its making to the process of plating and its garnishing, a dish goes through its exclusive journey, which he calls as its own culinary voyage. To convey this story to the guests, he believes it is the chef’s responsibility to think like a visualiser and bring to life the aesthetics of the dish on the plate. The mouth smacking main course dishes included Chowk ki nihari- the mutton was as tender as it should been – and paired with the crispness of Masala Chur Chur Paratha, it felt like a dream! Dal Kangan was an exclusively curated dish alongside Mahi Qaliya, a Lucknowi style curry.
We rounded things off with the Balai ka Tukda, a decadent dessert boasting all the nazakat you would expect from fine Indian cuisine, and deeply reminiscent of a Shahi Tukda. In any case, to paraphrase what Shakespeare once said, a dessert by any other name would taste just as good.
If that’s not reason enough to head out to Kangan, we don’t know what is.