If you’ve noticed, there’s a flurry of new restaurants opening in Delhi, each looking more appealing than the other. But the shrewd population of the capital chooses wisely, almost unanimously. One Golden Mile in Netaji Nagar is home to high octane resto-bars and the latest entrant to the club is Noche. A First Fiddle Restaurants venture by Priyank Sukhija, Noche puts forward a unique Latin experience and it piqued my curiosity to pay him a visit.
The mosaic compass at the entrance, the painting of flying sunflowers on the stairs, the astronauts hanging from the ceiling lights and the giant pencils lined up on the pillars – it all provided a visual treat. But the real treat was yet to come. Of course, I’m talking about the food.
The modern culinary scene in India has seen a significant trend towards international cuisines, but the charm of traditional flavors has not yet diminished. Award-winning chef Priyam Chatterjee has managed to merge the best of both worlds into a taut harmony that signifies diversity yet oneness of the world.
I joined the special chef’s table for lunch and after a hearty conversation with chef Priyam, I realized how much thought and effort had gone into curating the menu which reinvents Indian flavors with an influence Latin. The craft drinks were inspired by Giuseppe ‘Papi’ Stasi, best known for his TrashTalk brand based in Barcelona, Spain. The cocktail bar spans over 4,000 square feet, with indoor and outdoor seating.
My Gastronomic Journey Chez Noche:
The meal kicked off with lip-smacking plates of nachos. CHICKEN, BEANS & GUAC was a tantalizing mix of khurchan and jhalmuri beans, topped with hot sauces. This was one of the best nachos I’ve ever had, so it goes straight to my list of top recommendations. BLACK BEANS, AVACADO GUAC nachos were also a good meal but my palate took me back to chicken nachos.
THE BARCELONA SHRIMPS AND GARLIC looked like a regular shrimp dish, but it came with the surprise of Vindaloo flavors and I was all smiles.
MUSHROOM & HABANERO – a mix of different types of mushrooms filled my heart with the familiar velvety “malai” and galouti masala. If you like ceviche, try it in the brand new avatar of a chaat here with SPICED TUNA BHEL. Next it was time for some crispy EMPANADAS but with a twist. Although I loved TOMATE & MANCHEGO, I would probably pass the ones filled with chicken kadai. But soon, the Mexican food lover in me was thrilled at the sight of a variety of TACOS, and all prepared in authentic style, captured my heart. I highly recommend the CHICKEN MEXICALLY and LAMB YAKHNI BARBACOA tacos. The lamb Arzo Biryani was made with orzo pasta instead of rice. Although a unique creation, avid biryani lovers may miss the traditional flavors of whole spices.
The hearty meal whetted my appetite for some desserts, and I had no idea what was in store for us all. It wasn’t just desserts, it was a beautiful work of culinary art! HERMES PARFUM actually tastes and smells like an invigorating perfume. The TREE OF LIFE is a realistic creation with incredible edible elements. SNICKERS & BOUNTY brings together our love for two iconic chocolates. LA NOCHE TRES LECHE is a beautifully created petal flower that looks and tastes heavenly. The desserts are worked with so much creativity that they stimulate all the senses. So all of these four desserts top my list of top recommendations.
I left Noche with a full stomach and a fuller heart. I’m already looking forward to going back!
Where: One Golden Mile, Block A, Netaji Nagar, New Delhi
When: 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Cost: INR 2,500 for two people (approximately) without alcohol