Let’s get straight to the point here, shall we? The name, Tamra, is going to get a lot of foodies like us into a confused frenzy. It’s not just a fancy name for an Indian restaurant, much like we thought it to be. For tamra—translating into copper in Sanskrit—is just one facet of this 186-seater, multi-cuisine restaurant opened this February at the Shangri-La Eros Hotel in New Delhi. Misleading as it was, we did see samosa chat on the menu though before deciding to dine there. Misleading also because it’s technically five specialty restaurants rolled into one. Much like hundreds of rolling pins (belan, if you please) strapped onto jute ropes hanging from ceiling, sharing space with rows of wheat grass planters. A blend of Indian and orient.
We started with cocktails Pistachio Fizz (tequila mixed with limejuice, pistachio syrup and lemongrass soda), Danny Wild (lemongrass infused gin with honey, passion fruit, cranberry juice and lime) and a mocktail called Big Wave (guava and cranberry juice mixed with lychee nectar and limejuice). They all came in tiki glasses, the traditional Polynesian ceramic drinkware in vibrant colours and interesting cut work.
Coming to the food. There’s more food on the menu (and plated at its five live counters) than one can possibly think of. At Tamra, less is nothing and more is less.
Five chefs—Ravi Kumar (Indian), Jungha Choi (Japanese), David Leung (Chinese), Martin Bracker (European) and Nattasak (Thai)—were busy cooking up a storm when we arrived to sample what could be one of the largest buffets at a Delhi five star hotel. So, you have extensive choice of sushi, sashimi, dimsum, barbeque and pastas… everything under the sun, all under a roof. So, if we had the choice of Thai chicken croquette (crisp chicken croquette, lemongrass, kafir lime, Thai basil in roasted peanut sauce), our indophile friend from Berlin could taste papad ka shorba (pepper-infused papad soup, a Marwari delicacy).
A tip: let the dimsums and sushis flow in for that’s the best part of the menu. We tried the perfectly rolled ekka maki (tuna) and unagi maki (grilled eel roll). We also gobbled down the Gosyumori platter (a chef’s special that includes five kinds of sashimi) as if the doctor prescribed it.
Main course was a happening affair too. We ordered the seared lamb loin from New Zealand (mustard jus, bean potato cassoulet and tomato jelly) and German sausage board (selection of sausages in caramelized onion gravy and truffle scented mash). Don’t leave out on the shake (salmon) teriyaki, if you still have some appetite left.
So where does Tamra actually appear in the picture? Essentially at the Indian counters. Dozens of copper utensils hang from the celling. Huge copper deg (traditional utensils) are also on display at the sixth, rather interesting counter: ghar ka khana. So, if you are a frequent flyer and happen to stay at Shangri-La hotel, you know where to get ma ki daal, kadhi-chawal, phulka and eggplant bhaja. Our friend from Germany did try the entrees from the Indian counter like yakhni (the Kashmiri meat preparation) and pulao cooked with moong badi.
We finished up our dinner with the highly recommended Tamra chocolate, which if you are a chocolate lover like me will feel it’s the high point of the meal. However if you don’t care about chocolate, there isn’t anything extraordinary about it. We did try the old classics—mango soufflé and caramel custard—from the dessert counter, aptly called the jewel. Desserts too are an elaborate affair at Tamra- with choice of ice-creams, sugar-free desserts and all the mithai you could ever crave for. What caught our attention by its horns was the huge wrought iron oven, a common sight in German bakeries. Our mouth watered just thinking of the fresh cakes that must be rolling out of it. Ask the baker to open and show it to you—as we did—just for kicks. They do it with a smile.
Talking of smiles, we can guarantee it on your lips after a visit to Tamra. You could try their Sunday Brunch this summer, which comes with complimentary pool access.
Address: Shangri-la’s -Eros Hotel, 19, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi
For Reservations: Call +91 11 41191010 / 11
Meal for Two: Rs 3,000 plus taxes (average price)