There is a certain childlike excitement cum anticipation brewing underneath us as the lift rises up to the 28th floor of ‘The Lalit’ taking us towards the newly revamped ‘The Grill Room’. The magnificent view of central Delhi notwithstanding, the real excitement lied in the desire to taste some sumptuous grilled cuisine that this restaurant promises.
As I sat down getting ready for my dinner, I couldn’t help but wonder at the view of the outside — pretty much the best parts of New Delhi but I’ll be hard-pressed to find a quality steak house anywhere down there.
Hours of watching the Anthony Bourdains and the Adam Richmonds on the television screens these days invariably brings to the fore the desire to taste quality steaks — something that is really ‘rare’ in this city and I am not talking about the way I like my steak! In a conservative society like ours, ‘beef’ is still a complete no-no but a true non-vegetarian palate is incomplete without tasting a prime cut of beef.
‘The Grill Room’ ticks off all the right boxes if its steaks you are looking for. But we’ll get to that eventually.
The charming chef Ishika Konar greeted us with a big smile and we surrendered ourselves to her completely. For the appetisers, she selected the Goat Cheese Tart (Rs 550) for me. The wonderfully crispy tart consisted of a 60-day aged cheese topped over sweet caramelised onions and topped over with micro greens. It was a perfect blend of crispiness, sweetness and the slight sourness from the cheese. If it’s cheese that you like, another must-try was the Cheese Empanadas (Rs 750), fresh out of the oven delicately stuffed with sautéed onion and mozzarella accompanied with chimichuri sauce.
The Grilled Garlic Prawns (Rs 950) served with saffron butter sauce was equally delightful with the prawns cooked just perfectly to the right temperature. A glass of Chablis JCB 2012 white wine went perfectly with all of these starters. Of course, for the carnivore in you there is the Tenderloin Empanadas (Rs 950) or the Wagyu Carpacio (Rs 900).
For the choice of main course, I once again left it up to Chef Konar to make the choice and her suggestion for the night was a Rib Eye Steak (Rs 3,000). The Grill Room uses the imported Black Angus as their choice of beef for the rib eye.
Black Angus cattle were originally brought to the United States from Scotland in the 1800s. They are a naturally hornless breed of cattle that are known for their hardiness, adaptability and ease of care. They reach maturity and are ready for market in about two years. It has excellent flavor and good marbling as well which was the case here as well. The Rib Eye on the night here was beautifully tender and perfectly seasoned and dripping with juice as I bit through it.
The problem with most of the steaks in other parts of Delhi is that due to poor quality of the beef, the chefs are reluctant in serving anything less than ‘medium to well-done’ as a result the meat loses all of its juiciness and tenderness.
That was definitely not the case here as the rib-eye was perfectly pink or ‘medium-rare’ going well with the thick red-wine jus. The sides that came along with it was the grilled vegetables including perfectly charred peppers, broccoli and asparagus.Apart from the rib-eye, from the Wagyu beef one can order the Tenderloin steak (Rs 5,500). From the Angus stable there are other choices like the Grand Porterhouse Steak (Rs 5,000), New York Strip (Rs 4,800) or the Fillet Mignon (Rs 5,500). The Bouvet Ladubay 2008 red wine perfectly went with out choice of the beef.
Among other main courses we tried the Caribbean Jerk barbecue chicken (Rs 1,350) rubbed with jerk spice and served with cabernet jus as well as the Chilean Sea Bass (Rs 4,000) served with chives butter.
We rounded off the meal with creamy bowl of Creme Brûlée infused with bourbon vanilla. The Grill room offers a complete gastronomic experience not only to steak lovers but seafood enthusiasts and vegetarians too.