I remember Ashiana as my first love for Indian fine dining food; it’s been around for that long. In my childhood, when we wanted to celebrate a special occasion, we would go to Ashiana. It was the only luxurious Indian restaurant we knew and loved.
Why we loved this place so much was because of the live ghazals (Indian melodies) that are sung while you devour your meal. The restaurant may be ready to re-launch a new menu but that essence is still not lost.
Invited to preview their new menu, I was thrilled to see the gleam in my mom’s eyes as she probably remembered the golden moments with the family spent here. She was yet again excited, as ever, to listen to the ghazals and to request that they sing her favorite Jagjit Singh song which they kindly obliged to. While I enjoyed the food and talked the night away with the fabulous company of other bloggers, she soothed her soul with vintage melodies while the glorious singers sang from their hearts.
They say we all must change with times, so the team of Ashiana did just that. Bringing a modernistic twist to the menu, they have adapted to modern culinary methods and presentations while still keeping the traditional joys of the food intact.
I started off with a soothing Mango Lassi which i gulped down quickly and easily. My first round of appetizers soon followed and consisted of a crispy Vegetable Tikki with a beautiful filling of mashed vegetables, a Dhokla topped with mint chutney and a Lemongrass mint shooter quite invigorating.
Next up came another platter of a Veg Galauti Kebab soft enough to remind you of Lucknow, a big chunk of Paneer marinated in yoghurt and topped with olives which i felt was a very unique touch and nice combination, and the most beautiful Achari Broccoli I have ever sampled. The marination was perfect, the broccoli tender and the combination mind blowing. I hate broccoli but if i get it like this everyday, I would be the happiest vegetarian in the world!
Next up came a live demonstration from the head Chef who made Idli Chaat in front of us. Fried, crispy idli topped with yoghurt, mint chutnet, tamarind chutney, spices and pomegranates made for a very lip smacking appetizer. I thoroughly enjoyed the personal touch to this simple but delicious dish.
After this, we had a Mango Sorbet served to us as a palette cleanser, It was huge and so tasty that everybody on the table might have been eyeing the other’s hungrily if they finished theirs first!
For main course we tried:
Paneer Makhani – Cottage Cheese in a creamy tomato fenugreek sauce made for luscious eating and the velvety gravy was spiced to perfection.
Sarson Da Saag – A true culinary delight from the land of Punjab and made to unique perfection here. I loved how minced the gravy was. It tasted rich and went perfectly well with the Makki Ki Roti.
Subz Korma – Vegetables cooked in rich korma sauce with a coconut base. Not a big fan of coconut bases in gravies so i skipped this one.
Dal Tadka Tamatari – Red and yellow lentil preparation tempered with fresh tomatoes and aromatic spices. Loved how this daal was so homemade. It wasn’t heavy at all and spiced just right. I loved the Saffron Pulao we had with it along with the Cucumber Cumin Raita.
The best part came in the form of a dessert platter which carried some of the most unique Indian desserts I have come across. Before we were served these, the chefs demonstrated a live version of the dessert plating which was very enjoyable.
On my plate:
Gulab Jaman Cheesecake. Loved it and the best part? Absolutely adored the PINK.
Blueberry Phirni – Seriously, what? Who ever heard of Blueberry in a Phirni! Forget hearing about it, go and have it now! It was mind numbing good.
Kulfi – Served in a cube, this one was devoured by all.
My amazing experience came to an end and I somehow didn’t want it to! I will soon go back for more and relive even more memories. Till then, I am super happy to have experienced, the re-launch of Ashiana.