Getting to be part of Vir Sanghvi’s food superstars academy is one of the biggest achievements of my blogging life. And as part of that I got to relish on the top quality Neo- Indian (a cuisine Chef Deepankar Khosla fondly calls his own, a sustainable Indian cuisine) dishes served at Haoma in Bangkok right here at Four Seasons in Mumbai.
What is Haoma? It is a sustainable dining concept, something that is the need of the hour. They grow what they cook. Haoma ( literally a sacred plant of the Parsis and ancient Persians) is an urban farm restaurant located in Bangkok. Chef Deepankar being an alumnus of the college (WGSHA), where I wanted to pursue my under grad from, made the pop up an even more exciting event for me!
The dinner was laid out at San-Qi, the Pan Asian restaurant of Four Seasons. As a pre-course, Chef Deepankar had laid out a mini garden with edibles hidden in between the micro greens. A minute late and I would have embarrassed myself of my poor eyesight, a small piece of truffle coated with dark chocolate was what I had dug out!
For the second bite, he had laid out a mini ‘chaat’ section from where he handed me a tartlet, a rice based cutie with freeze dried sambhar making it a savoury sambhar tartlet. Mind blown I tell you!
After this interesting green session, I was back in my table where I was accompanied by Karishma, Tarun and a good looking, appetising menu. I wasn’t prepared for an 8 course meal, yes, I was stupid enough not to expect anything less than that. Here, have a look:
The names of 3 dishes caught my attention, The yellow dal and rice, Me in a bowl and Nadia. While the curiosity behind the second and third names are understandable, you might be wondering why the poor old staple food was on the list. Haoma is a fine dine concept, how can someone take Dal and rice and make dining it a fine experience? Keep reading…
The Galauti Soft Serve: What do you have in mind? A meat based ice cream? If yes, welcome to the club, if not, you are smart. A mini ulte tawe ka paratha shaped like a cone in which yoghurt and galauti are filled one above the other and topped with a drop of citrus gel.
Yellow Dal an Rice: A red carpet makeover of the humble dal chaval. Between the crisp wafer made of rice and the jelly like dal, which was made to look like a corn, was a layer of Indianised Tuna tataki, enoki mushrooms and avocado mash. It has been more than a month since I had this, I am still reminiscing the the flavours.
Curried Melon: Local melons infused with Thai red, green and yellow curry. Cold pieces of melon with a bite, but with the creamy flavours of the Thai curries. A power play of sweetness and spice, the lemon grass and coconut milk flavours stood out in these. Served along with a sorbet of Tom Kha and caviar made of tapioca and wine.
Stay with me, we are not done yet.
The Disappearing Duck: A plate with three good looking dishes. A chicken wing pakoda which tasted so good that I shamelessly wanted to ask for more of it. A duck mousse that was laden with spicy hot curry which melted the mousse (thus giving the dish its name) and a small portion of jasmine sticky rice to go with. What a game of texture and flavour this dish was. Before I could get a good picture of this beaut, the curry was poured and the duck disappeared, damn!
Farmer’s Fuel: If you eat like a farmer, you got to work it like a farmer. Dal Baati Churma from Rajasthan , Litti Chokha from Bihar, Chakka Puzhukku from Kerala, Makki di Roti from Punjab are examples of the high carb food eaten by farmers in India. This gives them enough energy for an entire day. Farmer’s fuel was Chef DK’s take on a combination of Dal Baati and Litti Chokha. Baati that was fried in ghee with Chokha was what we had on our plate, be an Indian and use your hands, do not shy out on the amount of ghee that you intend to pour on top of your hot crushed Baati.
Me in a Bowl: Like I mentioned before, the name had me curious. What I got was a sophisticated plate of comfort food. A sexy quenelle of frozen makhani placed over charbroiled chicken which was adorned with pickled shallots and micro greens. Now who could stop at one bite when it is butter chicken in front of you?
Black and White: A walk down the memory lane for Chef DK as he served us a plate of frozen yoghurt with cookie and Oreo crumble. What does sweet yoghurt remind you of? Let me know in the comments.
Nadia: Why do you think the dish is named Nadia? We did go the extra mile to ask Chef DK the same, why don’t you head to Haoma and ask him yourself? Let this dish play the card of curiosity.
Sometimes you got to grab an opportunity by the neck, I did just that. 🙂