‘Indian specialty restaurant with an international flair’ is how Omya describes itself, and we couldn’t agree more. Chef Alfred Prasad returned last week to introduce the new seasonal menu last week, moving away from the heavy notes of winter to light spring flavours.
The 13-time Michelin Starred chef has mentored the restaurant since its inception, and flies down from London for a menu overhaul at the turn of each season. As he channels his philosophy of ‘Heritage, Health, Happiness’, Prasad crafts traditional Indian ingredients and food whilst employing international cooking techniques. The latest revamp features dishes such as Haryali Jhinga, Parwal aur Ananas, and Omya Ghewar. The prawns (jhinga) are grilled in the tandoor with lime and coriander, served with a side of fennel and orange salad. It’s hard to go wrong with these quintessentially Indian seasonings, and the zesty sides keep the meat from making it a heavy preparation.
The parwal with pineapple combination is not one usually found on menus, making it a must-try. The curried dish has hints of bitter from the pointed gourd (parwal) and sweet & sour is lent from the pineapple – making it a play of flavours on your palate. The ghewar is an assorted platter of cardamom ghewar, mascarpone mango creameux, fresh mango, candied mint, and mango gelato. Despite the prominence of Indian flavouring, there’s none of the overdone sweetness in this fragrant and light dessert.
Other new entrants are Paneer ke Sule, which come as paneer scented with clove, a salsa of summer fruits and fig & chilli chutney on the side. And the refreshing Anaar ka panna, made using chilled pomegranate and melon soup with chia seeds. Along with these, the signature dishes are continued, like the Omya Dal, Kashmiri Nalli, and Bharwan Gucchi. One must-try is the Edamame Seekh. The seekh kebab is made using edamame and vegetables, with lotus root tempura on the side, an expert vegetarian version of the typically meat preparation, one our table couldn’t help praising.
The a la carte menu is supplemented by their tasting menus – the vegetarian Vedika and the non-vegetarian Yatra. And the cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks are done with ingredients like tamarind, jaggery, mint, cumin and curry leaf. While Enoteca, Oberoi’s wine cellar, offers the reds and whites.
Right next to the bustling 360° , its particularly enchanting how the restaurant excels at maintaining a tranquil setting. The décor is an ode to the Lutyen’s era, with neutrals throughout, embellished crockery and screens, chandeliers and Indian motifs, emboldening understated sophistication. And with the Spring-Summer menu hitting the mark for breezy dishes that showcase the expertise Prasad brings to the table, yet keeps it non-heavy on the gut, Omya calls for a visit this season.
Where: Ground Floor, The Oberoi, Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg, New Delhi
Opening hours: Lunch – 12:30 pm to 3 pm; Dinner – 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Recommended dish: Parwal aur Ananas
Price: Rs. 5,500 plus taxes for two, without alcohol
Noise level: Low
Images: Courtesy The Oberoi, New Delhi