One of the capital’s best received restaurants, Tres is back. After a successful run of four years, it shut doors in 2017, and recently reopened at its new address in Lodhi Market. Co-created by Chefs Julia Carmen Desa, Jatin Mallick and Jamsheed Bhoteis, the comeback emphasises the holy trinity of today’s F&B landscape — seasonal menus, innovative cooking with fresh and natural ingredients and impactful design.
Warm colours and classic design encase the space housing a 14-feet long dining bar and a private dining room for eight, other than the regular seating. The elegant and earthy tone set by the muted greens, greys and browns is well complemented by the staff’s attire — designed by label Lecoanet Hemant. With good food sans fanfare at its core, it’s not just Tres making a comeback, but also the foundation of any restaurant worth its salt — simplicity, quality and attention to detail.
The Smoked Duck Breast comes with peppered barley kimchi, ginger plum gel, herb salad and oat berry granola. The first thought is that they’re perfectly in line with the fresh ingredients motto. The Asian flavours make for a refreshing salad, with the lightness of kimchi and herbs balancing out the granola and meat strips, and the ginger plum rounding it off soothingly. A more wide-ranging vegetarian menu this time round means appearances by the likes of Goat Cheese Bavaroise. The savoury bavaroise cream made with goat cheese is accompanied by salt baked beets, preserved walnut and apple compote and rye crisps. The classic goat cheese & beets pairing is well offset by the earthiness of the compote and crunch added by the crisps.
Baked Artichoke Hearts, true to their name, will have your heart. A herbed parsley & garlic crust with hints of tomato jam and honey mustard, these hit all the right ‘comfort food’ taste notes. Apart from the hearts, the menu retains several other old favourites, the Quick Tossed King Prawn and Calamari being one of those. The radish-cucumber salad and lime chilli-drizzle with it create a refreshing melange of flavours. While they wait their liquor license, the non-alcoholic cocktails are worth their sip. The Roasted Pear with Balsamic is a mix of pear shrub, apple juice, lime, fresh fruit cream and cinnamon sugar. The refreshing fruity and spice notes are tempered by the cream, making it a favourite on the menu.
The Stuffed Chicken Wings with sticky chilli lychee tahina glaze, though non-fried, still make for one of the best wings in the city. The modern European cuisine comes through with the use of tahini and the grill — lending a Middle Eastern touch to a typically western presentation. The Grilled Asparagus is a testament to the claimed simplicity and innovative cooking. Set with puffed wild rice, burnt cream and tomato powder, the plain-by-definition dish is a best of flavours on the palate. The cooked asparagus’ softness is lifted by the crunchy rice, and the bitter is balanced by the cream, with the tomato amping it up with a kick of spice.
The desserts continue the theme of a modern take on simple classics. The Warm Milk Chocolate Brownie is anything but your regular brownie. Keep digging to get all the layers of this tall dessert in a single scoop, there’s sweet-tooth redemption to be found among caramelised banana mousse, hazelnut sable, white chocolate and hazelnut soup.
It’s not everyday that you see three chefs manning one kitchen, and seamlessly so. Doing it a second time round, Desa, Mallick and Bhoteis have retained the magic of Tres. Once again their culinary craft speaks more than any other ostentation typically employed by restaurants. They champion the modern European cuisine by taking quintessential dishes and putting a global spin on those. Good food, no fuss also returns with Tres.
Where: 23, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi
Opening Hours: All days, 12 pm to 3 pm and 6 pm to 11:30 pm
Recommended Dishes: Smoked Duck Breast, Roasted Pear with Balsamic
Price: INR 3,000 plus taxes for two, without alcohol
Noise Level: Quiet
Service: Courteous, could be more attentive
All images: Courtesy Tres