Friday, 15 March 2019

New Restaurant | Comorin: Dil Hai Hindustani

Let’s face it: we’re all done with ‘fusion cuisine’ and tasteless, senseless garnishes. Even when people eat out, most want real food. Now, celebrated chefs across the world are talking about going to their roots, preserving traditional recipes and evoking nostalgia through food. But they also need to tread the fine line between homely fare yet something that is fancy enough to eat at an upmarket restaurant. And that’s why we welcome Comorin with open arms!

The spacious and airy interior and exterior of Comorin.

As the 30th restaurant in the basket of Old World Hospitality (that includes the highly acclaimed Indian Accent in New Delhi, New York and London) Comorin serves Indian food that is sure to take many down various memory lanes. Chef Dhiraj Dargan, who has been with the group since he was a management trainee, is the executive chef under the inimitable expertise of Chef Manish Mehrotra, who is the consulting chef for this restaurant. They have created simple dishes like khichdi and bread pakora but served them with unusual combinations. While the former is made with sweet corn (corn porridge is a traditional breakfast dish from the streets of Indore) and enlivened with crunchy sem ke beej along with various chutneys that balance each other out, the latter is zinged up with bacon and green chillies.

Top: Baby Back Ribs
Bottom L-R: Sweet Corn Khichdi with Sem Ke Beej;
Haleem with Butter Toast

Comorin is named after Cape Comorin, the erstwhile name of Kanyakumari, the tip of the Indian peninsula. The menu is thus designed to take you on a journey through India with elements from various states, while heartwarming comfort lies at the core of each dish. Dry moong dal comes with a crunch of dal moth and freshness of edamame, Andhra gongura chicken is served with crispy murukku, delicious haleem is accompanied by simple butter toast and green chilli prawns are India’s answer to wasabi prawns and served with puffed black rice. Being an all-day restaurant the two-page menu offers adequate choice of dishes appropriate for different times of the day and is split between small, large and extra-large portions. If you’re a pork lover, do not miss the baby back ribs. Doused in chilli Old Monk glaze the tender meat just melts off the bone.

Craft Cocktails 

The drinks on offer have been given equal thought and loving treatment. The bar features craft cocktails, including an innovative sous vide infusion counter, a seasonal cocktail on tap, and a unique selection of house-made beverages and sodas. Like the food, classic cocktails have been given a refreshing twist. Negroni, for instance, is made with house infused gin, khus vermouth and Campari. Whisky Sour has taken the form of Walnut Sour, with walnut infused bourbon, pineapple, lime and homemade mole bitters. Bartenders are happy to showcase their skills at the sous vide counter or churning the Ramos and Roses’ Gin Fizz in the fancy cocktail shaker for six consecutive minutes. Then there’s the Mai Tai that is served on tap as it is infused with nitrogen to give it the right amount of fizz without altering the flavour by introducing carbonated soda. While many drinks have complex flavours, they are presented in a minimalist style, and most are even stripped of any garnishes in order to keep the focus on the perfect flavour notes and balance of the cocktail.

The Retail Section has a huge variety from cold brews and bottled kimchi
to bar accessories and serve ware.

While you will traverse the menu at your own pace we would urge you to finish with two things: malai cheeni toast, an old-fashioned go-to dessert in many north-Indian homes, except that here it is served on crisp yet melt-in-the-mouth brioche, and coffee liqueur that hits the beautiful notes of dark roast coffee and vanilla beans. Finally, you can take some of the goodness back from the eclectic market space that is priced well and stocks special syrups like basil flower or Swiss chard, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and cold brew shots, roasted coffee, among many other things. I personally loved the glassware, cool bar accessories, some ceramics and platters that have been sourced from unique vendors.

House Liquors

Pro Tip:
All the cocktails are made with special House Liquors. There is a selection of seven house liquors that include Light and Dark Khus Vermouth, Walnut Bourbon, Vanilla Cognac, vodka based Coffee as well as Fennel Liqueur and Velvet Falernum. We recommend the tasting portions of each of these that are priced at Rs 100 for 15ml each.

Comorin, 101, 1 Floor, Plaza Level, Two Horizon, Golf Course Road, Gurugram. Telephone: 0124- 4984224          
Timings: 12 Noon- 1 AM.
Average price per person: Lunch Rs. 700 | Dinner: Rs. 1,000 plus taxes (without alcoholic beverages).