The Indian foodscape is changing, and standing amid this is the Restaurant Week India. The sixth edition of the event, which begins on Friday, April 22, provides diners a varied culinary experience that traverses through countries, tingles the taste-buds and hopes to provide an umami flavour.
The 100+ restaurants, participating in the week-long event, held in cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi, include options that would befit the many different types of diners, including the diet conscious.
"Earlier, we would not allow salads on the menu because customers would write back to us saying it's not filling enough. But if you look at our current menu we are conscious of the fact that people like to eat to salads. It's a growing trend. People want to eat comfortably but not overeat," says Nachiket Shetye, director, Cellar Door Hospitality, which organises the event, told International Business Times India.
It is rare to associate the word healthy with certain cuisines, especially Indian. After all, gravies acquire their silkiness after a generous amount of butter has been added. However, Shetye says that restaurants, which specialise in Indian food, are constantly evolving and this reflects in their menu for Restaurant Week India as well. "You will find breads with whole wheat options and those that are multi-grained. You wouldn't see earlier," he adds.
Healthy is perhaps a growing trend in the culinary landscape, but that's not the only type of food which will be served. For example, Graze, the contemporary European restaurant at Vivanta by Taj, offers delights such as chicken leg confit in a five spice sauce, served with creamy polenta and glazed haricot. Such pleasure can be found in celebrated Chef Manu Chandra's menu as well, which offers a crispened pork belly with honey mustard glaze, braised cabbage and a sausage patty.
Restaurant Week India, which began six years ago, has come a long way. The event, which started in Mumbai with 1,000 guests, now has managed to rope in 11,000 diners across cities. The pre-fixed three course menu, which offers signature dishes at a fraction of the cost, is a huge factor in drawing crowds. The organisers choose those restaurants where an average meal for two costs more than Rs.1800.
In Shetye's words, an event like the Restaurant Week India allows restaurants to break the stereotype of having diners only for a birthday or an anniversary. "We want consumers to go to several restaurants in one week rather than visiting these places on a special occasion," he elaborates.
Reservation for Restaurant Week India is open. Prices start from Rs. 900. You can visit their website to book a table.