I am impressed with how I am making time for the blog again! Even with college off, I have been busy to the extent that I have worked through two weekends in June. I was determined to take this weekend off and step back for a brief respite.
Mom wanted us to come and help with the mango harvest over the weekend but that was not going to happen. We had TH’s cousin and family visiting us over the weekend on their return leg from Manali. We hadn’t met in quite a while and were looking forward to catching up. They were arriving early Saturday morning and it was best to plan an easy morning for that day; overnight bus journeys are not the ultimate in luxury. If they were up to it in this muggy weather, we would take them to Dilli Haat in the evening. Sunday evening they were expected to go check out some local sights while we visited my cousin to mark the auspicious start of festivities for his daughter’s wedding later in August. 🙂 The other cousin, TH’s only relative in town, was called and Sunday lunch was fixed for a family get together. The weekend was looking busier than the workweek!
In the inbox, had been sitting that invite from West View, ITC Maurya, the same place where we met David Rocco last year. I had made a mental note while travelling to Ludhiana earlier this week but had too much going on to respond. Boy, did I have a good meeting with the Commissioner there! The presentation could have gone either way with those really radical proposals we had come up with. But it was well received and we even had a small celebratory drink in that city. I returned from Ludhiana late Thursday night. Friday evening was the only spot where I could see an opportunity to squeeze West View in.
I am so glad that I did. We arrived a little before 9 pm and there it was, our table for two, by the window with a gorgeous view of Delhi on a rare clear night. The West View offers cuisine from the Western world. There is no menu to order from; the food on offer changes from day to day. There are two salad bars, one vegetarian and the other non-vegetarian including a selection of deli meats. Between the two salad bars is the cheese board with some fruit and house-breads. Just this section is enough to make me happy. There are two soups on offer every day – a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian. The live grill is the mainstay of the restaurant. You select your meats (or vegetables), marinated or otherwise, and the chef will grill them for you.
Ankit, the sommelier, informed us about our drinks. On offer were wines from Four Seasons and Jim Beam bourbon. I chose the red and TH tried the bourbon whiskey. In keeping with the theme, the decor has been suitably beefed up with American accents of red, white and blue all around – photographs, books, even quilts. The stars ran down the middle of our table.
I put a few tidbits of meat and cheeses on my plate, even a blue cheese that was not as stinky as the one in my freezer! We would have been happy to eat just this for dinner but restrained ourselves. We were also served chicken wings (these could certainly be spicier) and a red chilli grilled with cheese.
Our soup course arrived with lobster chowder for me and pumpkin soup for TH. The chowder was very flavourful and light. I had hoped for a bowl of gumbo but that was on the following day’s menu. TH didn’t seem to relish the pumpkin soup so I took a sip. It didn’t do anything for me either. The staff went into action, taking it away and insisting he try something else. He settled for a roasted pepper-tomato soup which was very good. You need a big appetite to do justice to the variety at West View. I picked a marinated lamb chop and a prawn for the grill and Ashwin, the young chef in command, suggested a side of smashed potatoes. I should have also tried the tenderloin but I am loath to waste food. The grilled mains were accompanied by a choice of sauces: barbeque, horseradish, and the pungent house-mustard. The marinated meats hardly needed any and were done well. The smashed potatoes tasted fabulous with just a dash of herbed butter. TH got an assortment of vegetables. Well, it’s true, despite all the attention, it still seems as if vegetarians get short shrift at The Grill!
All the while Ankit kept an eagle eye on our drinks and sides. I switched to water and TH to Jack Daniels.
An American dinner is not complete till you have apple pie which is what I chose. TH picked the cheesecake and Ankit added a walnut pie on his own. And a good choice that is, the walnut pie. It is hard to come by a good cheesecake in Delhi and I was happy to relive memories of the honest baked-cheesecake.
We had a wonderful evening tasting some of America’s better know foods and drinks. They might even be serving some jumbolaya on one of the days (I miss that dish!). The festival of “American Cuisine” is on till July 5th. I know food at 5-star restaurants is not inexpensive but what you get is not just food. The experience of being waited upon in this manner is incomparable. Anurodh and his team make you feel special and just the service is worth the money. If you have something special to celebrate, or if you just need some pampering, book a table at the West View. You are worth it. I know I am going back.
Note: The dinner was complimentary but the review is all me!