The last time Ragini Ahuja, a sculptor by profession, went to a fine-dining restaurant was close to 10 years ago. It was also incidentally her last. She decided to give her husband to-be a ‘special’ treat at one of the best restaurants in the city, also one of the most expensive (which she found out later). A rude shock awaited them within minutes of their arrival as everything on the menu was priced in four digits. “Guess, that is the price for stunningly presented gourmet. Having survived the first two courses, our appetite had significantly perished for desserts. Whatever little was left, died down with all the taxes and service charge that came to almost half the price of the meal itself,” she says. Three years ago, Ragini found out about the Chef’s Table Week (CTW), where fine dining meets fine prices. Ever since then, there isn’t a single fine-dining restaurant she hasn’t been to. Scheduled to take place in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, from March 4 to 10, CTW will present the best of culinary creations as part of a pre-fix six-course meal at a fixed price of `2,500 plus taxes in Delhi and Mumbai, and Rs 2,000 plus taxes in Bangalore. But make sure you make advanced bookings as nobody here is guaranteed a seat.
This will also be the perfect chance for you to meet the person behind your plate, chefs who will prepare their signature specialities. “This is a unique concept. It is a platform for us to be creative and showcase to gourmands across the city our food philosophy, providing experiential dining and a unique perspective into how restaurants and chefs do what they do,” says chef Prashanth Puttaswamy, executive sous chef at Like That Only, Bangalore.
Having organised a number of culinary events all across India in the past, Desi Restaurant Week Events Pvt. Ltd, the organisers of CTW, have been presenting the same promotion for a couple of years now. “This is our third edition and it will be triply good. The last two times saw great crowds, so this time we have added more number of restaurants to our list. I, for sure, will be heading to some of my favourites and getting a taste of this delicious goodness,” says Nachiket Shetye, director, Desi Restaurant Week India Pvt. Ltd, who cannot wait to head to Indian Accent and try the foie gras-stuffed galawat, strawberry green chilli chutney, tandori bacon prawns, wasabi malai cream, khandvi ravoli and the pumpkin mash khakhara crisp.
Besides his favourites, you can also look forward to preparations like crisp prawns with asparagus at Travertino, chocolate mousse at Hakkasan, grilled prawn lemon grass chilly at Masala Klub, marinated red snapper and breaded oysters at Konomi, nori-wrapped Norwegian smoked salmon at Caperberry, chicken in Pandana leaf at Rim Naam, steak in black bean sauce at Like That Only, martabaan chole at Varq, koli barthad at Karavalli, and more from top restaurants like Indian Accent at The Manor, Kainoosh at DLF Promenade, Konomi at Trident Gurgaon, Travertino at the The Oberoi, Tres in Lodhi Colony, Blue Ginger at Taj West End, Rim Naam at The Oberoi, Royal Afghan at ITC Windsor from Ellipsis in Colaba, Dakshin Coastal at ITC Maratha, Kangan at The Westin Garden City Hotel, The Sassy Spoon at Nariman Point, Two One Two in Worli and a lot more from Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.
One’s dietary preferences are also taken into consideration. “We would like to reach out to a clientele who is ready to experiment and indulge in out-of-the-ordinary cuisines and eventually turn out to be regulars at the restaurant. For that, it is necessary we give them what they want, the way they want it,” says chef Amit Chowdhury, at Varq, The Taj Mahal Hotel.
Chef Rishikesh Rai at the Masala Klub, Bangalore, is more excited about appeasing his senses with new challenges in the kitchen. “The concept gives us an opportunity to outdo ourselves. For once, we’ll be in-and-out of our second home—the kitchen—to meet the people who make us what we are today and share with them some secrets from our culinary world,” he says. Make reservationa at www.chefstableweek.com.