Offering a flavourful contrast

Butter chicken prepared with peanut butter or prawns served with sambar may seem like an unusual amalgam to the average North Indian.

Published: 08th May 2022 07:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2022 07:39 AM   |  A+A-

Chef Tarun Sibal with his team

Butter chicken prepared with peanut butter or prawns served with sambar may seem like an unusual amalgam to the average North Indian. However, these quirky dishes blend harmoniously well together thanks to chef Tarun Sibal’s tactful insight into food. The entrepreneur—he recently co-founded Titlie, a culinary bar in Vagator, Goa—places his idea of ‘collaborative cuisine’ on centre stage with the three-day Titlie pop-up in collaboration with fine dining restaurant Rooh, located in Mehrauli. 

Sibal sheds light on the term “collaborative cuisine”, explaining, “When I get ingredients and make them jam on a plate, it is like a symphony. Sometimes they contrast, sometimes complement, but they create a harmonious plate.” The pop-up—it was inaugurated on Friday—offers city residents a unique chance to feast upon Sibal’s distinctive experimentations that blend international and regional flavours. 

Dahi Khakra Channa Choori Chaat

A symphony of flavours 
We attended the pop-up on Friday morning with The Morning Standard reader, Divya Aggarwal (22) from Pitampura. The menu offers an assortment of redefined Indian dishes through a 10-course meal (vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants) along with a series of craft cocktails. We tried a Berry Bellini cocktail and hummus with Kurkuri Bhindi, which served as a flavoursome introduction of what’s in store.

We commenced our feasts with the Dahi Khakhra Choori Chaat, with an unusual mix of chooran (the sweet and tangy digestive makes a return in other dishes as well) and toffees as garnish. “I love the tangy taste. It definitely feels very desi,” expressed Aggarwal. A vegetarian dish of Mushroom Textures comprising creamy mushroom sauce served with a milk bun, simmered in black garlic butter, stood out for us. “It has a unique taste. I am not a fan of mushrooms but this is really tasty. The garnish adds to the flavour,” said Aggarwal.

Peanut Butter Chicken  with Pyaazi Kulcha
Peanut Butter Chicken
with Pyaazi Kulcha

Delectable experiments
The menu reflects Sibal’s food philosophy i.e. ‘Gourmet Causal’. The plating for every dish has been given extra thought. The cocktails complement the food well. The menu is well suited for those who don’t mind being surprised with their food. While a few dishes create a delectable confluence of flavours—for us it was the tuna and the mango tartar—there are other safer options as well, such as the Rose and Harissa tandoori, a spicy seekh served with a tangy sauce. A few others, however, didn’t hit the mark—though a daring experimentation, you can give the peanut butter chicken a pass. 


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