The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me as I have been eating out a lot, unlike 2017 where I was a bit disappointed with the kind of restaurants and café that opened. 2018 looks promising. I have been to some of the newly opened restaurants and found them to be good, in terms of offering and concept. We are almost half way through 2018 and though it’s not the right time to write on the trends, yet I am certain, that given the experiences I have had, the South East Asian cuisine is the flavor of the season.

While I have my reservation about the parking of Ansal Plaza and the problem of pulling crowd but it seems that this is the new destination for our restaurateur and that’s the reason number of restaurants are opening here. Triple 8 is the newest entrant at Ansal Plaza, led by Chef Vivek Rana who has worked with Indian Accent New York and Tamrai London. I met him first at Indian Accent Delhi when he was doing the summer menu before he moved to New York. Highly impressed by his understanding of flavor, little did I know that his first love is Pan Asian.

The food at Triple 8 is sublime and flavors are intact. While the goat brain tempura will surprise you, Yakitori will make you crave for more. The braised lamb shank Malacca will give you full satisfaction, and his dimsums will definitely make you come back at Triple 8. Jaideep Anand, the owner, also shared that they have fabulous cocktails on the menu which will be soon available (they are awaiting liquor license).

In the same Mall, We have Kofuku which is a contemporary Japanese restaurant and serves the most amazing prawn tempura. Light batter, fried well and tasted really well, a must try dish whenever you are at Kofuku. Not only this, their tofu salad (veg) is outstanding as well. Chef’s special OMG sushi ( flaming sushi ) is worth trying.

I know Chef Vaibhav Bhargava from Guppy( my favorite Japanese place in town) days and totally admire his pan Asian skills. The pork belly is absolutely my favorite, melt in mouth pork, perfect ratio of fat and meat – It is DIVINE!  His another creation, Japanese pizza too is a winner. Chilli Chicken dumpling and Vietnamese summer roll were outstanding too. The Drunken Botanist a newly opened restaurant in cyberhub, where the menu is designed to keep in the mind the millennial customer in the area. I would love to see some more east Asian dishes on the menu from Chef Vaibhav.

Pra Pra Prank is another addition in cyberhub, given the massive success of Prankster which is owned by Banga brothers, here the menu is modern Asian and modern Indian, led by two brilliant young chefs, Harangad Singh and Kaustubh Haldipur. Their new age hot and sour soup is served with truffle oil perfume that gives the extra kick. The rainbow sushi roll is their take on Japanese sushi, which is again brilliant. The sea bass and lobster are currently talks of the town not only because of the pricing but also because they taste great.

Ziu is not new but still going strong. We were there on Tuesday night and the restaurant was full which is an indication that Thai is still going strong. The flavor of Thai cuisine is close to us and perhaps that’s the reason that it’s still doing great. The food here is delicious, with the very little twist and without any foam, gas, and nitrogen. The airfryer papaya salad is crunchy has Thai flavor. I loved his innovative dishes that had no compromise on flavor and presentation too is fantastic. Chef Gurmehar is indeed a fantastic chef and I am looking forward to his next venture.

How can I forget Kiara! A newly opened all-vegetarian restaurant in GK-2. One of the key thing about this place is that the concept is healthy and vegan. Very soon they will have all the calories count on the menu as well. Their salad and ministrone soup were clean on flavors and tasted excellent. The flavors are Asian, primarily Thai and Japanese. I would say a good start, though it would be interesting to see how people in Delhi would conceive this place.

I guess, we are moving beyond our undying love for Chinese cuisine, which ruled for years, but now we are exploring further and looking for new regions for more taste and flavors that suits our profile. The sudden rise in the Japanese restaurant is also an indication that we are conscious of health and clean food.

In addition, the rise in the opening of these south-east Asian restaurants indicates that the days of Chinese specialty restaurant is not where we would want to go every time. Well, that is an assumption as we see more and more South -East Asian restaurants coming up!

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