San Francisco’s Indian restaurant Rooh is now in Delhi

And it’s housed in a haveli overlooking the Qutub Minar

And it’s housed in a haveli overlooking the Qutub Minar

After wowing San Francisco with its progressive Indian fare for the last two years, Rooh — the brainchild of Chef Sujan Sarkar, in collaboration with restaurateurs Anu and Vikram Bhambri — has finally come to New Delhi.

Another outpost of Rooh is slated to open in Chicago by the end of this month. While the central theme and style is the same as that in San Francisco, the menu varies according to the availability of ingredients.

Housed in a refurbished
haveli overlooking Delhi’s iconic Qutub Minar, the 56-seater restaurant has a tasting menu that can be described as soul satisfying. While some of the dishes take you on a nostalgic journey, there are many that celebrate the progressive Indian palate.

One thing that sets this restaurant apart from the many ‘modern Indian’ ones is that you won’t find fusion food that is extremely passé. “We are a well-travelled lot,” says Chef Priyam Chatterjee, head chef of Rooh New Delhi, adding that the soul of each dish lies in its regional, state-specific inspiration, to which international cooking techniques have lent a modern appeal.

The cryptic description of dishes on the 11-course tasting menu lends a sense of drama, but you can’t help but laugh out loud when you decipher the original taste. For instance, “potato, fermented
parantha , Mehrauli goat curd and tomato pickle” sounds and looks fancy, but it is the quintessential north Indian breakfast. You can also expect some flavourful
pani puri , a quirky avatar of egg
bhurji , a variety of chicken, pork, duck, fish and scallop and eclectic vegetarian choices spanning mushroom, sweet corn, cheese, pumpkin and cauliflower.

Being a restaurant and bar, equal thought has gone into creating cocktails. For starters, they’re based on the six Ayurvedic
rasa s — sweet, salty, pungent, bitter, sour and astringent. Further, there are nine alcoholic and six non-alcoholic drinks to choose from, based on a variety of ingredients. From the sous vide turmeric gin used in turmeric collins to the filter coffee-based kaapi martini, the drinks too have an Indian touch.

If you’d like to keep things simple, let an expert do the pairing for you. Sommelier Magandeep Singh, who has curated the wine library for Rooh, New Delhi, says, “We would like to surprise and tantalise taste buds. The wine selection at Rooh is now at a par with the best wine restaurant libraries globally, making this luxury restaurant the newest wine destination of the capital.”