Culinary Flights @ Infinity, The Hilton, Mayur Vihar, New Delhi
The Culinary Flights menu at the Hilton Mayur Vihar is a four-course food tour around the world on your plate. The concept is that each course is paired with a wine from the same country so that the union enhances the flavours of both.
For the first course we stopped by Italy for Stracci al aragosta: homemade pasta sheets with lobster and a saffron reduction. This course was paired with Carpene Malvolti Prosecco Brut. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the lobster portions were generous, but the dish was a little too bland for my taste. I was also expecting the reduction to be a richer orange colour- it looked a bit dull to me. The wine was acidic and very light, giving the meal a fresh, yet full-flavoured start.
Next we moved to France for a Creamed French onion soup with poached scallops, paired with Domaine Laroche Petit Chablis. The soup had a certain je ne sais quoi about it- one mouthful and my friend and I were grinning at each other. It was warm and creamy, filled with a rich, yet delicate sweet onion flavour. You need to eat this dish to learn how the humble onion can be transformed into the star of a brilliant dish. The scallops were a special treat, but I was not pleased to see I had only two in my soup, while my friend had four! This distressing matter was easily remedied by my grabbing one of hers when her mouth was full of soup and even spluttering indignantly wasn’t an option. The wine was a familiar white to me – fuller bodied than the previous one and with discernable citrusy flavors.
The third course landed us in Australia where we sampled roasted lamb loin with crash potatoes, apple confit, and fried goat cheese. The wine was an appropriately robust D’Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz. We both asked for our lamb to be done medium-rare and it came to our table beautifully plated and perfectly pink. The flavours and textures in this dish were made to go together – the tender, peppery lamb, the crispy crash potatoes (although they were slightly dry), sweetly tart apple-basil confit, and the goat cheese which was crumb fried on the outside, and salty and crumbly on the inside. The wine was a big red, with a smack-you-in-the face personality. Earthy, fruity, and spicy was what I tasted with a deep cherry flavour.
The sweet finish brought us right back to India to sample a fusion dessert – Rasmalai and chocolate mousse with raspberry and rabri coulis. I had my apprehensions about this one, but was pleasantly surprised. The mousse was set rather firm in thick layers, but the dominating flavour was still the rasmalai. The wine with this course was India’s first dessert wine – Sula Late Harvest Chenin Blanc: a beautiful golden, fruity wine, which went beautifully with the dessert.
A wonderful way to sample a nice mix international food and wine, try this menu with a close friend, so that you’re not the only one laughing inappropriately after sampling large glasses of four different types of wine.