The farm-to-table concept is gaining steam internationally, and leading the way here in Delhi is Pluck, a creative, avant-garde restaurant at Pullman, Aerocity. The restaurant has an in-house herb and vegetable garden, and all the dishes on their Modern European and Contemporary Indian menu are made using this fresh produce. The menu at Pluck is decided by seasonal availability of produce, resulting in a dynamic, frequently-changing menu. Chef Ashish Dhar is the culinary genius behind the restaurant, bringing with him over 15 years of experience at renowned restaurants across the globe, and it is his vision which has been brought to life at Pluck, with the freshest of ingredients (sourced from their in-house 5,000 sq ft garden or from local farms that they have tie-ups with to get those ingredients that are not grown in-house). The restaurant itself has a bright and vibrant setting, with plenty of natural light pouring in.
We chose to start off with a couple of mocktails- Grape Year was bursting with the flavor of apricot, prunes, and grapes, muddled with lemon juice, which gave a sharp tinge to the otherwise sweet drink. Sunrise Kick, on the other hand, had a spicy note from the jalapenos, mixed with orange chunks, apple juice, and crushed ice.
We were first served some fresh Salad Greens with an Olive and Maple Mayonnaise that was packed with flavor. The Amuse Bouche served next was a Tomato Jam with Herb Brioche and Rock Salt, a perfect little spoonful to get the juices flowing.
The Bread Basket had a variety of freshly baked breads, which we relishes with Parsley Dusted and Beetroot Dusted Butter, which we thought were a great idea. The butter was dusted with powdered parsley and beetroot to give a lovely bright red and green color.
The first dish that we went for was the Golgappa Caviar- a wonderful twist to the golgappas we’re used to, this one had a tzatziki dip topped with micro cilantro stuffed in the golgappas. Served on the side was caviar made of tangy golgappa water, and a delicious dried ginger gastrique. The burst of flavors in the mouth was simply amazing.
Next, we had the Sweet Potato, Feta & Pomegranate Basket, which was a stellar dish. The sweet potato and feta was diced into cubes, and coated with delicious tangy and spicy sauces, and placed in a potato laccha basket, served with a pipette of tamarind sauce, and chili mint soil on the side. The way this dish was presented was truly spectacular, but what took it over the edge was the fact that all the flavors were on point, with the sweet potatoes balancing out the sharpness of the feta, and the mint soil adding a bit of spice and freshness to the dish. This is a must-have here!
Next, we went with a couple of salads. The Chicken Caesar Salad came with a juicy corn-fed chicken breast on the side, with some fresh green, dressed beautifully, and topped with shavings of parmesan, with extremely thin slivers of crouton. The vegetarian salad was no less- it had baby lettuce dressed in a sweet and tart raspberry dressing, topped with flavorful sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, parmesan cheese and candied lemon peel for the citrus note.
The soups are also visually mesmerizing (presented in a deconstructed form and arranged right at the table) at the same time being packed with flavor. The Burnt Garlic Soup was thick and creamy, and had rich flavors of parmesan, burnt garlic, with a melba oatmeal streusel roll and various powders to season it. It was rich, luscious, and absolutely delicious. But giving this soup tough competition (and perhaps taking a slight edge) was the Mushroom and Chestnut Soup. It was lighter in texture, but much more robust in its depth of flavor. It had in it some micro greens, mushroom carpaccio and truffle mascarpone, which just uplifted the taste.
After these dishes, we were served a palate cleanser of Nimbu Paani Sorbet with Mint Foam, which was delicious enough to be a stand-alone dish. The sorbet had a sharp flavor, and the mint foam lent it just a slight bit of sweetness.
Moving on to the main course, we went with Quinoa Broccoli Cakes and Five Lentils Crusted Fish. The broccoli cakes had been crusted with quinoa for crunch, and the broccoli was just lightly cooked so as to retain its freshness. The dish was served with a vibrant green avocado puree and a sharp, thick citrus gel, along with some juliennes of yellow zucchini. An extremely healthy, yet tasty dish. The Five Lentils Crusted Fish was lip-smacking too, and we just loved the play on textures and familiar flavors here to create something inventive. South Indian cooking uses a lot of lentils, so drawing inspiration from that, they had coated the fish (which was flaky, moist and perfectly cooked) with a delicious lentil crust. The fish was served with pieces of idli dusted with gunpowder, a sweetish Beetroot Murabba Puree and some creamy Malabari Sauce- a really inventive, well-constructed dish.
And when the meal is so divine, how could the desserts be any lesser.
The Hazelnut Praline was creamy, airy, and absolutely decadent. Chocolate and hazelnut is a match made in heaven and these two flavors worked their magic in this dessert as well. The dessert consisted of a flourless hazelnut cake and gianduja (chocolate hazelnut spread) mousse, and the richness of the mousse was cut by the sharp orange curd served alongside. The mousse was served with a praline ice-cream which was quite tasty as well.
The Greek Custard, Rasmali Parfait was also an extraordinary dessert. The custard was made with salty feta cheese and was stuffed with a sweet rasmalai parfait (to balance the flavors well) and had no added sugar. The custard was served with a divine strawberry sorbet and candied beetroot, and finished with cocoa boondi for textural contrast.
We rounded off the meal with a beautiful rose flavored tea from the Pullman Tea Deli.
Each dish was not only a beautiful play on textures and flavors, but was also presented artistically. The service was also on-point throughout and the dishes were timed perfectly. Overall, Pluck warrants multiple visits for its flavorful, innovative food!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Location: Asset No. 2, Aerocity, GMR Hospitality District, IGI Airport, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4608 0808