Saturday November 16, 2019
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A food trail to Niche Lounge and Bistro

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Image source: zomato.com

New Delhi: In today’s age where the fine dining restro-lounges face tough competition to survive in a sea of plenty, we find one such lounge and bistro which stands out in the crowd. The Niche Lounge and Bistro scores full in terms of food, presentation and ambiance.

Here the cocktails are served in perfume bottles and the food is a breath of fresh air.

Located in the outer circle of Connaught Place, opposite the Statesman building, Niche is spread across two floors, including an al fresco dining area. The indoor-seating area has stylish interiors dominated with plush leather upholstery and panelling on walls. It also boasts of a stage for performance, a 20-seater Long Island-style bar and a cigar corner.

The menu is quite restricted, not offering an array of dishes like a lot of other places where customers get so confused that they end up ordering just a pasta or a pizza.

“Our aim is to make people taste everything that we have to offer. Our menu is limited, the portions are small and reasonably priced. We want to promote a culture of consuming three starters, four mains and a dessert between two people,” Assistant General Manager Matthew Radalj told reporters.

Niche is also big on its signature cocktails which are presented in things like a perfume bottle and the inside of a book, priced at Rs. 1,000 each.

“The pricing of our signature cocktails is a little high compared to the classic cocktails since we try and make as many ingredients in-house as possible since a lot of the things that go into producing a cocktail – like tobacco liqueur – are not available in India. So, we have taken a culinary approach to the drinks, producing the flavours ourselves,” said Radalj, who takes care of the bar.

Asked about its many competitors in the area, Radalj said: “We want the dining experience to be a memorable one and not having to leave unsatisfied after eating the same regular things.”

To begin with, we were served two of the signature cocktails; Daisy – a chamomile tequila based drink served in a Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume bottle. This drink does look very pretty especially to someone who loves perfumes but the taste is just the opposite. It is a very strong drink, a little towards the bitter side due to the addition of grapefruit bitters, not recommended for people who likes sweet, flirty drinks.

The second was The Cask of Amontillado, a Hennessy V S cognac-based drink with cardamom and grapefruit bitters. It was very warm and rich, excellent for a cold winter night, sitting by the fire, gorging on a piece of rare steak. The amount of alcohol was very generous in both cocktails.

The drinks were quickly followed by the star of this entire dining experience – pulled pork spring rolls served with sweet chilli glaze. Crunchy on the outside with a juicy and generous amount of pulled pork on the inside. A definite conversation starter along with drinks.

Three dishes really stood.

The first was the French onion soup rings – creamy, rich soup served with crisp onion rings and gruyere cheese. The soup was not heavy and the rings did not have any trace of oil, very light and full of flavour.

The second dish was Malabar prawns served with dates and olive tapenade and capers.This dish was one of the finest examples of fusion food and the prawns were of the melt-in-the-mouth type.

The third dish was the smoked salmon nicoise salad with gazpacho. When it was brought to the table, it seemed like the colours of spring had arrived on a plate: the pink of the salmon, the green of the olives, the red of the cherry tomatoes and the yellow of the gazpacho. The dish could very easily be dominated by either the salmon or the gazpacho, but on the contrary, the flavours were all well-balanced and could be individually tasted.

The dishes that did not really stand out were the chili aam papd pork ribs with strawberry chips and jus. The pork was dry, not well seasoned, the strawberry jus was delicious but did not do anything for the pork.

The second was the lamb shank served in a rogan josh gravy, ginger foam and sauteed vegetables. The meat was undoubtedly very tender, and of the fall-off-the-bone type but the gravy again was a little off in terms of seasoning.

The third was the chicken breast flavoured with mace and cardamom butter and chili korma. The chicken had a little char on the top but it was bland and dry.

The last dish was a complete mind-boggler. It was the dessert, a ganache served with chocolate mousse, white chocolate shavings, mango jelly cubes and chili ice-cream which gave it a ‘kick’.

Niche’s setting with the great cocktails, sumptuous food and a fabulous location, makes it a place where dining turns into an absolute delight. (Karishma Saurabh Kalita, IANS)

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Study Reveals, Genetics Can Affect The Way in Which One Tastes Food

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019

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Genetics
Genetics affect the way you taste, and taste is an important factor in food choice. Pixabay

Genetics make certain compounds taste bitter, which may make it harder for some people to add heart-healthy vegetables to their diet, according to a new study.

“Your genetics affect the way you taste, and taste is an important factor in food choice,” said study author Jennifer L. Smith from University of Kentucky.

According to the researchers, everyone inherits two copies of a taste gene called “TAS2R38”. People who inherit two copies of the variant called AVI aren’t sensitive to bitter tastes from certain chemicals.

Those with one copy of AVI and another called PAV perceive bitter tastes of these chemicals, however, individuals with two copies of PAV, often called ‘super-tasters,’ find the same foods exceptionally bitter.

“We’re talking a ruin-your-day level of bitter when they tasted the test compound. These people are likely to find broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage unpleasantly bitter; and they may also react negatively to dark chocolate, coffee and sometimes beer,” Smith said.

For the study, researchers analysed food-frequency questionnaires from 175 people (average age 52, more than 70 per cent female) and found that people with the PAV form of the gene were more than two and a half times as likely to rank in the bottom half of participants on the number of vegetables eaten.

Bitter-tasting status did not influence how much salt, fat or sugar the participants ate.

Genetics
Genetics make certain compounds taste bitter, which may make it harder for some people to add heart-healthy vegetables to their diet, according to a new study. Pixabay

“We thought they might take in more sugar and salt as flavour enhancers to offset the bitter taste of other foods, but that wasn’t the case,” Smith said.

“Down the road we hope we can use genetic information to figure out which vegetables people may be better able to accept and to find out which spices appeal to supertasters so we can make it easier for them to eat more vegetables,” Smith added.

ALSO READ: Ram Mandir To Be Built In Ayodhya By 2022

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 — November 16-18 in Philadelphia. (IANS)