Amalgamating traditional flavours, global influences, and modern techniques — Founder of and Managing Director at Massive Restaurants and DSSC Power Packer 2017 — Zorawar Kalra believes in pushing the boundaries of Delhi’s F&B industry. Adding yet another experimental experience to his repertoire, the award-winning restaurateur launched Bo-Tai: Modern Thai Bar & Grill on April 25. “Our aim is to break the norms and preconceived notions about Thai cuisine. Through innovative techniques found in food science, the menu experiments with flavours to achieve that perfect blend,” shares the Bentley Business University graduate. Making our way to this #NewInTown, we bring you Bo-Tai, unknot.
A majestic view of Qutub Minar; slick Italian design that embodies the vibrancy of Thai culture in a modern manner; tables sated with culinary creations and cocktails that go beyond the traditional — say hello to Mehrauli’s latest gem, Bo-Tai. Replete with two suave bar islands, modish white wicker chairs, and chic rose gold embellishments, the restaurant, split by a peepal tree, juxtaposes contemporary décor with eclectic details. Perching ourselves at a table on their open terrace, we got talking with Chef Sahil Singh about the inspiration behind the menu. “I have always perceived a huge gap in India’s F&B industry for Thai cuisine. That coupled with the excitement of doing something new prompted us to create these modern Thai offerings,” says the Executive Chef Pan-Asian Cuisine at Massive Restaurants. Kicking-off the night right, Warm Corn & Juvenile Coconut Salad proved itself to be summer sine qua non. A refreshing union of warm corn and cold coconut meat, the Thai dressing, boasting of zesty lemon juice, sharp bird’s eye chilli, and viscous plum sauce, brings it to full circle on crunchy filo pastry. “Its genesis lies in my memories of eating coconut malai as a child,” he shares.
Elucidating the ingenuity of the menu, next up was the pièce de résistance, Tiradito of Scallops. The mollusk carpaccio served with balsamic caviar, sweet soy, galangal, and lime sorbet is a tide of perfectly balanced flavours. Served over a cold water plate, it is not to be missed. Following closely, the Smelted Rice Flour Dumplings showcase stellar technique with crisp pan-fried yet delicate exterior, only to be let down by the blended consistency of vegetables. A cut of vegetables that maintains the bite would have had us raving about this chilli and sampalok seasoned dumpling. Rounding off the first course, Distended Chicken once again raised the bar. Packing a punch with Nam Prik Pao, it is not for the faint hearted. The traditional Thai chilli paste glazing the light yet crisp chunks of well-cooked chicken are further accentuated by lemongrass.
Steering our night towards the island, we dug our flags at the bar. Boasting of cocktails inspired by the folklores of ancient Thailand and Laos, the tipples menu is curated by Dino Koletsas, Founder and Owner of Dare Hospitality, a London-based consultancy. “The beverage menu is flavoured playfully by coaxing blossoms and greens,” adds the gent behind Kode and Pa Pa Ya, Zorawar Kalra. Bangkok Boulevard adeptly showcases the Thai influence with edible gold dust on the glass and house-made tropical vermouth that is tempered with honey and lemon. A potent concoction, the whisky elevates the experience with a strong dominance. Next up, The Full Moon Festival inspired by Loi Krathong, a celebration of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, hits the nail on first looks. However, as we sip this house special, overpowering bitterness establishes a strong foothold on our palate. The gin fails to standout and the edible flowers, whilst appealing to the eye, did little for the melded flavour profile.
Journeying back from the island soirée, Grilled Lamb Chops greeted our arrival. Sourced from New Zealand, the meat was cooked just right, but the Rosemary Jus, whilst rich and full-bodied, did little to boost the entrée. Rather, its acrid notes reigned the palate. Had the rosemary been removed from the reduction 60 seconds before, we reckon it would have been a showstopper. Closing the night, Kabocha Custard, served in a half-cut tart, topped our must-have list. The squash is sweetened judiciously and the luscious texture encased in a crumbly tart makes for a perfect end to the meal.
Head over to Bo-Tai, 6/4,Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli Road, Near Qutub Minar and lose wallet weight equivalent to INR 4,000 for two (approximately).