Sublime culinary fare, crafty concoctions, and an infamous waiting line — the Tres trifecta budded in 2013 and soon bloomed to become the talk of the town. Still faring high on Delhi’s must-visit lists in 2017, the news of Tres closing doors was met by a wave of disbelief. A year later, the prodigal son returns. Serving a fresh experience with a respect for the old, Tres is all set to cast its spell on #OurCity once again with chefs Jamsheed Bhote, Jatin Mallick, and Julia Carmen Desa at helm. “It’s all about robust flavours, varied cooking techniques, and local produce treated with respect,” shares Mallick, talking about the menu. With curiosity brimming at DSSC HQ about the reopening, we made our way to Lodhi Colony.
Adorned by geometric designs and granite furnishings, the restaurant comes alive with warm colours juxtaposed with hues of grey. A conscious decision to celebrate the work behind the kitchen doors has lent the restaurant its spread-out bar, bakery section overlooking the dining area, and kitchen with transparent exteriors to keep diners company in the open-air lush section. “People will either love it or hate it,” says Mallick talking about the concept. We reckon the scale will be leaning comfortably towards amor and providing proof, we nestled ourselves in the wicker chairs environed with flora.
A bread basket with pumpkin focaccia, ciabatta, and lavash kick-started the meal on a note higher than C8. Accompanied by smoked butter and a vegetable relish that packs a wallop, the crust and texture of the breads had us revelling. The sweetness of pumpkin chunks offset by the herbs escalated the focaccia high on the #DSSCRecommends list of breads to break in the capital city. Next in was Quick Tossed King Prawn and Calamari with radish and cucumber salad, a classic that has made its presence felt on the menu since Tres first opened doors. Cooked to perfection, the seafood dazzled with a lime and chilli drizzle, elevated further by the pungent radish and refreshing cucumber. Giving tough competition to this signature, the Goat’s Cheese Bavaroise is a showstopper, not just for your IG feed, but also for your palate. Salt baked beets, beetroot sponge, beetroot puree, preserved walnut and apple compote, fresh orange segments, dill, and micro herbs — each spoonful is an explosion of flavour, different from the previous. Served with rye crisps, the salad too showcases their bakery expertise.
Pairing the small plates with Tres non-alcoholic cocktails (yes, they’re awaiting the liquor license), the Sorbet Lemonade and Tres Lemonana, while slightly less sharp with citrus notes, offered viable companionship for the upcoming line-up. Skilfully executed, the Chicken Liver Ice-Cream is aerated, velvety smooth, and delightfully savoury. Prepared on-order and set akin to a parfait, it’s treatment is like that of ice-cream and it is churned in Pacojet. Paired with the Tres signature preserved walnut and apple dressing, it was the oleaginous finish of the caramelised shallot tarte Tatin that prevented this dish from reaching its full potential. The Confit Potato suffered a similar ailment. Gloriously stuffed with truffle wild mushroom pate and topped with balsamic caviar, the allure of these potatoes was crippled only by the pinguid exterior. Next in, the Braised Moringa with rice crostini, whipped feta, guasacaca, and puffed rice is an overpowering mouthful that is best suited as an accompaniment to tipples. However, the use of this indigenous ingredient was gratifying to witness. Talking about the importance of embracing local produce, Mallick opines, “We believe in serving what’s available in our community and treating our local ingredients with care and a little bit of understanding. Importing artichokes or white asparagus isn’t going to do anyone any good.” We concur, for our country is host to a plethora of superlative ingredients waiting to grace the menu of fine-dine restaurants.
Steering towards large plates, the Homemade Salted Pork Belly was quick to catch our eye. Strips of pork elevated by the sweetness of fig, bacon, and whisky jam and sharpness of pickled mustard seeds, we couldn’t help ourselves but order seconds. Next in, the Cauliflower and Corn Roulade was rolled full of flavour, uplifted by the crunch of puffed wheat. However, the salt levels rocketed high, bringing the overall ratings of this dish lower. The Orange-Thyme Flavoured Confit Chicken Legs once again brought to forefront the prowess of the trio of chefs. Flawlessly cooked and falling apart, the chicken had us enraptured. Perched atop creamy polenta and bok choi, supplemented by confit onions and broccoli, immersed in herbed chicken jus, every element on the plate came together immaculately to create a symphony you could lose yourself in.
Readying ourselves to bid adieu, we dug our spoons in the Dark Chocolate Ganache with passionfruit sorbet. Balancing the sweet, sour, and bitter, just as well as Karan Johar asks invading questions, this dessert offers a splendid end to a splendid meal.
Head over to 23, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi and lose wallet weight equivalent to INR 3,000 for two (approx.)