Reverting to its original moniker, the erstwhile Aman Hotel now has a spanking new identity as The Lodhi. While patrons might find it hard to keep up with the fluctuating ownership, the transition certainly has its perks; one of which is the property's restaurant and bar Elan, which plates up beautiful dishes from India, the Meditarranean and Asia amidst a sunny setting of cream and orange interiors.
While waiting to embark on a tasting menu from the international section, I opted for an Australian Shiraz from a very limited selection of red wines served by the glass while my companion stuck to whisky (try one of their rare aged malts at a cost). For appetisers, we began with a crisp potato crostini accompanied by a dollop of delectable cheesy mushroom. Next we shifted into high gear with steamed and fried sea bass smeared with peanut and samrose sauce, each offering a very distinct flavor, of which the samrose excited the palate with hot, tingly undertones. Our final starter was the pan-seared Canadian scallops, with a dab of tamarind sauce. The scallops were wonderfully soft, and tasted like the sea with the sharp tamarind slicing through. We closed the first course with a guava sorbet; a refreshing palate cleanser to prepare us for the mains ahead.
The New Zealand lamb rack was the highlight. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare, and by far the best lamb I have eaten to date. Each mouthful was warm and moist, contrary to my experience with lamb where you're left chewing the meat long after the accompaniments. We'd earlier asked the chef to limit the portions, but this one made us regret that decision. The crispy pork belly that followed didn't live up to the the lamb, even though our empty plates seemed to indicate otherwise. The dish lacked flavour, save for the beautifully golden-brown crust oozing fat and flavour, a calorific nightmare but a foodie's dream. In both presentation and taste, the chef's passion was evident on every plate.
For dessert we shifted outside to the cushioned comfort of the terrace and nursed our drinks while digging into a dark chocolate ganache cake and baked yoghurt with mango compote. The ganache was predictably delicious, but it was the mango compote that really wrapped up the meal with a swirl of sugar and tangy lightness. We left knowing our return was inevitable.
Pan-seared scallops, New Zealand lamb rack
Meal for two (alcohol extra)
(011) 4363 3333