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Butter chicken with wine?

Anoothi Vishal | March 02, 2006

Butter chicken with wine? Or, then again, dhokla with wine? You can take your pick.

Despite the fact that 'curry' is going global like never before and Indian restaurants abroad are blissfully pairing their offerings with merlots and chardonnays, it is not very often that you come across an Indian cuisine restaurant in India that is trying to position itself by one's taste in wine.

But Chutney at the Metropolitan Hotel Nikko in New Delhi is doing precisely that.

The restaurant, relatively new, whose claim to fame hitherto has been the array of chutneys (from apple to bamboo shoot concoctions) it presents with each course of the meal (no, thankfully, not dessert) recently held an unusual Rajasthani food fair. The food, primarily vegetarian Marwari offerings, came paired with wine.

Though the cuisine was by no stretch a gourmet offering, the fabulous Rajput meat preparations conspicuous by their absence, my merlot did go fairly well with the paneer.

Next in the series is a Punjabi promotion followed by other regional cuisines that you normally don't associate with wine -- Andhra, Lucknowi and even Gujarati.

While you may debate the wisdom of pairing these with wine, Rajesh Khanna, assistant F&B manager, says the hotel is trying to position its Indian restaurant as such. "Wine is usually paired with Continental food... this is a different kind of lifestyle positioning we are trying."

The daily sales of the restaurant, according to Preeti Chand, marketing and communications manager, are in the region of Rs 60,000-65,000.

On a good day, sales could go up by more than 5 per cent, but when the restaurant runs a wine-centric promotion, sales leap by as much as 30 per cent.

Do you have a favourite restaurant/cuisine? Have you sampled the latest eating haunt on the block?

Be it Manali or Kanyakumari, Kashmir or Goa, Jaipur or Nagpur -- we would love to know more about the eating out options in your village, town or city. 

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