Lobby Level, Tower C, Global Business Park, M.G. Road, Gurgaon
+91 99 582 70000, +91 124 406 1666
Cuisine: Modern American
Timing: Lunch: 12noon - 3pm;
Dinner: 7pm - 11:15pm
The name L’Angoor can be intriguing, especially if it is the name of an upscale restaurant. “We serve modern American cuisine,” says Chef Hitesh Gupta. I query him on the thinking behind the name, and their crest of two primates with a bunch of grapes. He does explain the significance of grapes in fine dining.
The term “modern American cuisine” connotes the fusion of traditional European and Asian classic cooking techniques; with a stress on high quality, fresh, locally produced, in-season (often organic), healthful foods. Given that this restaurant comes from the same group as the delectable China Club, I look forward to the experience.
As I wait for the first course, I notice the details—the sleek imported cutlery, the large airy interiors with ample natural light, and the plush décor. The place is designed for fine wining and dining. And it does deliver on the wines. There is a wide collection, ranging from the hallowed Chateau Latour, to Alsatian Riesling, Napa Valley Zinfandel, and some fine Bordeaux wines.
The first course, the chef-recommended chilled melons soup (Rs 180) is delightful in its simplicity. Served in a martini glass, it has musk melon and watermelon served in a way that the red and the white colours stay separate. The taste is fresh and natural, capturing the fruity fragrance of the melons. This soup is is a must have.
The same cannot be said for the next dish, the spicy mozzarella samosa (Rs 240). Mozzarella cheese filled in a filo pastry, and fried crisp, should be a good dish; but, here, it is let down by the dense, stringy cheese, and the choice of the accompanying sauce.
Crab cakes are as popular as our batata vada in many parts of America; because of their truly delicious combination of fresh, sweet crab meat and mayonnaise, that is crumbed and deep fried, to give it a sweet softness inside- and a crunchy exterior. The crab cakes (Rs 450) at the restaurant are well intentioned, but are hampered because of the use of frozen crab meat which makes them dry. The accompanying rémoulade is nice and spicy. Next is l’Angoor chicken with mustard infused cabernet sauvignon wine (Rs 380). A lot goes into its preparation. Apart from the wine, there is sliced grape, grape juice and pomegranate juice. The resulting flavours are good; but the combination of wine and juices does tend to sweeten the chicken a bit much. Unlike the other dishes, where the portions were small, this dish is relatively generous in size.
For the dessert, the chef recommends a home made kaffir lime ice-cream (Rs 350), which is served in the house-favourite martini glass, ensconced in a whole scooped orange. The taste of the ice cream more than matches the dramatic presentation. A bite into it creates a medley in the mouth—the high notes of the ginger and kaffir lime play beautifully with the undertones of cointreau and orange peel. The texture here is as epiphanic as the taste.
L’Angoor is a good option for special occasions. There is a lot going for it—the address, the ambience, the wines. And when it comes to the food, it can range from mostly delectable to sometimes unexceptional.