The Leela Am­biance Gu­ru­gram | HO­TEL

Ho­tel & Res­i­dences | By Jy­oti Balani

Upscale Living Magazine - - Content -

In the month of Oc­to­ber last year, I was hosted at The Leela Am­bi­ence Gu­ru­gram Ho­tel & Res­i­dences and came back with an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. One of the most pop­u­lar ho­tels in Delhi, it is fre­quented by both lo­cals and tourists as this ho­tel of­ten plays host to some of the most phe­nom­e­nal food and bev­er­age events in the cap­i­tal city. Pre­vi­ously led by the ef­fi­cient Gen­eral Man­ager Michel Koop­man, who handed over the reins of the ho­tel to Jaideep Anand in De­cem­ber, The Leela Am­bi­ence Gu­ru­gram Ho­tel & Res­i­dences is a suc­cess story ow­ing to a hard work­ing, hos­pitable and ef­fi­cient team of hote­liers as I dis­cov­ered dur­ing my visit.

The ho­tel houses 254 Deluxe/Pre­mier Rooms, 40 Royal Club Rooms that in­clude ac­cess to Royal Club Lounge and ameni­ties, 28 Suites that in­clude ac­cess to Royal Club Lounge and ameni­ties, 90 Res­i­dences which con­sist of one/two/three bed­rooms along with ban­quet venues spread across a mas­sive 27000 sq ft. Those who wish to re­ju­ve­nate can spend time at the Spa by Pevo­nia with per­sonal ther­apy rooms and a sa­lon as I did dur­ing my stay. It was a de­light to find a wel­come note by the Gen­eral Man­ager in my plush suite on ar­rival with var­i­ous ameni­ties such as a bot­tle of wine, choco­lates, fruits etc.

The ho­tel has an ex­ten­sive choice of food and bev­er­age out­lets ef­fi­ciently led by the team of Di­rec­tor Food and Bev­er­age Ashish Nehra and Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Neeraj Ra­woot. Diya lo­cated at lobby level serves In­dian cui­sine and is a food conois­seur’s de­light. Here one can be­gin a culi­nary jour­ney with the ro­bust flavours of Pun­jab, move on to the mus­tard favoured fish of Ben­gal and then grad­u­ally try the flavours of the south height­ened by spices and co­conut. Diya is a vis­ual de­light with a burst of colours show­cas­ing In­dia at its colour­ful and cheer­ful best. A com­fort­able seat­ing to ac­com­mo­date 112 guests at one point, with sooth­ing of­fwhite mono­tones jux­ta­posed with gold and funky colours like fush­cia, turquoise and yel­low in the am­beince, Diya scores when it comes to the am­bi­ence, the food and ser­vice to cre­ate a fab­u­lous set­ting. An in­ter­est­ing fea­ture of Diya is the Ma­haraja room, a pri­vate din­ing space in­side the restu­rant that of­fers din­ing for 12 guests per­fect for init­mate gath­er­ings. The res­tau­rant has a show kitchen where chefs of­ten whip up del­i­ca­cies for guests. Diya is headed by Masterchef Ajay Sa­hoo who has a rich ex­pe­ri­ence of 14 years dish­ing up In­dian cui­sine in some of the best ho­tels in In­dia. Sig­na­ture dishes such as Litti Chokha from Bi­har, Am­rit­sari Mut­ton Gul­nar Ke­bab, Panchkuti ka Saag, Ni­hari Gosht, served with re­fresh­ing drinks such as sol kadhi, aam panna, jal jeera, aam ras, bel ka shar­bat, make for a bril­liant meal at Diya. I feasted on an elab­o­rate nine course menu at lunch

in Diya. Chef Ajay Sa­hoo dished up Mar­wari Dou­ble and Quinoa Bhel to start with fol­lowed by Lehsuni Jhinga with gar­lic Naan, Ker­ala pan fried pom­fret, chicken daak bun­ga­low with bas­anti pu­lao, kosha mang­sho with luchi, Goan pom­fret curry with rice and salli murghi with maska pao thus cre­at­ing a smor­gas­board of del­i­ca­cies from all over the coun­try. This fab­u­lous meal came to a sweet end with Chena Poda and malai kulfi from the dessert menu.

Promi­nently lo­cated at the lobby level of the ho­tel, Spec­tra is a new age res­tau­rant serv­ing global cui­sine span­ning sev­eral con­ti­nents. De­signed by renowned Ja­pan based De­sign Stu­dio Spin Inc., Spec­tra is a con­flu­ence of in­no­va­tive din­ing con­cepts, global de­sign in­flu­ences and di­verse cuisines. Spread over 16000 sq.ft, with a seat­ing ca­pac­ity of 225 cov­ers, Spec­tra fea­tures an in­ter­est­ing set­ting of culi­nary is­lands with live kitchens, pri­vate and semi pri­vate seat­ing en­claves and two large Pri­vate Din­ing Rooms. A vi­brant mix of de­sign in­flu­ences that lend it an eclec­tic feel, lib­eral and co­or­di­nated use of glass, wood and mar­ble make Spec­tra an in­ter­est­ing study of de­sign. Among its dis­tinc­tive de­sign fea­tures is it’s glitzy en­trance that show­cases a flam­boy­ant dis­play of wines sourced from lead­ing wine pro­duc­ing coun­tries, an un­der lit glass run­way with dra­matic light­ing, at­ten­tion grab­bing large elon­gated clus­ter of light­ing fix­tures and nu­mer­ous crys­tal chan­de­liers. The seat­ing ar­range­ment of the res­tau­rant has been de­signed to of­fer guests the flex­i­bil­ity of se­lect­ing their com­fort zone. Chairs and so­fas up­hol­stered in bold col­ors come in dif­fer­ent sizes and con­tem­po­rary de­signs. The open kitchens find an ex­haus­tive dis­play of Chi­nese, Euro­pean, In­dian, Sin­ga­porean, Malaysian and Ja­panese cuisines. The friendly and ef­fi­cient Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Neeraj Ra­woot cre­ated an in­ter­est­ing plat­ter of Asian spe­cial­ties for me at Spec­tra. This fab­u­lously pre­sented meal con­sisted of sal­mon dy­na­mite roll, stir fried prawns with holy basil, chicken in Thai yel­low curry served with jas­mine rice; stir fried cur­ried snap­per with cel­ery and Thai pink pomelo salad. Whether it is break­fast, lunch or din­ner, Spec­tra is a great choice for both a meal from the elab­o­rate buf­fet or ala carte sec­tion.

I de­cided to visit Zan­otta, the ho­tel’s Ital­ian res­tau­rant for din­ner on one of the days while I was at the ho­tel. The res­tau­rant scores high for it’s lo­ca­tion on the 6th floor, with a panoramic view to the city’s sky­line, cre­at­ing a per­fect am­bi­ence for a mar­vel­lous din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Zan­otta of­fers a for­mal seat­ing ar­range­ment for 80 guests, in­clud­ing semi-pri­vate din­ing sec­tions. The con­tem­po­rary Ital­ian res­tau­rant has a show­case of neatly stacked Ital­ian wines and the en­tire at­mos­phere of the res­tau­rant is en­hanced by sooth­ing Ital­ian mu­si­cal com­po­si­tions. Zan­otta is a show­case of balanced mix of colours, tex­tures and light­ing along with an am­ple use of wood on walls and cof­fered ceil­ing which is com­pli­mented by brushed fin­ished spi­ral lamps and Rose­wood Vene­tian blinds. The res­tau­rant has two pri­vate din­ing rooms with a seat­ing of 8 peo­ple in each with a large se­lec­tion of over 1500 wines from around the world in­clud­ing Italy, France, Cal­i­for­nia, Chile, and Ger­many. Zan­otta’s open kitchen lay­out is in keep­ing with the pop­u­lar­ity of live in­ter­ac­tive kitchens. A fresh dis­play of veg­eta­bles, large jars of home­made pickle, pas­tas con­vey Ital­ian Mas­ter Chef Leidy Liz Le­vi­tan Her­nan­dez’s cook­ing phi­los­o­phy of us­ing fresh veg­eta­bles and orig­i­nal herbs and condi­ments. In or­der to main­tain the au­then­tic­ity of flavours, cook­ing in­gre­di­ents are ex­clu­sively flown down from Italy. Din­ing at Zan­otta was an ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence un­like any other Ital­ian res­tau­rant I have been to. As one gets seated, a choice of home­made breads are served warm with an ar­ray of flavour­ful olive oils to tease the pal­ette. The tal­ented Ital­ian chef Leidy sug­gested that I start a fab­u­lous meal with a por­tion of br­uschetta fol­lowed by a tuna av­o­cado tartare, fol­lowed by pasta and then I tried their home­made com­bi­na­tion of cham­pagne and ly­chee sor­bet.

A stay at The Leela Am­bi­ence Gu­ru­gram Ho­tel & Res­i­dences is highly rec­om­mended ow­ing to its su­pe­rior qual­ity ser­vice, high end food, ex­cep­tional am­beince along with the warmth and hos­pi­tal­ity ex­tended by the Gen­eral Man­ager and his efi­cient team. Worth sev­eral vis­its when in Delhi!

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