Claiming their spots in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2023, three Indian restaurants – Avartana (at number 50), Indian Accent (at number 19) and Masque (at number 16) – have much to celebrate. Not only do they reiterate the point that Indian food is not all biryani and butter chicken served the old-school way and that it has massive potential to handle modernisation, they also prove the fact that restaurants in India have it in them to be slated against international establishments.
This year’s list is most interesting and yet does not come as quite a surprise. All three restaurants that have made it to the Asia’s 50 Best list in 2023 focus on keeping its soul firmly Indian and yet have quite successfully devised a way to keep their menus progressive. Here’s a quick look at the winning restaurants - Masque, Indian Accent and Avartana.
1. Masque, Mumbai
At number 19, this Mumbai-based restaurant has been on India’s map since 2016. Originally with Prateek Sadhu at the helm of the kitchen, it now has chef Varun Totlani who dishes out his fairly creative 10-course tasting menu that is focused on Indian ingredients and flavours but brought together with modernism at its core, something which also reflects in the décor of the space that sits inside an old Mumbai mill.
2. Indian Accent, New Delhi
Securing 19th place on the Asia’s 50 Best list, Indian Accent has rarely not been in the news. One of the most popular fine-dining restaurants in New Delhi, its fame spreads across the country and globally. Popular for its appetiser menu, formulated by renowned chef Manish Mehrotra, that takes a diner across the country, the restaurant marries traditional Indian flavours with modern cooking techniques most effectively.
3. Avartana, Chennai
Stealing the spot at number 50, Avartana, located inside the opulent ITG Grand Chola Hotel in Chennai, has been winning praises since its launch in 2017. The menu focuses on the various cuisines of south India where ingredients are brought together in the most innovative fashion. Avartana is also the ‘Highest New Entry Award 2023’ on Asia’s 50 Best.
And the others
Making it to the list between 51-100 are four other restaurants from India; let’s take a look at those as well.
1. Bukhara, New Delhi
Sitting at number 52, Bukhara’s list of guests is as accomplished as the restaurant’s menu, not to mention the fact that this 40-year-old restaurant has barely seen many changes. Located at the ITC Maurya, the menu includes regional delicacies from northwest India and features some of the tastiest kebabs. However, it’s the ‘Dal Bukhara’ that makes this restaurant unforgettable.
2. Americano, Mumbai
Inspired by Californian food and served to please the Indian plate, Americano got itself the 66th position on Asia’s Best list. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, Americano is all about farm-to-table and ingredients sourced locally but served with a global perspective.
3. The Table, Mumbai
At number 78, The Table serves food that’s from all over Asia, Europe and the Americas. The menu includes small and large plates and encourages sharing, serving delicious food in an intimate setting.
4. Ekaa, Mumbai
Translating to ‘one’ or ‘matchless’, Ekaa is the inception of interpreted cuisine inspired by ingredients, people and cultures. An ode to India, the bar and restaurant is a culmination of seasons, childhoods and the journey of all the chefs to this point.