RASOI STREET FOOD SUMMER TERRACE
Mandarin Oriental, Geneva
by Chené Koscielny
Photographs by Caro Blackwell of Caroblackwell.com
There is a new terrace in town to tempt you this summer – the Mandarin Oriental has opened a pop-up terrace: Rasoi Indian Street Food offering what is without a doubt the best Indian street food in town – and outside of Mumbai.
We tried it – with your interests in mind – and trust us, you’ll love this!
THE TERRACE OVERLOOKING THE RHÔNE
The terrace – which overlooks the Rhône, has been transformed into a bright and inviting space with pretty high chairs in different colours and bright overhanging decorations.
We are greeted with a cool mango lassi – an Indian yoghurt drink – refreshing on a still boiling late afternoon.
The idea is to make the hotel’s highly acclaimed Indian restaurant a bit less formal and more accessible to locals who are invited to pop in after work during the summer months.
Vineet Bhatia, who is the chef behind Rasoi by Vineet, the more formal Indian restaurant in the hotel, needs no introduction. The first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star, he is a food celebrity and what a lovely, down-to-earth man! Rasoi by Vineet is a sister restaurant to his London restaurant Vineet Bhatia, his first and most famous restaurant.
Down-to-earth and friendly, Vineet mingles with the guests during the opening night.
He chats to us about his latest ventures and shares the secret of his success – “It has to come from the heart.”
Vineet is passionate about food and creating dishes that are not only beautiful to look at but also delicious. His recipes are inspired by traditional Indian dishes but he has a real knack for adding a creative, modern twist!
It is immediately obvious that this street food menu is in a different class from any Indian food we’ve tried before – we first share some vegetarian plates – including a Dhal puri pomegranate, sev – lentil, spice and flour bites served alongside a puree of beetroot and yoghurt and dotted with pomegranate and herbs. Almost too pretty to eat, but delicious!
The vegetable samosa Chaat is my favourite – a flavourful combination of crushed, crunchy potato topped with chickpeas, yoghurt and herbs with a surprising kick in the tangy chutney sauce.
The wild mushroom Khichdi bonda – little mushroom and potato balls served with a tomato sauce are also to die for.
The paneer bhurji toki – are divine little baskets of scrambled cottage cheese topped with quinoa, herbs and spices.
The non-vegetarian options are equally interesting and creative such as chili fish puffs served with a spicy mango chutney, crispy curried chicken served with a heavenly mayo and a Lamb keema mutter cone – tiny little cones – like ice-cream cones – filled with a delicious lamb mince!
The last option is Amritsari softshell crab – crab fried in spices – served with mustard raita – mustard-flavoured yoghurt dipping sauce. Soooo yummy.
Even if you only order the naan breads by themselves – plain or with delicious fillings, including cheese and coriander, you’ll not be disappointed.
If you’re into Indian food or a foodie wanting to experience something different – you’ll LOVE Vineet’s creative Indian street food menu.