The Ashok symbolizes
and celebrates the traditional grandeur of the historic capital of India. The
Ashok is the foremost of the 5 star hotels and the flagship hotel of the “Ashok
Group” set in a prime location in Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave.It has an
inventory of 550 rooms, 389 of them are well appointed premium rooms, 150
luxuriously appointed ‘Suites’ , 10 Deluxe Suites and 1 Presidential Suite each
depicting the vibrant ethos of India.
The Hotel boasts of a wide
variety of cuisines at its different restaurants and dining options. One can
discover a world of exquisite dining; a repertoire of Indian as well as
International cuisines. One of my favorite since my childhood days, being “
Frontier”. I still remember my college
days, when we used to save money specially to dine at this place. It’s been an
Icon of fine dining and NWFP (North West Frontier Province)* cuisine. I don’t understand
why people have a build up a perception for Hotels like The Ashok etc. that
they cannot be as good as the other 5 star properties. After my meal at the
Frontier, I can bet on it that the standards have been maintained very well and
uniformity of taste in the cuisine can be relished clearly. It’s my word, for
all the foodies that if you have not eaten at this place, you are definitely
missing something big.
*(Ref: Wikipedia) North-West
Frontier Province may refer to:
Province of Pakistan:
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,
known as the North-West Frontier Province from 1955 to 2010
- North-West Frontier Province (1901–1955),
a province of British India and later of Pakistan
North West Frontier Province comes the famed Peshawari cuisine, one of the
legacies of undivided India. This delectable cuisine can be best defined as
rustic and robust. This cuisine uses the simplistic style of preparation, where
big chunks of meat, seafood and vegetables are marinated sparingly and cooked
in the clay tandoor at high temperatures so that they remain soft, tender and succulent.
The spices and flavours are used in moderation so as not to overpower the
preparations and to be acceptable to every palate. The rustic nature of this
cuisine and the focus on preserving the flavours and ingredients is another
unique aspect of this cuisine.
When I entered
the restaurant, I was taken aback by its grandeur and new look. It used to be
very rustic and a reflection of the cuisine it offered till few years back. Now,
after so many years it has been renovated into a modern looking and chic place.
It’s important to evolve with time, which can be clearly seen here. A 76 cover restaurant with a live show kitchen,
it’s spacious too. The interiors depict a flowing river (probably Jhelum) at
night when the stars are tinkling in the sky. The live medallion played by a
very talented musician just transports you to another world and makes the whole
The food, of
course we are here for food. The nostalgic effect was so strong, that I was
overwhelmed with the whole experience of eating here.
with the kebabs – the Patthar Kebab (beaten lamb, marinated mildly and cooked
over hot stones/plates) AWESOME – (5.0 / 5.0), the Kebab-e-Bannu (succulent
tikkas of chicken enclosed in egg wrapping done in tandoor) Lovely – (4.5 / 5.0)
and the Fish Tikka (marinated chunks of king fish done in tandoor) , good (4.0
kebabs like Bharwan Aaloo (stuffed potato, with cheese, done in tandoor) was
good (4.0/5.0), the Moti e Zameen (marinated veggies like onions, tomatoes,
capsicum and cottage cheese chunks done in tandoor) nicely done, no gaga about
it. (4.0/5.0) The Subz e seekh was just normal, as it can be (3.5 /5.0)
recommended to have a drink called Kala Noor, which was really too good. It was
an amalgamation of jaljeera, spices and sprite – thoroughly refreshing and
appetizing. I also tried the Pink Panther – a guava flavored drink, nice and
creamy texture. I also ordered the Melon Cocktail and it was well mixed.
preparation seems simplistic; the standardization of recipes, quality of
ingredients used, marination time, temperature of tandoor, type of tandoor and
the standards set, have to be followed religiously, which I can say are being
done religiously at “The Frontier” because I could relish the same taste even
today after so many years. The recipes are being followed very well by the talented
Chef, Anish Kanswal and he has maintained the pride and honour of this iconic
place, nicely and graciously.
served us the main course, comprising of Raan Aalishan (tender leg of lamb
marinated in rum and rare spices, done in tandoor) was to die for. The most flavorful,
the most succulent, and the melt in the mouth lamb meat – I was on the seventh
sky, with my first bite of this raan. I can visit “The Frontier” only for this
dish all my life. (5.0 /5.0)
were the Khatte Baingan (eggplant cooked in different spices in gravy) – (3.5
/5.0), Paneer Peshawari (cubes of cottage cheese in thick tomato based gravy)
really very nice, (4.0/5.0) The Palak Mushroom was also very differently done,
not the regular flavor at all, (4.0 / 5.0)……. One of the best, the Dal Dera
Ismail Khan is a harmony of whole black lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic,
simmered overnight on coal embers and finished with cream and butter, (5.0 /
Awesome flavors of slow cooking on the tandoor,
overnight could be felt in the mouth. The utilisation of spices is very
limited. kasoori methi, Kashmiri mirchi which enhance the smoky flavour of food
cooked in tandoor are used. Garam masala adds to taste and flavour which is
used sparingly but enhances taste of pulaos and kebabs.
such as pudina naan, keema naan and the garlic naan are a perfect accompliment
to the whole meal. They go very well with the gravies, meat and yes of course,
whether it’s Italian, French or a Peshawari, cannot be complete without a sweet
ending simply put up as, Dessert. We had the luscious Phirni (4.5 / 5.0) served
traditionally in clay bowls – nice and creamy, the Ras Malai (Bengali Sweet made
with milk) (3.5/5.0)and the evergreen Gulab Jamun. (3.5/5.0)
admit, the service was very prompt and the staff was really courteous and
hospitable. They had complete knowledge of the dishes being served as we asked
them few queries we had about the food.
Frontier cuisine has been popular because most of the kebabs owe their origin
to this cuisine. This cuisine is very popular because of its unique style of
cooking in terms of methods and ingredients. The flavour that the tandoor
imparts cannot be matched or duplicated. The other important factor is that the method of
cooking is quite adaptable to vegetarian ingredients also. Tandoori gobhi or
Aloo are as popular as chicken and mutton tikkas.
Currently “Frontier” is also running a promotion called “Tandoori
Nights” wherein you get to savour select kebabs with a complimentary cocktail
for Rs.599/- All Inclusive…….Such festivals and promotions are really
important to attract the young as well as the fresh crowd who can come and try
the best on offer and get to know the quality and standard of the restaurant….
Meal for Two – Rs.3000 /- approx.
are from 1* to 5* - Lowest to Highest.
Service - 4.5
Ambience - 4.0
Overall Restaurant Rating - 4.5
- The Ashok, 50 B, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
26118306, 011 24123849
Lunch – 12.30pm to 3.00pm
Dinner – 7.30pm to 11.30pm
Reviewed and Written by: Vickrham (Vicky)
Pics by: Vickrham (Vicky)
For: TWCI – The Writers Collective of India