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Saturday, 02 March 2024 | Shobori Ganguli

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SHOBORI GANGULI takes an indulgent plunge into a theatrical restaurant pool that proves to be a novel immersive culinary experience

Along the winding fine dining streets of South Delhi’s heart and lungs, Mehrauli, you must stop at a place that literally invites you to come in and Play. Yes, Play is all about a delectable indulgence in all things heady about Asian and Mediterranean confluence. I find fusion too limiting a term for the entity Play has created. The unique decor, the theatrical culinary presentation, the awesome open air terrace, everything about Play exudes the kind of warmth you so desire on a frosty winter evening. Of course, in the company of good friends.

Standing out in all its opulence at the Qutub Complex, Play has carefully sought to extend the norms of conventional wining and dining to forge a cocktail bar and restaurant with innovation writ large. Kanishk Tuteja, the creative force behind Play, envisions a space where culinary artistry seamlessly meets theatrical elegance. As the founder, he expresses that “Play transcends the traditional definition of a restaurant — it’s a stage for unforgettable experiences. The fusion of diverse flavours, mirrored illusions, and dynamic ambiance invites guests to embark on a journey of luxury and delight at Play, where every moment is meticulously crafted for those who seek the extraordinary.” To dwell briefly on the décor, which while being overwhelming is only a part of what Play has on offer, we are informed that the interior design has drawn inspiration from the “theatrical elegance” and “blending” influences of Asian and Mediterranean cultures. Mirrored elements on the walls indeed create mesmerising spatial illusions, promising to cast a magical spell even before the heady spirits and aromatic flavours flow in to gently lure you into wonderland.

As explained by Play’s General Manager Kunal Kumar, the place promises to remain etched in our memories well beyond the moment of our departure. The special menu crafted by Chef Rishi Prakash for us indeed continues to linger on even now.

As I mentioned, the Asian and Mediterranean confluence of cuisine and culture is Play’s signature touch. From specially infused sushi to inventive tapas, each dish has a unique narrative.

Chef Bulut’s theatrical presentation skills were on full display which elevated the dining experience to another realm altogether. Alongside Play’s signature gems Black Cod Miso and the irresistible Baklava, Chef Bulut’s mastery of a visually stunning and theatrical presentation certainly made the evening special.

The specially crafted menu for us included a Leaks and Chicken soup alongside an option of Vietnamese Banh Pho. We savoured an array of appetizers — Soy Caramel Mushroom, Guaca Beets Tart, a Mock Meat Stir Fry. The meat eaters were of course treated to an Arabic Lemon Garlic Fish, Char Siu Chicken and a scrumptious Shrimp Avocado Tart. The salads comprised a healthy mix of Moroccan Carrot and Quinoa, with Beet Root Carpaccio. From the Chef’s Theatre came Lamb Adana and Cottage Cheese Shish Touk.

The main course was a refined amalgamation of Buck Wheat Pancake, Sundried Tomato Barley, Japanese Katsu Curry, Tofu and Chicken Cutlet, and River Sole. For desserts, we literally dug into the Mixed Berry Cheesecake and Chocolate Forest.

I and my friends resolved to return for more fun at Play. Highly recommended for an evening or afternoon of guilt-free indulgence.  

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