In a bid to celebrate the varied cuisines of India, Condé Nast Traveller and Himalayan Sparkling recently hosted the Top Restaurant Awards in Delhi, felicitating 50 of the finest premium restaurants operating across India.
Leading the charge from Delhi, a restaurant called Indian Accent won the prime spot. Restaurateur Rohit Khattar (chairman, Old World Hospitality), of Indian Accent, said, “The credit for this honour goes to the entire Indian Accent team and the many dedicated people who work tirelessly back of the house at Old World Hospitality.” Manish Mehrotra, corporate chef, Indian Accent, said, “Thank you so much Condé Nast Traveller and Himalayan Sparkling for giving us this award. I would also like to thank the jury for selecting us as the number one restaurant.”
In this segment specific awards, regional fare from south India won the spot for the most popular cuisine in the premium dining space. European cuisine spanning Mediterranean, and Italian came second, with 18 names in the category. Asian food, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Burmese, Sri Lankan, and Thai, was third in the rankings, which included 17 winning restaurants. Standalone restaurants fared significantly better than five-star properties. Seven restaurants of The Taj Group, five of The ITC, three of The Leela, and one of The Oberoi made it to the Top 50.
New World cuisine, signifying the use of global culinary styles and techniques to reimagine existing recipes and traditional methods of cooking, is slowly rising up the popularity charts. Diners are also appreciating restaurants and chefs for whom ingredients with a unique and natural source play a central role in providing a superior experience. Among the 50 winners, Delhi and Mumbai took pole position with 10 winning restaurants in each; followed closely by Bengaluru, Chennai, and Goa with seven winning restaurants. Kolkata and Hyderabad with three restaurants each; and Jaipur, Kochi and Pune with one winning restaurant completed the prime restaurants list.
The top-5 restaurants in India, selected by the jury, were announced as the following: Indian Accent, New Delhi; The Bombay Canteen, Mumbai; The Table, Mumbai; Bomras, Goa; and Bukhara, ITC Maurya, New Delhi.
The judging panel included 100+ food writers, critics, influencers, serious food enthusiasts, and all-round tastemakers from across the country, with the key criteria being none of them own or co-own a restaurant in India.
The evening also saw top names from the hospitality industry felicitated for their contribution to the sector. Former President of the National Restaurant Association of India, and Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality’s Riyaaz Amlani won the “Game Changer of the Year” award. Chef Prateek Sadhuof Masque won the “CNT & Himalayan Sparkling Raw & Fine Chef” award, while Zorawar Kalra won the “CNT & Singleton Selections The Inherently Good Taste” award. Le15’s Pooja Dhingra bagged the title of the “Innovator of the Year”. And the Instagram sensation Shivesh Bhatia was the “Social Media Star of the Year” at the event. Conscious Food was awarded the title of “Homegrown Brand of the Year”, an honour presented to them by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.