Savor a slice of Europe at ‘On The House’ in Jaipur
Dushyant Singh is revolutionizing the culinary scene by bringing the most authentic European flavors to OTH, along with the best coffee in the world to help you taste the best of Jaipur.
Majestic buildings and mouth-watering local cuisines, such as Pyaz Kachori, Ghevar or Dal, Bati or Churma, spring to mind when one thinks of Jaipur. But after meeting restaurateur Dushyant Singh on my recent trip to the Pink City, who told me of his fervent desire to transform Jaipur’s food scene, I experienced a shift in perspective. We follow Singh’s journey from when what began as a passion for exploring delicacies around the world has now successfully turned into a full-time business.
Dushyant Singh has worked with well-known chefs like Alain Passard and Manjeet Singh Gill as he pursues his goal of curating delicious dining, dining and festival experiences. Even though it has appeared on well-known TV channels like Fox Life, Travel XP, and Food Food, its simplicity helps you understand why the people of Jaipur have trusted OTH with their appetites foregoing typical city flavors.
The rustic exteriors are marked by wooden planks, with a round red plank hanging from the center, accenting the OTH branding. Interiors, on the other hand, are designed to meet the prerequisites of fine dining, drawing attention to modest floor lamps, small tabletop planters, and tabletop accessories to match the panache. It was however the aroma of “freshly baked bread” and freshly ground coffee that permeated the air, engulfing my senses, when I first entered “On The House”. The smell alone was enough to put me in the mood for a European cafe, and I could tell that OTH was just about the right place to enjoy delicious treats that are hard to find in Jaipur. Add melodic country music to complete the uptown European vibe, and you have here, a slice of Europe in the middle of a desert state.
Dushyant Singh surprised me with a specially curated 7-course menu that featured top European flavors from his favorite countries.
I was served a creamy soup with roasted peppers, almonds and goat cheese as a starter. This versatile soup goes well with any meal. But before it became an iconic dish in Europe, it was popularized in West Africa when colonial black women prepared it and sold it as street vendors. Later, other interpretations of the soup were devised and local ingredients were added to enrich the flavor depending on the region. However, the most incredible roasted pepper soup includes almonds and just the right amount of goat cheese to give it a divinely creamy texture. That was it ! What I liked the most about this soup was that I could taste each ingredient distinctly on my tongue with every sip.
The next course was a refreshing salad of burrata and green leaves with a honey-balsamic sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts as a garnish. The mere mention of this salad sent my mind to rural Italy. Burrata is a cow’s milk cheese from Italy made with cream and mozzarella. It has a distinctive and delicate texture as its creamy stracciatella center surrounds a solid cheese exterior. The Burrata Salad at OTH brought back memories of my time in Italy and also showed me that good food doesn’t have to be heavy on your stomach.
As for the third meal, which was Jalapeño Grilled Chicken, I can honestly say it was the most melt-in-your-mouth JGC I have ever tasted. Contrary to popular belief, jalapenos have a murkier past. Although it has its roots in what is now Mexico, the Jalapeño pepper’s name is Spanish. OTH’s Jalapeño Grilled Chicken was a Spanish take on chicken skewers with ground meat. The grilled exterior added a sumptuous crisp to the chicken, while the innards had a deliciously creamy consistency. While jalapeños can be quite spicy on their own, the flavored barbecue dip serves to temper the heat, making the grilled chicken more palatable.
Dushyant chose another Italian specialty for the fourth course: chicken and mascarpone ravioli with an Italian tomato sauce. “This exquisite dish is inspired by moon-shaped dumplings,” Dushyant explains as we discuss its origins. “Mascarpone is made by mixing whole heavy cream with tartaric acids, such as lemon juice, which inherently separates the curd from the whey. Unlike mascarpone, a staple northern Italian dessert, ravioli is a central Italian dish. We use mascarpone, one of the creamiest cheeses in the world, to give ravioli a smooth tasting experience. Although this delicious 14th century Italian dish is usually served as a main course, it can also be enjoyed as an appetizer. I also learned that it wasn’t until the 16th century, when tomatoes arrived from the New World, that ravioli with tomato-based sauces gained popularity in Italy.
For the main course, I savored the roast chicken with mashed parmigiana, asparagus and reduced orange sauce. This sweet and tangy orange sauce is an easy way to add character to roast chicken. Contrary to popular belief, this does nothing to keep Orange Chicken moist. Instead, the sauce can be poured over the chicken as it is served, and the juice flavors the skin. The sugar in the basting sauce gives the chicken its tawny hue. I also poured the cooking juices over the parmesan mash and savored each bite as if it were the last.
I had a delicious milk chocolate semifreddo for dessert, topped with Tulie kataifi and gold leaf and served with merlot infused cranberries. This dessert had my heart with its rich chocolate flavor and creamy texture. Hands down, my favorite dessert for all occasions. As OTH is also home to Coffee Sutra, the best coffee roaster in Jaipur, the lunch ended with a 100% Arabica espresso. So now you know where to find authentic European flavors if you ever find yourself in Jaipur.
And just as Dushyant piloted Master Chef Gary Mehigan through the streets of Jaipur to demonstrate what makes the city’s cuisine so unique; my visit to OTH ended with a trip to the bustling streets of the city to sample regional delicacies. But nothing compares to the seven-course lunch I enjoyed a few hours earlier; the taste still lingers, as I type this.
Written by Veidehi Gite.
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