Former MasterChef Australia judge Chef Gary Mehigan has come a long way in his Indian food journey. The celebrity chef went from enjoying it occasionally during visits to local Indian restaurants back in England to making multiple visits to the country to explore the full breadth of Indian cuisine.
“We only really get a snapshot of your cuisine in other countries,” says the chef as we catch up with him on his latest visit to India. Chef Mehigan is currently in the country to helm an eggless pastry masterclass at the behest of Conosh, a popular community of food lovers.
“The complexity of the spices, the use of texture and temperature in your dishes, and the diversity of the cuisine across the country. So many different influences over the centuries have created your amazing diverse cuisine,” he says, on what truly surprised him about Indian food.
A self-confessed fan of all things Indian food, the chef doesn’t hesitate before sharing his top recommendations for Indian restaurants that every foodie should know about…
Chef Gary Mehigan’s Recommendations For Indian Restaurants
Set in Mumbai’s former industrial mill area. This restaurant offers a one-of-its-kind 10-course chef’s tasting menu. Head chef Varun Totlani reimagines classic Indian dishes for his ingredient-driven menu that, in his own words, marries tradition with innovation. Chef Mehigan had such an excellent time in the restaurant during his last visit, that he can’t wait till he goes there again.
The Bombay Canteen
Another Mumbai favourite, this restaurant is always on Chef Mehigan’s itinerary. It’s most known for its ability to present the familiar with a new flair. The menu is comprised of dishes that make the best of seasonal ingredients and plays around with traditional Indian dishes to add a contemporary touch to them.
It’s no surprise that one of the most-awarded restaurants in the country made its way to Chef Mehigan’s top recommendations. The New Delhi-based restaurant is helmed by the celebrated Chef Manish Mehrotra and regularly finds itself placed in top restaurant lists like ‘World’s 100 Greatest Restaurants’ or ‘Asia’s Best Restaurants’.
Avinash Martins’ South Goan restaurant is a must-visit for anyone who is looking to experience authentic Goan cuisine. Amidst classic Goan-inspired decor, you can enjoy traditional Saraswat and Portuguese recipes that have formed the bedrock of Goan cuisine.
6 Ballygunge Place
Easily one of the best places to try in Kolkata if you want authentic Bengali fare, this restaurant is another one of Chef Mehigan’s favourites. Housed in a vintage townhouse, complete with checkerboard floors and vintage decor accents, the restaurant offers Bengali classics and a smattering of lesser-known delicacies too.