The Spice Route – South Asian
The Spice Route is located on the ground floor of The Imperial Hotel in Delhi. The traditional spice route stretched from India’s Kerala, through Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand and on to Vietnam, and the restaurant’s cuisine draws from all of these influences.
The Spice Route’s interior fascinates and you can spend hours just looking at the antique, gaudily painted wooden pillars and panels. The restaurant is designed by Rajeev Sethi, a locally well-known cultural czar of India and it took seven years to create the restaurant with its hand painted walls. Artisans and painters from Kerala have put in enormous efforts to recreate pillars, murals and frescoes infused with carvings and paintings.
The Wealth section is made with 24-karat gold leaves while the Ancestral section is made to resemble ancient temples and shrines in Thailand. The Spice Route is designed on the principles of Feng Shui and is divided into nine different sections with theme based décor depicting the nine stages of life.
Chef Veena Arora does a wonderful job in making some of the best South Asian cuisine available in the whole region. Expect to have several dishes that you are used to have in Thailand, like the Tom Kha Kai that is a spicy tomato soup laced with chicken and coconut milk and spiced up with lemon grass and kafir leaves or the Kung Nang Phad Khing with sautéed lobster, ginger and Thai mushrooms.
You should definitely try the tangy oriental salads, the piquant vegetable stews and the Malu Miris that is a stew of vegetables, water chestnuts and coral mushrooms in spicy gravy. You can also have food from Kerala, such as the Chemeen Thoran with coconut, tamarind, curry leaves and mustard. Make sure to ask for mild spice level of the food you order if you are not used to very spicy food.
The Spice Route is adjusted to the Western view of spice level so you will have a mild spice level if you ask for that and not as with many Indian located restaurants where you get very spicy if you ask for mild.
The food is not exceptional and you can have similar taste bud experience and level of quality at several other South Asian cuisine restaurants for a fraction of the price you pay at The Spice Route. You should give it a go if you are tired of the solely Indian cuisine when you are in Delhi and like to have something crisp, spicy and fresh.
The Spice Route scored 65 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
Published: March 22, 2011
The Spice Route
The Imperial Hotel
1 Janpath, Delhi
Phone: +91 11 4111 6605