Savour a slice of Europe at ‘On The House’ in Jaipur
Dushyant Singh is revolutionising food scene by offering the most authentic European flavours at OTH, as well as, the world’s best coffee to help you sample the finest in Jaipur.
Stately buildings and mouthwatering local cuisines, such as Pyaz Kachori, Ghevar or Dal, Bati, or Churma, crop up in one’s mind when one thinks about Jaipur. But after meeting restaurateur Dushyant Singh during my recent trip to the pink city, who apprised me of his fervent desire to transform Jaipur’s food scene, I experienced a change of perspective. We follow Singh’s journey from the times when what started as a passion for exploring delicacies from all over the world has now successfully flowered 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 delectable dining, catering, and festival experiences. Even though he has appeared on well-known TV networks like Fox Life, Travel XP, and Food Food, his unpretentiousness helps you understand why the residents of Jaipur have entrusted OTH with their appetites by forgoing the city’s typical flavours.
The rustic exteriors are marked by wooden planks, with a round red board dangling in the centre, accentuating OTH branding. In contrast, interiors are designed to suit the prerequisites of fine dining, calling attention to modest lamp posts, small table planters, and table accessories to match the panache. It was however the aroma of ‘freshly baked bread’ and freshly brewed coffee that steeped into the air, engulfing my senses, as I first walked into “On The House.” The smell alone was enough to transport me to the ambience of a European café, and I could tell that OTH was about the right place to tuck into some delectable treats that are hard to come by in Jaipur. Throw in melodic country music to round out the uptown European vibe, and here you have, a slice of Europe in the middle of a desert state.
Dushyant Singh surprised me with a specially curated 7-course menu that featured prominent European flavours from his favourite countries.
I was served a creamy soup with roasted peppers, almonds, and goat cheese as the first course. This versatile soup goes well with any meal. But before it became a signature dish in Europe, it was popularised in West Africa when colonial Black women prepared and sold it as street vendors. Later, other renditions of the soup were devised, and local ingredients were added to enrich the flavour in accordance with 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. This was that! What I liked best about this soup was that I could taste each ingredient distinctly on my tongue with each sip.
The next dish was a refreshing salad of burrata and green leaves with a honey-balsamic sauce with sundried tomatoes and walnuts as a garnish. The mere mention of this salad sent my spirit to rural Italy. Burrata is a cow milk cheese from Italy made from cream and mozzarella. It has a distinctive, delicate texture because its centre of creamy stracciatella surrounds a solid cheese exterior. The Burrata salad at OTH brought back memories of my time in Italy, and it also demonstrated to me that good food doesn’t have to be heaving on the stomach.
As for the third meal, which was Jalapeño grilled chicken, I can honestly say that it was the most mouth-melting JGC I’ve ever tasted. Contrary to popular belief, jalapenos have a more murky past. Despite having 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 kebabs with minced meat. The grilled exterior added a sumptuous crispness to the chicken, while the innards had a deliciously creamy consistency. While Jalapeñoes may be rather spicy on their own, the Bbq-Flavoured dip on the side serves to temper the heat, making the grilled chicken more palatable.
Dushyant chose another Italian speciality for the fourth course: Chicken Mascarpone Ravioli with Italian tomato sauce. “This exquisite dish is inspired by moon-shaped dumplings,” Dushyant explains as we discuss its origins. “Mascarpone is prepared by blending full-fat heavy cream with tartaric acids, such as lemon juice, which separates the curds from the whey inherently. In contrast to Mascarpone, a northern Italian dessert staple, Ravioli is a central Italian dish. We use Mascarpone, one of the creamiest cheeses in the world, to give the Ravioli a soft-tasting experience.” Although this delightful 14th-century Italian dish is typically served as the main course, it can also be enjoyed as an appetiser. I also learned that it was not until the 16th century, when tomatoes arrived from the New World, that ravioli with sauces made of tomatoes gained popularity in Italy.
For the main course, I savoured the roasted chicken with parmigiana mash, asparagus, and orange reduction sauce. This sweet and tangy orange sauce is an easy way to give the roast chicken some character. Contrary to popular belief, this does nothing to keep the Chicken À L’Orange moist. Instead, the sauce can be spooned over the chicken as it is served, and the juice flavours the skin. The basting sauce’s sugar gives the chicken its Tawny hue. I also spooned the pan juices over the parmigiana mash and savoured each bite as if it were the last.
I ate a delicious Milk chocolate semifreddo for dessert that was topped with kataifi Tulie and gold leaf and served with cranberries that had been infused with merlot. This dessert had my heart with its rich chocolate flavour and creamy texture. Hands down, my go-to dessert for every occasion. Since OTH also houses Coffee Sutra, the best coffee roastery in Jaipur, the lunch was finished off with a 100% arabica espresso. So now you know where to find authentic European flavours if you ever find yourself in Jaipur.
And just as Dushyant piloted Master Chef Gary Mehigan around Jaipur’s streets to demonstrate what makes the city’s cuisine so unique; my visit to OTH came to a close with an onward journey around the city’s bustling streets to sample the regional specialities. But nothing compares to the seven-course lunch I enjoyed a few hours earlier; the taste still lingers on, as I type this.
Written by Veidehi Gite.
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