Organically Glocal

When a contemporary restaurant infuses local ingredients, hand-picked from around the globe, in all their dishes, we call it glocal—Tres in New Delhi perfectly defines the word

Fancy a Matcha and lemon tonight for dessert? At the New Delhi fine-dining restaurant Tres, you can have your Matcha with citrus lemon crème, grapefruit jelly, brandy snap and basil ice cream. Tres, conceived in 2011 by chefs Julia Desa, Jatin Mallick and Jamsheed Bhote continues to charm the discerning foodie with a menu that combines old classics with modern comfort food and innovative dishes. Neither European nor Spanish, Tres does not fall under any genres of cuisine. “The cuisine here cannot be classified. It is modern to a certain extent, fresh, old-fashioned and traditional. We have age-old and classic recipes, which are reformed with ingredients that are hand-picked and home grown,” says Desa. “Our cuisine is very adaptable and we always wanted it to be liked by all.”

The restaurant has got its new menu but has made sure to retain its old favourites—Baked Artichoke Hearts, the Crusted Sea Bass accompanied fennel smoked potatoes and cooked beans. And the Quick-tossed King Prawn and Calamari with a radish-cucumber salad and lime chilli dressing still shines on their menu. “Our cuisine is unpretentious and full of flavours. From soya, wasabi to coriander, dhaniya powder and jeera powder, we use ingredients from around the world. Our techniques are modern but we are very ingredient-led restaurant,” says Mallick.

Dark chocolate soufflé smoked vanilla ice-cream with cracked pepper and bitter orange sauce.

Every dish here is made with innovation and passion. Though culinary culture oozes bold techniques, but ask the Chef and he will tell you the origin of the dish. “We use Kokum. We make Kokum gels for our dishes. For our cake tarts we make Kokum salt. We believe in home produce. Also, we do the salted pork belly, we tweaked it and gave it a very international feel—salted pork over a whiskey pancetta, pickled mustard and here we go, it sounds very Latin but the origin is from Goa,” says Mallick. “The method of cooking is the same but we elevated it in presentation,” adds Desa.

From sourcing fishes locally to churning their own ice creams and systematically processing the potato chips, Tres focuses a lot on food and quality and therefore believes in everything fresh and home-cooked. We overheard chefs that they are planning to come up with their own butter as well. Simply amazing! New dishes, new techniques often excite us but do we really accept it? Here, the chefs learn from their guests and make sure that their new methods are also well-accepted. “Our flavours are not so strong. They are very acceptable. Most-importantly we want our guests to remember our flavours, leave happy and come back again,” says Desa. Be it modern, traditional or innovative, Indians basic meal will at least have five components. “We understand Indian palate and so we too add many components on the plate—there is texture, flavour, sweetness, sourness, crunch, etc. We make sure that the first course has different flavours than the second one and desserts. It’s not monotonous,” says Mallick.

This philosophy is also apparent at the bar—all bitters and syrups are made in-house. Each cocktail has a different flavour based on a key ingredient, like the Peppercorn Martini with its high notes of pepper syrup balanced with lime juice and sugar syrup or the marmalade smoked old fashioned that highlights the home-made bitters.

We describe Tres dishes as ‘art on plate’. Flip through the menu, pick your favourite dish, pair it up with a drink and enjoy the evening.