Adrak’s Indian culinary styles cover a lot of ground, reflecting not only the regional diversity of the sprawling country, but also the pre-colonial and colonial periods. The concept is underpinned by an unconventional kitchen structure: there is no head chef. Instead, a handful of them, each specializing in a particular area or style of cooking, run their respective sections. There is, however, a common mentor: most of the team members were trained by star chef Vineet Bhatia.
The unorthodox kitchen – which has a sister location in Richmond Hill – deploys exclusively house-blended spices in its sumptuous creations, such as a bhatti masala loaded with chili, fenugreek and cilantro over a juicy, seared whole lobster. Much of the cooking and baking is done in clay tandoor ovens, which quickly cook everything from marinated sesame shrimp and tandoori chicken to chili and garlic naan.
An inspired cocktail program draws from a library of homemade infusions and other curiosities: dry vermouth infused with turmeric and curry leaves, chamomile syrup, chopped coconut ice cubes and black sesame brush. (There are also great mocktails for the teetotal crowd.) A tight wine list emphasizes lighter, citrusy wines that complement the cuisine. And there’s a solid selection of spirits too, including a wide range of single malt whisky, tequila and even sake.
The lobby is adorned with jewel-toned wallpaper depicting frolicking animals meant to make you feel like you’re outside an ancient Indian palace. As guests enter, they are greeted by a magnificent sculpture of the Hindu deity Ganesha. The main dining room is opulent and sumptuous with hand carved furniture, mustard yellow upholstery and carved archways. Upstairs, the private dining room stuns with an amber-colored onyx backdrop at both ends and a glossy black marble dining table that seats up to 20 people.
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