Travreviews Showcase

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Annamaya @ Andaz - Farm to Fork served in a plush setting


2017 opened up with a magnificent conjugation of visual appeal and aroma @ the newly launched European Food Hall, AnnaMaya. The food haven @ Andaz inspires guests to “Eat Mindful. Shop Artisanal. Raise Awareness”.  I was floored by the outstanding mélange of healthy and scrumptious food elements that were pleasurable to the senses.

Like many European food halls, AnnaMaya is a place where food is served and interesting artisanal produce and items are available for sale. The food hall follows the ‘Made in India’ concept, as all products used have to be produced in India, must have a socially inspiring story behind the business execution, and their current business module must be socially relevant in order to help communities and their respective environments within India.

Speaking on AnnaMaya’s unique concept and philosophy, Alex Moser, Executive Chef excitedly talks about the concept note.  He says “the essence of AnnaMaya lies in helping society and encouraging a healthy lifestyle through mindful meals and exceptional experiences. Our guests come here not just for the food but also because they feel a social responsibility towards the people and places around them. We achieve all this while having some fun along the way through bold flavors, freshness and creativity in the kitchen”.

DESIGN AND LAYOUT

Designed with natural materials, layers of patterns, indigenously sourced slabs of stone, glass and wood imaginatively crafted, the space focuses on sophisticated informality paired with an eclectic mix of styles.


AnnaMaya’s interiors incorporate Old Delhi in all its glory through sacks of spices, colorful hand-painted glass windows such as those found in Chandni Chowk, and weathered wooden doors -- a scene that is reminiscent of the picturesque bylines of Old Delhi’s markets. Juxtaposed with this is a brown and white geometrical tiled floor such as the one found in markets and food halls in Europe.  These elements help to integrate the local flavour of Delhi with the look and feel of a traditional European food hall.       

Larger than life floral sculptures selected by renowned art curator Rajeev Sethi, add color, form and an interesting dimension to the space.  A huge pomegranate with its red seeds spilling out welcomes  AnnaMaya’s guests at the entrance. Each of the artworks represents the edible elements that area prime ingredient in some of the traditional regional recipes found in the Indian sub-continent.

Artisanal products like rock salt quarried by local women in Ranikhet’s tough terrain; premium chocolates that ensure that cocoa farmers are paid a fair price; and coffee from roasters who highlight how delicious Indian coffee can be are the kind of artisanal items and producers that AnnaMaya associates itself with.

Across the Beverage Bar is the Salad Bar with fresh Aloe Vera plants in colored, hand-painted pottery and special temperature controlled cabinet’s formicrogreens, which are grown and harvested in-house. Further up is the Bakery with various breads and quiches served piping hot out of the oven preparations.

The live kitchen and tandoor section where fresh ingredients and artisanal products are converted into delicious dishes lie beyond the Bakery. The multi-colored painted pottery plates from Khurja offer a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu items that can be shared family style in large or small groups. The Beverage Bar serves spiced lassies, smoothies, fruit punches and lemonades which are ideal for detoxification.

FOOD

The menu is designed around consciously-sourced ingredients from local artisans who directly or indirectly contribute towards the well-being of society. On offer are a selection of grilled meats, seafood, vibrant salads, light modern curries, coffees, lassies and re-imagined cocktails. Some of the Chef’s recommendations include the basil naan, accompanied by burrito and Himalayan honey; lotus root curry and the confit duck leg from the tandoor with balmy ginger and tomato. For guests who like to experiment, there is the Turkey Pineapple Burger.

We were fortunate to indulge in the finest recipes carved by the master chef who ensured that each dish represented the essence of the foodhall and introduced the succulent flavors of Annamaya. Later, we indulged excitedly in the dessert section that comprised of gelatos, pastries cakes, waffles and much more. The essence of AnnaMaya lies in identifying and celebrating artisans from remote parts of India, and turning the spotlight on the love and hard work with which they make their products.

For more information, visit annamayadelhi.com, or call +91 11 4903 1351

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