Delhi is home to some of the best Pan Asian restaurants in the country. If you are specifically looking for a sumptuous selection of traditional oriental cuisine to stimulate your taste buds, head straight to the third floor of the lush Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj, Delhi and look for the Kylin Premier.
“What started 11 years ago with a dream has now taken a life of its own.” In 2005, Saurabh Khanijo introduced Delhi to its very first Oriental Lounge Bar. The Kylin Experience nuzzled in a quiet corner of the busy Basant Lok Market. This Oriental Lounge made its place in many a hearts, serving the most authentic Oriental cuisine and the finest Japanese Whiskey and Sake. By 2011, as they celebrated the sixth anniversary of Kylin, they gifted Delhites THE KYLIN PREMIER.
Kylin has completed 11 years of success, love and hard work. To celebrate this milestone, Kylin has launched a recipe book of what they think is the sum total of their best work called, The KYLIN Recipe Book with secrets of their most loved dishes and beverages.
My first impression of the restaurant was that it was just like any other elite fine-dining restaurant in the city. This was until I discovered the live Teppanyaki grill. Who doesn’t like the sight of a highly trained chef preparing authentic oriental dishes one after another right in front of your eyes!! Plus such intricate knife work, theatrics, and not to forget lipsmacking food. The greyish brown stone wall and wooden beam ceiling gives off a modern look. The furniture is smart and edgy, the lighting is dim, so as to please and ease the customers.
Other major attraction is the Kylin Skybar that offers rooftop seating, cozy beds, pretty white canopies and a magnificent view of the skyline, making it an extremely romantic destination to definitely bring your partner to for an immaculate dinner experience. While you bask in a great wine and dine experience under the stars, the candlelight flickering on your table will remind you of a special intimate affair. The low seating is perfect to cozy up, and as the evening progresses, the live music continues to cast its magic spell. Suffice to say, the Kylin Skybar simply took my heart away!!!
Kylin is not just a chosen destination for great Japanese or Chinese food; here one could also order authentic oriental cuisine from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.
I was lucky enough to get invited for the grand launch of the Recipe Book, wherein a lavish feast was prepared for us, consisting of the best and favourite dishes of Saurabh and his patent customers. A vast and mouth-watering menu was especially curated for us, consisting of some of the dishes mentioned in the Recipe Book. The menu was divided into 6 chapters and boy, every chapter took me one step closer to immense satisfaction and increased respect and appreciation for Saurabh and his passion.
As soon as we sat at a long elegant table, we were served, Bookworm’s Bellini, it’s basically a mixture of Prosecco sparkling wine and peach purée or nectar. This drink, with a slice of orange at the bottom, adding the perfect fruity fizz to the cocktail was a perfect start to the wonderful evening ahead.
Throughout the entire gastronomical journey, various other cocktails that were devoured and thoroughly enjoyed were:
Unputdownable Green Apple Martini, true to its name, this subtle martini with a combination of apple liquer, vodka and lemon juice was truly unputdownable!!
Writer’s Chilli Coriander Martini, this was one of my favourite cocktails of the evening, with the punch of fiery green chillies and earthiness of the coriander, compelled me for another round of the same.
Another hit of the evening, enjoyed by the crowd was Thriller Sly Thai Martini, with the perfectly subtle yet noticeable Thai flavors.
Chapter 1 consisted of delicious delicacies, which were wiped clean of our plates in no time, we were served:
Teppanyaki Fish in Thai Herbs, one of my favourites, given the fact that I am a bit partial towards seafood over chicken, but also given the fact that they served basa, and the fish was super flaky, delicate, juicy and extremely. It just melted in my mouth and coated my palate with lovely Thai flavors.
Prawn Tempura, one of the best prawn tempura I had in a long time. A king sized jumbo prawn coated in tempura and deep fried was perfectly crispy on the outside, which mind you many restaurants fail to serve that way, and succulent and juicy from the inside, served with a seet chilli dip, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, was just perfect.
Teppanyaki Glazed Vegetables in Lettuce Wrap, who knew vegetarian food could be so delicious and served in such a manner that it can make a hard core non vegetarian keep asking for more!! A complex yet complete dish in all senses, juliennes of vegetables tossed in sweet chilli sauce, served in a lettuce cup and garnished with toasted peanuts crumb, the crispiness of the veggies with crunch of the peanuts, wrapped in a lettuce cup was a treat to the eyes as well as the palate.
Yakitori Chicken and Vegetables, two sticks of veggies and chicken each with grilled leeks, mushroom, corns in between was decent.
Chapter 2 was a much awaited and the hot seller of this fab place, consisted of Spicy Salmon and Crunchy Yasai Sushi Roll served with dollops of wasabi, the salmon sushi was delicious, the salmon so soft and fresh.
Chapter 3 got Som Tam Salad and Tom Yum Soup to our table, the salad combines five main tastes of the local cuisine: sour lime, hot chilli, salty, savory fish sauce, and sweetness added by palm sugar, all this added to thinly sliced raw green papaya juliennes. The soup is a Thai soup, usually cooked with shrimp, it is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant spices and herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers. A bowl full of comforting goodness it was.
Chapter 4 was the most exciting of all as it consisted of Teppanyaki Section, I ordered for their Miso Marinated Black Cod, the cod was so soft, succulent, juicy and tender, that it just melted in my mouth, it had a distinct and slightly bitter but distinct taste to it, the veggies served along added the required crunch.
Chapter 5 was the main course section, wherein were to choose our pick, I went for the Spicy Minced Chicken in Basil Sauce, served with Steam Rice, the minced chicken was spicy and flavourful, and the basil flavour accentuated the flavours to a whole new level, eaten with sticky steam rice, which were served wrapped in a leaf, was another hit among the crowd.
Last but not the least, came my favourite chapter, a sweet ending to this elaborate and deliciously prepared feast. We were served with a trio of some unusual ice-cream flavours, consisting of Basil, Star Anise and Coconut flavoured ice cream scoops. Each and every ice cream flavour was enjoyed thoroughly by me and others in the room, the lightless of the coconut with the spiciness of the star anise and the earthiness of the basil , were combinations that left an after taste which made me drool for them later on.
The fantastical gastronomical journey finally came to end, and were left with a satisfying smile on our faces and over-full belly.
The event was a huge success, with some prominent names in the industry like Priya Kumari Rana, Executive Editor, Outlook Splurge, Meeta Mishra, Bureau Chief at Magna Publishing Company Ltd., Bikramjit Ray, Executive Editor at BW Hotelier International.com etc. attending the event.
A word about the Owner: Saurabh Khanijo, the owner of Welgrow Group, better known as the man behind the popular Kylin brand of restaurants. Saurabh came across as an extremely avid hotelier. A man with an playful sense of humour and passion for fitness, Saurabh has given his life to his restaurants. Saurabh is a textbook example of a passionate restaurateur: he eats, sleeps and breathes food, he’s forever foraging for ideas, and above all, he understands his patrons. He knew he had to get his sushi, dim sum and miso cod right to make his guests keep coming back; he knew he needed a little bit of drama at Kylin Premier, so he set up a teppanyaki grill and turned the roof, an unexplored territory in malls till then, into Delhi’s most sought-after party zone. He has even got Japanese chefs to fly in and hone the skills of his staff.
The country’s most authentic pan Asian restaurant chain celebrated eleven years of hard work, success, awards, challenges, love and support in January, 2016. In the past eleven years, Kylin, which started off as one of the most avant-garde Pan-Asian cuisine destinations to creating distinctive in food and service, has indeed come a long way.