It starts off even before what we ordered from the menu. Instead of the usual (quite awesome) bread with harissa, the pairing menu comes with a cold mezze that even has nachos and crispy garlic bread along with the lavash and pita breads. The lovely hummus was missing a little olive oil and once that goes in, it is nearly perfect. Beetroot yogurt and tomato salsa complete the pre-starters.
The first dish is the dish of the day. Nick's Garlic bread is a recipe of Park Hyatt's long staying guest that is now on the menu. Caramelised brown sugar, cheese and rocket leaves on pizza base. Un-freaking-believable. With a hint of sweetness, this is probably the first time I am having a sugar-cheese-rocket leaves in any form and what a way to begin. Ricotta cake with strawberry compote was a beautiful surprise. With fantastic ricotta, clearly this pairing exercise has taken many leaves from wine-cheese pairing by doing a lot of cheese in this menu.
For four of us, we stopped with the two starters and got four main courses. The Monk's bowl was a simple comforting green curry dish, while the lamb rack was the one thing that was a miss for me. I'm not able to point a finger on what was wrong for me, but I couldn't go beyond a bite.
The Mukkamal Raan, which is the leg of lamb, more than made up for the lamb racks. Served with some naan, the juicy gravy was an overload of flavour, much like our classic Indian dishes. There was no mocktail pairing suggested for this, the best pair would have been a glass of lassi or spiced buttermilk. The butter poached lobster with paccheri pasta was yum.
We finished off with Desi Tres Leche, with its desi flavours. And oh, when at the Flying Elephant, it is a crime to leave without downing a bowl of churros dipped in chocolate and apple compote. Every single time.
I have no idea why the concept of pairing brings out the best in chefs, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!