Hyatt, New Delhi – iconic, majestic, chic and full of memories. That’s my take on every visit to this property and though the last few visits have been coffee oriented business meetings, I’ve been meaning to have a full meal at the place so many of my cousins got married at! There is no need to delve into service and ambience because I like both of those to be discreet and understated and Hyatt in that respect is as old school as it gets. Especially when your server for the day says ‘certainly’ before you even finish stating your whim! Our evening started with an introduction to the charming Executive Chef at Hyatt, Chef Marin Leuthard. This evening belonged to him since we were here to enjoy a traditional Swiss Stammtisch. A Stammtisch is a gathering of loved ones, the coming together of friends and family and at Café, Hyatt, they have a special Stammtisch table where you could well meet the friends you are likely to keep for life! Now that the friends had gathered, it was only the meal that was missing and Chef Marin has proudly brought to Delhi the foods of his country and his native region.
Start your meal with the Swiss traditional, Grison Soup, a hearty, barley soup I plan to go back for in the winters! Pair the soup the way I did, with a side of Raclette, the boon that is Swiss cheese, in all its splendor. The Café has a Raclette oven, where a massive slab of cheese is rolled in under a red hot element, to scrape off a melted layer served with silver onion, gherkin, and mountain young potato. Eat it piping hot, to hell with burning the roof of your mouth, it’s worth it! Cool the bite off with a nibble of a gherkin and feel blessed. You could try Raclette with Swiss cheese in a pan too but it’s tricky! Luckily for us, Chef Marin has been very fair with the menu and offers dishes that are fairly familiar and very gratifying (how can you go wrong with cheese or chocolate?)! What really engaged me however, was the Live carving station – the Honey Glazed Pork Leg and Spit Roast Chicken were absolutely delightful. Perfectly crisp chicken skin and a wholesome glaze on the pork made for a lovely platter and we added sides of Rosti and Spatzel for a full Swiss spread. Don’t miss the apple sauce as a condiment for the pork! I loved the Rosti for the Mushroom Fricassee it was paired with; there is no better pasta than a fresh batch of Spatzel, tossed in onions and cheese. By now I felt like Heidi, one of my favourite books, and possibly the reason I like dairy foods so much!
Do go easy on the cheese though! The Live Lava Stone BBQ Grill is extraordinary, especially if you love Swiss-German sausages. The produce is par excellence; kudos to Chef for bringing some of the finest Swiss sausages to the city! We chose grilled assorted sausages, a couple of lamb chops and grilled vegetables. The spread was so hearty we didn’t miss carbs. All you need is chili or garlic aioli and the sausages burst with real flavor, though Chef Marin would suggest mustard. I would have preferred a grainier version than the one served. The evening flowed over European camaraderie and great wine. I did manage a small portion of the Lamb Stew with Saffron and Cream but my heart is set on going back for the Beer Batter Fish! The dessert counter at Café is one of my favourites, a fridge closet which in my opinion keeps every dessert fresh through hours of buffet service. We went straight for Chef Marin’s hometown recipe and enjoyed a slice of gorgeous Carrot Cake. It was one of the best I have had in a long time; moist, nutty, rich but not heavy, quite the treat. Since this is a rotational menu, be sure, that every Friday night at Café, Hyatt, will be a whole new Swiss experience!