Enjoy a piece of Europe at On The House in Jaipur
Dushyant Singh is revolutionizing the food scene by offering the most authentic European flavors at OTH as well as the world’s best coffee for you to taste the best in Jaipur.
Stately buildings and delicious local cuisines like Pyaz Kachori, Ghevar or Dal, Bati or Churma come to mind when thinking of Jaipur. But after meeting restaurateur Dushyant Singh during my recent trip to the Pink City, who shared with me his passionate desire to transform Jaipur’s food scene, I experienced a change of perspective. We follow Singh’s journey from the time his passion for researching delicacies from around the world began and has now successfully grown into a full-time business.
Dushyant Singh has worked with well-known chefs such as Alain Passard and Manjeet Singh Gill while pursuing his goal of curating delectable dining, catering and festival experiences. Although he has appeared on well-known TV channels such as Fox Life, Travel XP and Food Food, his unpretentiousness will help you understand why Jaipur residents have entrusted their appetites to OTH, skipping the city’s signature flavors.
The rustic exterior is characterized by planks of wood with a circular red plank dangling from the center accenting the OTH branding. In contrast, interiors are designed to fit the premise of fine dining, drawing attention to modest lampposts, small planters, and tabletop accessories that match the flair. However, it was the scent of “freshly baked bread” and freshly brewed coffee that filled the air and engulfed my senses when I first stepped onto On The House. The smell alone was enough to put me in the ambiance of a European cafe, and I realized that OTH was about the right place to enjoy some delicious treats that are hard to come by in Jaipur. Add melodic country music to round out the uptown European vibe and here you have a piece of Europe in the middle of a desert state.
Dushyant Singh surprised me with a specially curated 7-course meal featuring prominent European flavors from his favorite countries.
For the first course I was served a creamy soup with roasted peppers, almonds and goat cheese. This versatile soup goes well with any meal. But before it became a staple dish in Europe, it became popular in West Africa when black colonial women prepared it and sold it as street vendors. Later, other interpretations of the soup were developed, adding local ingredients to enrich the flavor according to the region. However, the most incredible roasted pepper soup has almonds and just the right amount of goat cheese to give it a divinely creamy texture. That was that! What I liked best about this soup was that I could clearly taste each ingredient on my tongue with every sip.
The next dish was a refreshing burrata and green leaf salad topped with a honey balsamic sauce with sundried tomatoes and walnuts. The mere mention of this salad sent my soul to rural Italy. Burrata is an Italian cow’s milk cheese made from cream and mozzarella. It has a distinctive, delicate texture because its center of creamy stracciatella surrounds a firm cheese base. The burrata salad at OTH reminded me of my time in Italy and also showed me that good food doesn’t have to be in the stomach.
As for the third meal, the grilled jalapeño chicken, I can honestly say it was the most delicious JGC I have ever eaten. Contrary to popular belief, jalapenos have a darker past. Although the jalapeño pepper has its roots in modern-day Mexico, the name is Spanish. OTH’s Jalapeño Grilled Chicken was a Spanish version of chicken skewers with ground beef. The grilled exterior gave the chicken a rich crispiness, while the innards had a deliciously creamy texture. While jalapeños can be quite spicy on their own, the bbq-flavored dip on the side serves to moderate the heat, making the grilled chicken tastier.
For the fourth course, Dushyant chose another Italian specialty: chicken mascarpone ravioli with Italian tomato sauce. “This exquisite dish is inspired by moon-shaped dumplings,” explains Dushyant as we discuss its origins. “Mascarpone is made by blending full-fat cream with tartaric acids like lemon juice, which naturally separates the curds from the whey. Unlike mascarpone, a northern Italian staple, ravioli is a central Italian dish. We use mascarpone, one of the creamiest cheeses in the world, to give the ravioli a smooth flavor.” Although this delicious 14th-century Italian dish is usually served as a main course, it can also be enjoyed as an appetizer. I also learned that ravioli with tomato sauces only gained popularity in Italy in the 16th century, when tomatoes arrived from the New World.
For mains I enjoyed the fried chicken with parmigiana puree, asparagus and orange reduction sauce. This sweet and tangy orange sauce is an easy way to add character to roast chicken. Contrary to popular belief, this does nothing to keep the Chicken À L’Orange moist. Instead, the sauce can be spooned over the chicken when serving, and the juice will add flavor to the skin. The sugar in the basting sauce gives the chicken its tawny color. I also scooped the pan juices over the parmigiana puree, savoring each bite like it was my last.
For dessert I ate a delicious milk chocolate semifreddo topped with Kataifi Tulie and gold leaf and served with Merlot-infused cranberries. This dessert had my heart with its rich chocolate flavor and creamy texture. Hands down my favorite dessert for any occasion. As OTH is also home to Coffee Sutra, the best coffee roastery in Jaipur, lunch was rounded off with a 100% Arabica espresso. So now you know where to find authentic European flavors if you ever find yourself in Jaipur.
And just as Dushyant Master Chef took Gary Mehigan through the streets of Jaipur to demonstrate what makes the city’s cuisine so unique; My visit to OTH ended with a drive through the busy streets of the city to taste the regional specialties. But nothing compares to the seven-course lunch I enjoyed a few hours earlier; the flavor lingers as I type this.
Written by Veidehi Gite.
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