7 plates by 7 chefs at Ayna, Hilton

Dahi kebab, chapli kebab, Rampuri seekh kebab - if these kebabs feature on a menu, you know the food of Uttar Pradesh is on show.

Ayna at the Hilton is celebrating the culinary diversity of India with "7 Chefs 7 Plates", a food festival that celebrates regional cuisines from seven Hilton hotels located in seven Indian states. For the next 2 weeks, master chefs from these hotels will be showcasing their individual specialities, each of them over two days. The menu for the first two days was curated by Chef Manish Kulshreshtha of Double Tree Hilton Agra and what I experienced was truly a remarkable meal.

Chef Manish 

Outline of Uttar Pradesh on tableware

In the lobby of the restaurant are plates that display spices and other dry ingredients that are used in cooking these cuisines.

Uttar Pradesh is known for kebabs, kormas, rotis and each region has its own style of cooking. I know I was looking forward to the kebabs.

Papads and chutneys

Veg starters - kumbh khasta tikki; firduse e numa; paneer ke sholey; dahi kebab

A vegetarian kebab platter was what we started our meal with. Dahi kebab, coated with a semolina crust was fabulously soft and tangy. Kumbh khasta tikki - spiced mushroom patties were just as nice, the earthy flavour of the mushrooms came through with every bite. Paneer ke sholey, featuring large chunks of cottage cheese had a lovely masala and char but you need to eat it quick before it becomes cold.
On the plate: rawa machhi; murgh ke parche; Rampuri seekh kebab; chapli kebab

The non veg platter was even more interesting. Rampur's famous gosht Rampuri seekh was a kebab that featured minced lamb and a perfect proportion of spices. Murgh ke parche was moist and tender, rawa machhi, crusted with a coating of semolina revealed a moist fillet of kingfish within. The best was definitely the chapli kebab and we could only marvel at the way the griddle-cooked crust was all that held the meat together.

Makhmali raan; murgh rizala; paneer dum anari; subz zebunisha; dal Mumtaz; sheermal; ulte tawa ke paranthe

I loved the thali the mains were served in. It had an extension that held all the katories of gravy. Chef Manish had cooked up five fabulous gravies to go with the sinfully delish ulte tawa ke paranthe and the even more deliciously crisp sheermal. Each one of the gravies had a different base. Makhmali raan had an onion and mustard gravy, murgh rizala was enveloped in a velvety-smooth almond enriched gravy, paneer dum anari, slightly astringent but equally flavourful in its onion and tomato gravy, a dry dish of vegetables - subz zebunisha done in Mughalai style and dal Mumtaz, white lentils that got its flavour from a simple tempering and ginger shreds. 
Flavoured basmati pulav cooked with coloured dumplings 
Shehed e Azam; kele ki kheer; petha paan

Paan is not my way of ending a meal but this one was truly special. This version had gulkhand rolled up in the thinnest sheet of petha. Had absolutely no trouble finishing it! 
Jewellery counter at the restaurant lobby

What's on for the next 12 days?

Chef Mangesh Ghanekar from Hilton Mumbai - 16 & 17 May. His specialties include Girgaum Chowpatty‘s sabudana wada, Worli chi Malwani chicken curry and of course, shrikhand for dessert;

Chef Shaji Kumar, Hilton Garden Inn, Trivandrum - 18 & 19 May will cook his specialties like Travancore chicken fry, kaithachaka pulissery and ada pradhaman;

Chef Vinod Kumar, Hilton Jaipur - 20 & 21 May will cook machali Jaismandi , sev tamatar ki subzi and the famous  Alwar special milk cake;

Chef Akshay Deshpande, Conrad Pune - 22 & 23 May. He will showcase tawa surmai, phodniche varan and mango mastani;

Chef Rajesh Singh, Hilton Garden  Inn Baani Square Gurgaon - 24 & 25 May will treat his diners to the delights of Delhi. His menu includes Karolbagh-wale machali ke pakode, chap tazdar, usually served for seher during the holy month of Ramadan and galliwale paratha.

Chef Biswajit, Hilton Chennai - May 26 & 27 will present his signature poda murgir mangsho, macher kaliya and kheer kadam.

7 Chefs 7 Plates is on till May 27th for both lunch and dinner and the menu is à la carte.
Reservations can be made at +91 44 2225700; +91 9500058722


  1. lovely.. I went today for lunch and it was a fabulous feast from Mumbai.. :-)


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