The amouse bouche of corn curd and a shot of laksa sets the tone for the rest of the meal at Triple 8, that has found a home on the first floor of Ansal Plaza — a once raging mall that fell into a deep slumber and is just about waking up to the Delhi dining scene. Triple 8, its most recent offering, takes a hint from the latest additions to the city’s dining list, and offers contemporary takes on Asian staples. The burrata salad, almost ubiquitous on menus now, holds on to its long-time friend, caramelised figs, while flirting with kimchi on the side under a salted plum drizzle. This is not to suggest that the dishes at Triple 8 have forgotten fidelity, but that they are certainly the more adventurous of the lot, finding unusual partners. For instance, the edamame dim sums that align themselves with Himalayan morels and black bean chilli to produce a warm, comforting starter.
The menu is extensive and calls for a repeat visit. Unless you’re buying into “the more the merrier”, it is impossible to try its myriad offerings that aim to encapsulate the south Asian food experience with dim sums and satays, sushi rolls and sashimi, bowl meals and bulgogi. From the wok section, we wagered on the Five Spice Brain Tempura with a drop of spicy mayo. The little balls of brain, with a thin coating of tempura, is a must-try. They are presented with kimchi on the side but it takes away from the distinct taste of goat brain. The drinks section mirrors the main menu, fitting too much in its folds and handing out peculiar pairings. The nori infused vodka works beautifully with a dash of jasmine syrup and white wine — a delicious summer afternoon drink that can be a companion for the entire meal.
Just as Triple 8 turns into one of those enviable places where one dish trumps the other and one’s left thinking, does it get better? It does, with Miso Black Cod and Smoked Eggplant. The earthiness of the miso seeps deep into the black cod and the eggplant fritters only add to this dish of well-textured complexity. The desserts section, the tiniest part of the menu, suggests interesting interpretations of standard afters. The Matcha Green Tea Masacarpone Tart with a Rambutan Lemongrass Compote encapsulates what Triple 8 is and what it could not be — it piques interest and delivers but it does not punch above its weight and that, perhaps, is its only undoing.
Meal for Two: Rs 5,000
Must Try: Miso Black Cod and Smoked Eggplant
Address: B-103A, Khel Gaon Marg