by Arianna Savona
The desire to escape and explore new latitudes is innate in the human being. And what happens if you are stuck for more than a year, with a very limited liberty to move, affecting your right to consciously choose when and where to travel?
In most of our countries we are used to take weekend breaks, to go on holiday in winter and in the summer, to visit a friend in a different city or country, to meet our relatives living far away.
Pandemic has taught us to make the most of each and every moment and has undoubtedly left us even a strong need and wish to travel the world, forgetting about our consuming and compulsory new daily routine.
We travel to discover a new culture, to meet new people, to learn about the past and treasure diverse heritage, often returning with a new inner identity, enriched by the recent experiences our trip has brought.
In the current situation, with very limited opportunities to plan far in advance and even less security to be able to move due to the ever-changing Covid-19 scenarios all over, we may feel very happy to travel only in spirit or through a movie, a book, bringing us to imagine how we could fit in the featured geographical area.
Embodying a very curious soul, I cannot stop discovering, so I decided I would travel and welcome different cultures through tasting other countries food, exposed to fully absorb the new flavours and habits while enjoying a meal and enriching the experience with a previous overview of the country or geographical area. Nowadays it is not very often you find enough information on the destination once at the restaurant. I would suggest to all restaurants featuring diverse cuisines to present patrons to their area with an introductory briefing of the country or region they represent, therefore becoming a destination ambassador not only for the food but also for the culture, habits, traditions, geography and history.
On my Delhi’s raids, some places have left a deeper root in myself. And the Hyatt Regency in New Delhi is among those ones, thanks to the people and its many restaurant options available. After few dinners at The China Kitchen, I decided that this restaurant brought me to truly discover the huge China, through its colourful vegetables on offer, many kinds of dim sums, a wide selection of rice and, as a signature dish, the Peking duck – shao yazi. This is the reason why I decided this place deserves to become the best ambassador of its country in Delhi: the duck is slowly cooked to perfection in front of you, by a real Chinese Chef who elegantly moves behind the glass and in front of the brick oven where the honey coated whole duck is baked to become crunchy in the skin – the best part of this preparation – and remain tender inside.
What a surprise when this plate is brought to the table and served. All the steps respected, stuck to the glass wall, are sure to prepare your palate adventure and promise forgotten scents and new immersive flavours. The duck slices are brought to the table with some thin pancakes, green onion, plum sauce and fresh cucumber.
I was taken with imagination in Beijing, during the Imperial era, when this legendary recipe was served to emperors, rooting its secrets from the 5th century. I fully understand why, nowadays, the shao yazi has become the symbol of China and a favorite among dignitaries in the whole world. Not satisfied to have discovered a real Chinese address in town, I thought the team there must be really capable and well trained to propose other cuisines without mistakes.
With my family we decided for a staycation – in absence of other trips – and chose to stay at the hotel for one night to have the privilege of samplinganother address, a Middle Eastern restaurant featuring Levantine cuisine in India, the Syrah. Apart from all other hotel services and attractions, like the fitness, the spa, the swimming-pool, the salon and a most inviting garden, it truly seemed we travelled to another destination and decided this time we went back to Syria, one of the countries we loved the most on our roaring the world.
Syrah was indeed another fantastic experience, with comfortable tables outside and a mouth-watering menu, with ingredients and names reminding us of our time in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. No surprise to discover this place has recently won The Times of India Food and Nightlife award! It was so delicious and delicate, with very good service and gentle hands preparing the food, attached to the traditional flavours and evidently sourcing quality ingredients to confirm a real Levantine experience, as if in any of the previously mentioned countries.
Grateful for this new discovery, we felt a new gem had revealed in Delhi and we have started to spread the word among friends, keeping in mind as well another available option at the Hyatt Regency New Delhi, La Piazza restaurant featuring traditional Italian cuisine and one of the best tables for pastas and pizzas available in town. Here, a long rising of the dough grants the pizza a high digestibility. And we love and are frequent customers here too: this is the place to go if you are Italian in Delhi and feel melancholic about your country!
Hyatt Regency: www.hyatt.com
Address: Ground floor, Hyatt Regency Delhi, Bhikaiji Cama Place, Ring road, New Delhi, Delhi 110066
About Arianna Savona:
Originally from Rome, Italy, graduated in Switzerland in Hotel Management, Arianna is a specialist in boutique luxury hospitality and international protocol. She currently shares her life between Europe and New Delhi where part of her family calls this metropolis a temporary home.
Curious by nature, she is a tireless traveler, with pre-planning as a priority but new discoveries as the best revelation. Same approach when experiencing living in a new place: always in search for the diverse options available to enjoy the local culture and customs, as well as exploring new addresses in the most hidden corners of the city to collect memorable adventures.
You can follow her passions on Instagram @arianna.savona