Exquisite Indian cuisine stands out at IN Restaurant
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Angel Pu
532, YingCai Rd, 28F (Hotel ONE)
Hours: breakfast 6:30-10 am, lunch 11:30 am-2 pm, teatime 2-6 pm, dinner 6-9:30 pm
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge. Free parking (1 hour per NT$500 spent).
Perhaps because its one of the main restaurants for one of the city's larger hotels, IN Restaurant has always offered a rather unusual menu mix with something to please almost everyone, from Western to Southeast Asian and Chinese. Among these, however, one cuisine has always stood out--Indian.
Now, thanks to a recently-arrived, skilled Indian chef, that Indian focus is more pronounced than ever, with a selection of exceptional new northern Indian dishes that has already won a thumbs up for authenticity and flavor from Indian and Taiwanese diners alike.
Sous Chef Rakesh Chandra is actually no stranger to Hotel ONE, having previously worked at that hotel's branch in Suzhou, China for three years. Despite his almost-shy demeanor, the New Delhi native's skills in the kitchen are formidable. Diners can experience this via some exceptional dishes largely unavailable elsewhere, like Chicken Lababtar (NT$320/small, NT$480/large), featuring very tender chicken quickly cooked at 250 degrees in a Tandoori wok and served with a savory sauce made from yoghurt and variety of spices. Even more unique is the Biryani Shrimp (NT$310/small, NT$470/large), considered a very expensive dish in India, says Chandra. Tandoori shrimp is first fried then placed in a metal bowl with Basmati rice--kind of a curry fried rice--plus mint, masala, cumin and some unique spices. The bowl is then baked after being sealed with a piece of Nan bread (not to be eaten) to keep the aromas inside.
Another good main course sampler of sorts is the Tandoori Platter (NT$880/small, NT$1,650/large) which comes with lamb, cod and prawn tandoori, coriander dip and Indian salad. For an appetizer, try the Vegetable Pakora (NT$300), which initially resembles Japanese tempura but has a spicy batter and thicker, breadier texture. Indian main courses include white rice or Nan bread, which can also be ordered separate and comes in six varieties, including the unique Spicy Chicken Onion and Minced Beef flavors.
IN Restaurant also continues to please all with its eclectic but tasty mix of other cuisine, including items like the popular Thai Green or Red Shrimp Curry (NT$340/small, NT$500/large) and equally-popular but very different Cajun BBQ Pork Ribs (NT$620) made with a whiskey BBQ sauce and served with cole slaw and fries. During weekday lunches and all day weekends, there's also a semi-buffet of Eastern/Western main courses (NT$480-880) offered with a salad buffet, soup and dessert. And, finally, for those wanting some local flavors, there's fare like Beef Noodle Soup (NT$340).
Left: Biryani Shrimp
Right: Chicken Lababtar
Left: Tandoori Platter
Ribht: Cajun BBQ Pork Ribs