Rating: 5 out of 5.

Inside 32nd Avenue, The House of Celeste is a promising new addition to Gurugram’s food scene. The name itself is not typically Indian, so it can draw some head shaking and eyebrow-raises. But it doesn’t have ‘the flares’.

But when you go in, you naturally assume that there will be moments of pretension. This tension raises the stakes for the restaurant investors, who are fully aware that modern Indian cuisine is still distant and removed from public imagination, so they have to put in a lot of thought behind how to adapt to the customer.

Consider walking in at least once before obliterating it from your memory.

‘Celeste’ is one of the brightest words in the dictionary, so if you think about it, this place will shine as one of the best restaurants in the city one day. The restaurant transcends limitations to make the experience more accessible to everyone. What more do you need?

A round affair of stellar preparations

Before I even begin to eat somewhere, I am constantly distracted by the last word on social media. But when I take my culinary experiences a bit seriously, I don’t jump to any conclusions about what to expect. I play along as though the topic of food is very complex! People’s opinion satiates my curiosity, but be able to spot when, and if, the real magic is happening for me, I have to have my own second thoughts about the food. It’s a natural inclination to offer myself a recap of other people’s experiences, just so I know what I’m in for. But after many months of lockdown isolation, nowadays, I feel it best to leave it to my own reception, not the algorithm.

From left (clockwise): Three indulgences, Delhi 6 chaat, Chicken 69.

We started the experience by ordering the appetisers: First up was Delhi 6 chaat. It looks like dahi and aloo chaat; at first it tastes like that too, but it’s literally so much more. The yoghurt mousse which immediately sent me back to the documentary about Chef Gaggan Anand’s restaurant and his magnum opus yoghurt bomb, was a definite hit. In fact, it was inspired by Chef Gaggan’s creation as far as I know. We also ordered Chicken 69, which was equal part sensational, equal part good-looking. My favourite was ‘three indulgences’, which was a melange of beautiful flavours. If you’ve tried gajjak, you are going to love this hearty combination with chocolate cake and caramel popcorn. Everything else looked so delicious too. I am going to give it a thumbs-up! May it be south-indian, north-indian or contemporary food that you are looking for, the place offers it with its own spin!

There are gorgeous dishes on the menu, and courtesy of a chef who ran a Michelin-star restaurant in New York, by the name ‘Devi’. A big thanks to chef Suvir Saran, you don’t have to travel miles to another destination abroad to appreciate modern Indian cuisine, so order away.

This article describes a visit to ‘The House of Celeste’ in Gurugram, India. Written by Aishwarya Khanna. Find her on Instagram. If you’ve got a day in this city, don’t miss the experience.

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