The Spice Route

Heralded as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveller and proclaimed to be the only one of its kind, The Spice Route is poetry in design. The renowned restaurant mesmerises all your senses, enrapturing you with its sensuous exotica designed to reflect the journey of spices from the Malabar Coast in Kerala through Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia to Thailand and Vietnam.

Designed by Rajeev Sethi using the principles of Feng Shui, the restaurant is a treasure trove of antiques and is divided into nine sections, each a part of the journey of life. The Knowledge section at the entrance is thronged by four 16th-century pillars from a temple, marking a narrow entrance. The next section signifies the three stages of
life – Artha (materialism), Kama (lust), and Moksha (salvation).

Following that is Help and Support, which shows off an antique ceiling from Kerala, unique in that it lets the sunlight in but not the rain. The fourth section, closest to the kitchen, denotes Creativity. The Relationship section, demarcated by two-seaters and antique beams of rosewood and Burma teak, precedes Fate and Fortune with its ‘Wall of Fortune’.

The Wealth section, embellished with 24-karat gold leaf on the wall and ceiling, is extremely popular for business lunches. The eighth section – the Ancestral, indicating the end of the journey of life – has replicas of panels from Thai temples. The courtyard in the middle of the restaurant is the Food and Health section, and blends the architectures of Thai and Kerala homes.

Aside from the stunning décor, The Spice Route boasts a menu that ensnares the taste buds of even the most seasoned food connoisseur. Orchestrated with passion by Chef Veena Arora, the menu crafted almost artistically is starred by gems such as Chemeen Thoren (Kerala-style prawns stir-fried with coconut, curry leaves, and black tamarind and flavoured with mustard seeds), Tom Yum Kung (the famous Thai prawn soup flavoured with lemongrass, lemon leaves, and galangal), Kung Nang Phad Khing (stir-fried lobster with ginger and Thai black mushrooms, served in the shell), Kaeng Kheow Waan Kai (Chicken in Thai green curry with peas and cherry aubergines), and Phad Phak (chef’s special stir-fried baby spinach with black mushrooms, flavoured with soybean paste).

A non-smoking restaurant, The Spice Route flows naturally into a strikingly pleasing courtyard that forms the backdrop for an extraordinary culinary fiesta during star-lit evenings and sunny winter afternoons. The courtyard is bedecked with traditional Thai sculptures from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. While one corner features handmade bricks that are easily 100 years old, the far end entices guests with Khantok-style seating.