The India Today Group hosted a gala evening to serve a dual purpose: One, the Today Golden Plate Restaurant Awards and two, launch of Today 100 – a guide to Delhi’s best restaurants, cafes and bars.
“The city is spilling with restaurants and there was a need to recognise the best amongst the existing ones,” said Aroon Purie, Editor-in-chief, India Today Group. “Food guide is not a directory. It tells you where you should eat and is not a personal selection of anyone. It is distinctive in being selective. And to honour people who serve the best food in the city, are the awards,” he added.
The judging process was quite rigorous. Apart from readers voting for restaurants, there was a jury rating restaurants on the basis of food, ambience, service and value for money. The jury comprised Jorge Heine, Ambassador of Chile, Suvir Saran, columnist Nikhil Khanna, food consultant Marut Sikka, MP B.J. Panda, Elizabeth Eapen and Magandeep Singh.
Amongst the many big names present, were Amar Singh, Omar Abdullah and Shweta Nanda, While Taipan was awarded the best Chinese restaurant, Orient express was given the award for being the best European restaurant with Thai Wok being the best Thai restaurant. Sakura won the best Japanese restaurant award, best Northern Restaurant was Karim’s and surprisingly, best south Indian restaurant was Swagath. The latest Olive kitchen bar was given the best new restaurant and best-designed restaurant award. Value for money award was given to Andhra Pradesh Bhawan, Canteen and the best multi-cuisine restaurant was the new Q’ba.
After giving away the awards, the guide to Delhi’s best restaurants and cafes was formally launched by Indian Tourism Minister Renuka Choudhury, who was of the opinion that bars should be included in the award category from next time onwards. The evening was concluded with a vote of thanks by the host Kalli Purie followed by a lavish dinner.