New Year's Eve at Kiran's

#012


Ever since I began working in the wedding registry business, I have learned to recognize and appreciate quality dinnerware. One such dinnerware pattern is the New Wave collection by Villeroy & Boch, whose curvy edges introduce movement to a material known for its strength: porcelain.

One of my colleagues told me about his customer who was shopping for New Wave dinnerware for her restaurant. I thought about how neat it must be to serve food in style, compared to the dull dinnerware I usually see at most restaurants.

Months later, I find myself having a wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner at Kiran’s. The large golden doors were a gateway into a different world. As I soon discovered, that customer was Chef Kiran, who greeted us with a friendly smile as we were being seated. How awesome is it that a South Asian-American woman is the head chef of her very own professional, upscale restaurant?

While waiting for our appetizer, I instantly recognized the Chilewich placemats. The “four-over-four“ Basketweave pattern of vinyl yarn below is specific to the brand, and the material can be cleaned with water and regular dish soap. (Side note: from here on out, you can tap/click on each image, except GIFs, to enlarge them.)

Image by Chilewich

“Water with no ice, please.” Atop the placemat was a water glass that looked like it would break if I gripped it too hard. My guess is that the O Wine Tumblr Water glass below by Riedel, pronounced REEdle, is less than 1/8 of an inch in thickness.

Image by Riedel

To Start

We began our culinary experience with their Herb Salad. The sour pomegranate seeds darted through arugula leaves, black-eyed peas, tomato, basil, and ground pepper. Our server, Jeremy, was glad to accommodate food allergies, so the tomato was substituted with avocado.

The mint lemonade below (top-left) was good, but I couldn’t resist the mango lassi (bottom-left), which is made with milk and yogurt. It’s a sweet drink that recalls childhood memories of sneaking into the fridge to take impulsive sips. By the way, a Villeroy & Boch Cellini bread-and-butter plate, typically around 6 inches, was used to serve our Garlic Naan. Classy.

“Would you like to have your linens changed to black ones so that your black clothes stay clean?” This is the question that helped me understand what world-class service means. I didn’t know that was an option until Jeremy asked.

“Sure,” my friend replied.

Soup

A busser brought our soup spoon in time for the Jumbo Lump Crab soup. Its pale yellow-orange corn chowder filled the circular bowl with a low-contrast against the white porcelain rim. The crabmeat sat at the center of the thick soup, as if it were an island in a creamy ocean.

Intermezzo

After scooping up the last traces of the soup, our bowls were replaced with the Intermezzo, or palate cleanser. The square dip bowls contained grapefruit segments with mint (left). For allergies, the grapefruit was substituted with a Raspberry Sorbet (right).

Entrée

asad-badat-kiranshouston-dover-sole-fillet.gif

Our Machli ka Salan, which translates to fish curry from Urdu and Hindi, arrived in a dramatic fashion. Jeremy and his colleague performed a table-side filleting of the Dover sole, a flat fish that lives on the seabed. It involved separating the skin and bones from the meat with only a dinner spoon and knife. Its final resting spot was on a New Wave Gourmet Dinner Plate with Zafrani Pulao, a rice dish (bottom-left). 

The Bagare Bengan below, a soft curried eggplant, paired well with the plainer aromatic rice and fish. I remember how full my stomach felt as I attempted to finish my fillet. Alhamdulillah, I had eaten plenty of food by then, but I probably should’ve sipped my mango lassi more sparingly. Thankfully, one of my friends helped me finish!

The Verlasso Salmon, a more flavorful dish, had Cranberry Chutney that I was excited to try. The chutney, which is a fruit- or vegetable-based condiment, that I’m used to is made of cilantro. I’ve also had date chutney before, but I don’t associate raspberries with South Asian cuisine. It tasted delicious with the salmon.

Dessert

Desserts are edible celebrations that should be served with an intentional choice of dinnerware. I was delighted to see that our final course arrived on a Lenox Eternal Gold dinner plate. I like the idea of sweets being served on fine china.

As someone who gladly indulges in sugary sweets, I was proud to try a dish that balanced different flavors. The repetitive lines of the whipped Saffron Mango Mousse caught my eyes first. With the dried raisin chutney, fruit cake, and a dome of 70% dark chocolate ice cream, it could be eaten in satisfying combinations!

Throughout the entire sitting, we were soothed by sitar music that my Shazam app could not identify. Later in the evening, a live sitar player, who looked as if he could’ve floated in without ever touching the ground, took over the ambiance. I left feeling inspired by the food, presentation, service, and music.

To Chef Kiran, Jeremy, and the entire staff, if you’re reading this: thank you so much for making mine and my friends’ New Year’s Eve a memorable one.

I hope you enjoyed reading and viewing the pictures I assembled. Have you eaten at Kiran’s or do you have a restaurant recommendation for me? Please feel free to share it in the comments below!

Until next time,

Asad