Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Cuisineist takes a journey to Origin India for the best in Indian fine dining

The Cuisienist is all about culinary exploration and we decided to explore Indian Food at its finest as in Fine Dining in Las Vegas .
It did not take long to hear about Origin India Restaurant and Bar. They provide its guests with a modern and refined approach to traditional Indian cuisine.

The menu, created by Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh, embraces the rich culture of Indian cuisine. Voted “Best of Las Vegas” for Indian cuisine and rated “extraordinary” by Zagat. The staff at Origin India to provided us one of Las Vegas’ best dining experiences.

Origin India had a very prestigious journey to its home in the culinary center of Las Vegas. England-based restaurateurs Raja Majid & Alena Olevic-Majid moved to Las Vegas in the fall of 2005 in order to be with Alena’s father who was ill. Unsatisfied by the level of Indian food available in their new city they took matters into their own hands, and in April 2006, opened Origin India Restaurant and Bar. Drawing from their restaurant experience in England. “The level of Indian cuisine found in Las Vegas, and most metropolitan cities throughout the United States, is not truly representative of what Indian restaurants have been serving throughout England for many years,” Raja said.

At the age of 18, while attending a college that specialized in hospitality, he was offered an amazing opportunity to become a partner of Passage to India and his passion for the restaurant industry was born. Raja continued as a successful restaurateur and over the next 20 years opened several restaurants from Portugal to Philadelphia, though his most beloved restaurant was in London and featured Indian fine-dining. After years of good press and critical acclaim, Raja's London restaurant Origin Asia was invited to cater former Prime Minister Tony Blair's Annual Summer Garden Party, one of London’s social events of the year, and an event Raja would cater for the following seven years.

“At Origin India our chef and entire staff strive at putting forth the best the city has to offer in food and service to create a memorable and enjoyable dining experience. Our cuisine is absolutely Indian food, incorporating my native country’s flavors and spices, but at Origin India it’s presented in a more refined and modern fashion.”

Recently Origin India announced the addition of Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh to its culinary team. Chef Singh is a seasoned kitchen veteran who has extensive experience working for some of the world's finest resorts and restaurants in Ireland, England and India. Chef Singh’s expertise does not end with his knowledge of Indian cuisine, but is rather a reflection of his world experience, showcasing Asian-Indian food with a modern and refined flare. Owner of Origin India, is thrilled to have Chef Singh onboard.

“We have known Chef Singh for several years as he previously worked at one of our restaurants in London,” Raja said. “We have been working very hard to bring him to Las Vegas to run our kitchen at Origin India since we first opened in 2006 and know our guests will truly love his food.”

Examples of some of Chef Singh's dishes include filo-wrapped fresh Atlantic ‘black pearl’ sea scallops in lime and chili, crisp fried with beetroot and olive chutney; roasted striped bass marinated in coriander, cumin and lime zest served on sautéed garlic spinach with coriander vinaigrette and red pepper extract; and Rogan Josh New Zealand lamb shank with sun dried ginger, tomato and Kashmiri chili served with saffron rice.

We took a tour of the menu with General Manager Avi Mishra with each course paired with wine by mixologist Jozef Letasi and entree suggestions by none other than Chef Singh himself. His five course tasting menu at $45.00 is a real steal considering the quality of dishes you receive. All five courses were outstanding. The New Zealand Lamb Shank with sun dried ginger, tomato , Kashmiri Chili served with saffron rice was a real stand out.

The staff was very attentive and explained each dish as we were just learning about high end Indian Cuisine. Our only regret is that we did not try one of Jozef's Letasi's signature cocktails. But , thats just gives us a reason to come back and we will !

Origin India Restaurant and Bar’s Executive Chef, Kuldeep Singh, is a seasoned kitchen veteran who has extensive experience working for some of the world's finest resorts and restaurants in Ireland, England and India. Born in Meerut, India (about 40 miles northeast of New Delhi), Chef Singh’s expertise does not end with his knowledge of Indian cuisine, but is rather a reflection of his world experience, showcasing Asian-Indian food with a modern and refined flare.

Chef Singh has the finest training one can receive in India, graduating from The Institute Of Hotel Management in his hometown of Meerut (about 40 miles northeast of New Delhi) before going to work for two of the nation’s luxury five-star hotel and resort groups including The Oberoi Hotel & Resort Group and the Taj Group of Hotels. From India he moved to London where he worked in one of Raja’s fine dining restaurants, Origin Asia, and further practiced the art of preparing refined cuisine. His approach is one of style and flare, respecting his country’s flavor profiles and food, but presenting it with his own unique approach.

“I love the food from my country, its spices, herbs and flavors that are native to my hometown of Meerut and the other regions where I trained professionally including Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai,” Chef Singh said. “But what I serve is very different than other Indian food found in Las Vegas. I stay true to the flavors and spices I grew up with, though I tone down the heat, and instead focus more on taste and texture combinations to create a modern interpretation of Indian cuisine.”

Origin India offers a full bar including a selection of signature cocktails created by resident mixologist, Jozef Letasi, that combine premium spirits with fresh fruit, juices and spices that compliment the restaurant’s cuisine. Its wine list includes interesting choices from both the US and abroad while its beer list includes several hard-to-find imports including Piraat, Cantillion Rose de Gambrinus and St. Bernardus.

On the back of Raja Majid's business card it reads " Our mission is to create an unforgetable experience for every guest , every time. By providing exceptional food and memorable service we transform easy customer into a loyal friend. Its my sincere belief that our customers are our friends, and that they wont find a better Indian dining experience anywhere in Las Vegas "

We must say that they succeeded and we hope we are now " loyal friends" of Origin India.

Join Elaine of the Cuisineist as she speaks with Avi Mishra , visits the kitchen and embarks on an unforgettable trip to India guided buy Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh

Origin India is open 7 days a week from 11:30am-11:30pm. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 4pm to 7pm; featuring half-off appetizers and two-for-one drinks from the signature cocktail list. Become a friend of Origin India on Facebook and receive exclusive discounts, restaurant promotions, food & beverage specials and event information. For more information visit OriginIndiaRestarant .com

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