Introducing AnnaMaya, a European food hall inspired by the flavours of India in New Delhi and encouraging guests to “Eat Mindful. Shop Artisanal. Raise Awareness”.
Like many European food halls, AnnaMaya at Andaz Delhi, is a place where food is served, and interesting artisanal produce and items are available for sale. The food hall follows the ‘Made in India’ concept, as all products used have to be produced in India, must have a socially inspiring story behind the business execution, and their current business module must be socially relevant in order to help communities and their respective environments within India.
Speaking on AnnaMaya’s unique concept and philosophy, Alex Moser, Executive Chef notes, “The essence of AnnaMaya lies in helping society and encouraging a healthy lifestyle through mindful meals and exceptional experiences. Our guests come here not just for the food but also because they feel a social responsibility towards the people and places around them. We achieve all this while having some fun along the way through bold flavours, freshness and creativity in the kitchen”.
Designed with natural materials, layers of patterns, indigenously sourced slabs of stone, glass and wood imaginatively crafted, the space focuses on sophisticated informality paired with an eclectic mix of styles. AnnaMaya’s interiors incorporate Old Delhi in all its glory through sacks of spices, colourful hand-painted glass windows, such as those found in Chandni Chowk, and weathered wooden doors -- a scene that is reminiscent of the picturesque by-lanes of Old Delhi’s markets. Juxtaposed with this is a brown and white geometrical tiled floor such as those found in markets and food halls in Europe. These elements help to integrate the local flavour of Delhi with the look and feel of a traditional European food hall.
Larger than life floral sculptures selected by renowned art curator Rajeev Sethi, add colour, form and an interesting dimension to the space. A huge pomegranate with its red seeds spilling out greets AnnaMaya’s guests at the entrance. Each of the artworks represents the edible elements that are a prime ingredient in some of the traditional regional recipes found in the Indian sub-continent. India is a land which believes that all good things begin with something sweet. Keeping this in mind, AnnaMaya opens with the dessert section where guests can begin their food experience with retro-themed sweet dishes. The dessert section flows seamlessly into the Beverage Bar, serving spiced lassies, smoothies, fruit punches and lemonades which are ideal for detoxification.
Across the Beverage Bar is the Salad Bar with fresh Aloe Vera plants in coloured, hand-painted pottery and special temperature-controlled cabinets for microgreens, which are grown and harvested in-house. Further up is the bakery with various breads and quiches served piping hot out of the oven preparations. The live kitchen and tandoor section, where fresh ingredients and artisanal products are converted into delicious dishes, lie beyond the bakery. The multi-coloured painted pottery plates from Khurja offer a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu items that can be shared family style in large or small groups.
The essence of AnnaMaya lies in identifying and celebrating artisans from remote parts of India and turning the spotlight on the love and hard work with which they make their products.
Artisanal products, like rock salt quarried by local women in Ranikhet’s tough terrain; premium chocolates that ensure that cocoa farmers are paid a fair price; and coffee from roasters who highlight how delicious Indian coffee can be, are the kind of artisanal items and producers that AnnaMaya associates itself with. The menu is designed around consciously-sourced ingredients from local artisans who directly or indirectly contribute towards the well-being of society. On offer are a selection of grilled meats, seafood, vibrant salads, light modern curries, coffees, lassies and re-imagined cocktails. Some of the Chef’s recommendations include the basil naan, accompanied by burrata and Himalayan honey; lotus root curry and the confit duck leg from the tandoor, with balmy ginger and tomato. For guests who like to experiment, there is the Turkey Pineapple Burger as an option.