There are a number of al-fresco dining options in Delhi but the allure of some, like Indigo, at the Golden Mile off Bhikaji Cama Place, is greater than others. Given the astounding success of the brand in Mumbai, it comes as no surprise that Delhi is keen to make it their own.
While Indigo Deli, which opened in Vasant Kunj last year, is more casual and buzzing, this restaurant invites those looking for a fine meal at an elegant destination. The restaurant is located in Netaji Nagar in a quiet lane off the busy Ring Road and has been beautifully designed with an expansive kitchen with glass walls, an indoor seating area and an outdoor dining space which is perfect for winter, if you can turn your nose up at the escalating pollution levels and the steady hum of airplanes that fly over the restaurant with alarming regularity.
The drinks menu is smart, covers a wide range and the drinks actually reflect the ingredients they are said to contain. The toddy is delightful with a touch of acidity in the form of orange peel, spices that are well infused but muted and a drink that lets the liquor speak rather than the sugar content. Drinks aside though, the new winter menu is a fun read and has everything you would expect in a restaurant such as this.
Mac and cheese Lasagne
We opted for the new chef's tasting menu which allows you to sample a wide range of ingredients and flavours without overdoing quantities. This is part of a newly launched special menu they have put together for winter. Begin your meal with an amouse bouche that gets the taste buds going. The lobster bisque is brilliant and has been prepared with great restraint. None of the spices or other flavours overpowers the mellow aroma of the crustacean and it is a real winner. The salad of asparagus, shaved fennel and green apple is zingy and fresh with an interesting chives parmesan dressing which sits at the bottom of the salad bowl but it had way too much lemon and that took away from the joy of the dish.
For mains, the pan roasted reds snapper, champagne beurre blanc is interesting if you must have fish, but the coriander pesto rubbed grilled pork chop served with cauliflower mash, sesame long beans, and red onion jam smashes it out of the park with its spot on flavours and fine cut of meat. For dessert, the three-dessert sample of mango and passion cremeux served with coconut ice cream, sour cherry gel and pistachio cake is absolutely delicious as was the Belgian chocolate and hazelnut dome. The third dessert, the deconstructed tiramisu, was a bit of a disappointment with the elements not coming together.
Lemon parmesan gnochii basil butter corn relish
The service is disorganised and servers lack the discipline of clearing dishes away quickly, something that's a given when you are sampling a 7-course tasting menu. Also, avoid the prawn dishes as they are evidently too far from their origin and lack freshness and flavour that are key to making them successful on a plate.
The Sunday brunch which kicks off this month is likely to be a hit and plans are afoot to hold several events and also create a small space where children who accompany their parents can be kept busy. Given that this is a destination restaurant and has so much going for it in terms of location and design, consistently good food and better service will seal the deal and attract a lot more people looking for a delicious European meal in the Capital.
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Mango and passion cremeux
Meal for two: Rs 3,000 plus taxes
Reservations: 91-(11)-6900 0340/41