Food Review: A new eatery in west Delhi is a tongue-twisting minefield of Indian comfort foods

While still a doyen of north Indian food, the geography’s palate is evolving, as exemplified by the opening and subsequent success of Lights Camera Action-Air Bar, west Delhi’s first progressive Indian restaurant.

Written by Shantanu David | Updated: July 20, 2015 1:24 pm
talk, food review, food and wine, delhi eatery, EDM-beats, Air Bar, food,  Sallu hit, Indian Express An interior shot of the restaurant.

The West, Delhi’s stomach, throbs equivocally to EDM-beats and the Kraken call of our appetites. While still a doyen of north Indian food, the geography’s palate is evolving, as exemplified by the opening and subsequent success of Lights Camera Action-Air Bar, west Delhi’s first progressive Indian restaurant. And well, it’s more palpable than a Sallu hit. We’re judging this by the fact that it’s packed at 4 pm on a Tuesday. The interiors feature a reel of Hollywood posters with Bhojpuri titles (Avatar as Kassam Pandora Maya ki, among others) apart from other Bollywood/Hollywood-inspired objet’ d art. The music is without borders, sauntering across pop genres from both sides of the aisle.

The menu is a collage of mainly Indian comfort foods, presented in whacky formats and presentations with some Continental thrown in. There are a lot of scientific cooking methods used, so expect a lot of smoke and mirrors and razzle dazzle. Like tourists, we potter around the length of the document, trying out as much as we can.

We begin with Rajnikant’s Early Morning Tea, treated with maltodextrin, which renders high-soluble fats such as coconut oil into a fine powder, which in turn get reactivated with the hot curry leaf-based liquid soup, all creating a silken rasam which would provide muster to any thalaiva. The sidekick is the Hollywood Nitrogen Dhokla Papdi, featuring nitrogen-frozen dhokla sprinkled with crisp and crackled papdi and embellished with tamarind jus and freeze-dried bejewelled pomegranate.

The Pyaar Tune Quesadilla is as wonderfully cheesy as its name, a melting melange of the aforementioned cheese and veggies tossed in Kohlapuri masala, and one of our favourites of the meal. Naturally no trip to tinsel town is complete without a visit to aamchi Mumbai.

Enter the Bhiku Matre Vada Pav and the Jhakaas Maska Bhaji Pav. While the former, essentially, are mini sliders of vada pav complete with a tingling garlicky gunpowder, the latter comes with the pavs diced and crisply toasted, the bhaaji bowled up and skewer sticks. A LA Swiss Fondue. Fond as we are of it, we polish it off post-haste.

Already quite weighed down, we still venture in to the red. The Chicken-e-Chameli shimmies up in a riot of spices, tender boneless chunks grilled to a T, while the Kukkad Kamal Da is yet another cheesy concoction. In this case malai tikka smothered in quatro formaggi, is very mast mast.

Dessert is just the pick-me-up we need, ironically called Khud Khushi. A deconstructed Tiramisu, this one is created table side by a chef, a LA gueridon, with a flurry of liquid nitrogen, chocolate glazes et al. The final cut features a multi-textured, chocolatey coffee showstealer. We can only applaud as the curtain comes up.

Meal for Two: Rs 1800 (with taxes, excluding alcohol)
Address: 2/6 B, 3rd Floor, BK Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden

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