Epicuria, in Nehru Place, is creating quite a buzz in Delhi’s culinary circles. The noisiest is from the Flying Saucer Cafe, a huge, vaulted space which derives its name not from little green men and their alleged preferred mode of transport, but a Greek custom of breaking crockery in celebration (one suspects this particular ritual gave Greek potters more cause for celebration than the rest of the populace).
The restaurant boasts of the largest bar in Delhi. The counter is a long copper-covered affair, shaped like an elongated spacecraft (no, not a flying saucer) and armed with enough spirits to distort both time and space.
The food menu is a collage of cuisines, a sort of culinary atlas spread over several pages and priced rather moderately. The starters menu has bowls of American Prawn Chowder rub edges with platters laden with Spanish Baby Potatoes and Middle Eastern Shish Taouk, among others, while pizza and pasta naturally (given Delhi’s Roman appetite) dominate entire sections. We begin our meal with the Arancini (Italian rice balls), Chicken Popcorn and Mini Burger Platter.
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The first comes first, small deep-fried spheres of arborio rice studded with desiccated shitake mushroom and accompanied by a velveteen plum sauce. While boasting a contrasting texture of crispy skin and yielding innards, the richness and saccharine-like taste of the sauce distracts one from the mild, unassuming rice balls. The chicken popcorn is far more balanced, in fact a pro on the palate, with deep-fried, flour-dusted chicken morsels, bite-sized and accompanied with a soy sauce, which is simultaneously silken and spicy. The platter comes last, a trio of chicken, lamb and mushroom burgers.
Resembling the title character of The Blob after all the starters, we nonetheless order a pizza for mains, in the spirit of journalistic inquiry. We select The Lot, ‘Pepperoni, Salami, Parma Ham with Capsicum, Mushrooms, Black Olives and Goat Cheese’, masochists that we are. The cornucopia of toppings ensures an explosion of flavour in our mouths. They offer dessert of the day instead of a sweets section, which is a mercy at least today, given our indulgent meal.
Meal for Two: Rs 1,500 (including taxes, excluding alcohol)
Address: Ground Floor, Epicuria Food Mall, Nehru Place; 30146033 ext:703