New kid on the block, Dirty Apron enjoys the street cred of its older sibling, The Piano Man, not to mention the latter’s music as you ascend the lift to the former. Bifurcated over two levels, the open-air upper-storey eatery overlooks Deer Park, and is warmed by a wood-fired oven in one corner, and a bar along one side of the space. Dirty Apron is more food-focussed than its sister concern, bridging Asian and European flavours and dining minutae of both the continents into a cohesive menu. The playlist here isn’t anything to drown with conversation either.
We begin with soup, a Pumpkin and Peanut Butter one. Velveteen and smoky, like a flaming crimson silk glove, the soup glides down our gullet, trailing behind it a buttery nuttiness. We slurp it down in spite of the fact we normally avoid pumpkin like a haunted house, preferring it as a jack-o-lantern to a component of a meal.
In which case it must be Halloween, because we next find ourselves mired in a Thai Curry Pumpkin and Gorgonzola Ravioli. An idyllic marriage of the East and West, like a commercial for peace and harmony, this one is comfort food with an accent. The silken pumpkin harmonises beautifully with the mild pungency of blue cheese (the key to this dish’s success is the balancing of the various ratios) parcelled into ravioli pouches poached in Thai Red Curry.
So as not to be called chicken, we have both the Jamaican Jerk and Shish Touk grills. The Caribbean chicken comes rubbed with allspice, among others, and slowly grilled over a fire. The Arabic variant is far gentler than its Colonial-era cousin, two continents removed. Both representatives are tender and servicable, we find no complaints with either. We look to the seas for our main course, settling on an Herb-Crusted Sea Bass with a Sweet Chili Sambal.
The fish is as flaky as the comic relief in a sitcom, melting in the mouth. The south-Asian sambal sauce adds an interesting element to the dish, but we wish it was slightly less saccharine, as it takes away the tip of the spike.
Dessert is a Crème Brulee ‘scented’ with Lemon Grass and Kafir Lime. The smell wafts over the crackling caramel crust, while the custard remains pristine and calescent. Some marriages just work out, we guess.
Meal for two: Rs 3,000 (including taxes)
Address: B6-7/22, 2nd Floor, Opposite Deer Park, Safdarjung Enclave Market, Safdarjung.