In Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series set around Mars,the planets native inhabitants had a life span of a 1,000 years. Down here,in more terrestrial shores,the restaurants of Hauz Khas Village scarcely have a life span of a 1,000 days and so we traipsed up three weary staircases to Barsoom,the newest entrant to the village with some reservation,not least because we hadnt made any.
The interiors are in the primary shade of red,but of course,edged with deep black and dusty brown. Barsoom is split into two levels,the bar room (how could one resist) on the lower level,with a lounge on the upper,accessed through a short flight of stairs. Walls are covered with murals ranging from a view into one of Burroughs scenic landscapes to the never-ending door,so beloved of psychologists and horror flicks. The furniture,upholstered in geometric prints,is comfortable and thankfully fails to elicit memories of maths lessons past. The music is superlative and the service warm and friendly.
Still under construction,the Martian menu is alliteratively Mediterranean with some Levantine dishes thrown in to leaven the mix. So you have soups,salads,tapas and grills with brettone pancakes a la Flipside Cafe. The bar menu is limited to the mockery,er mocktails,of non-fermented drinks,given the tough licencing laws prior to polling day.
We decide to try out the Crumb Fried Mushrooms and Lamb Chops in a Pine Nut Crust,along with a Watermelonade. The mushrooms sprout first,fried to a copper tone,crispy on the outside,squishy on the inside. Their mild flavour is more than compensated for by the accompanying tangy yoghurt dip. The lamb fares even better,coming juicy,with a light dusting of pine nuts,which manages to not overpower the meat. The companion brown jus is velveteen and sinfully redolent with the flavour of spices. The watermelonade tastes exactly like it sounds,a clear red liquid with a light flavour,which will taste all the better when (finally) fortified. So what if we missed the application date for the Mars One programme? We can have a Martian holiday right here in Delhi.