Outdoor dining guide: Delhi’s best wintertime restaurantshttps://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/food-wine/outdoor-dining-guide-delhis-best-wintertime-restaurants/

Outdoor dining guide: Delhi’s best wintertime restaurants

Heading out for some good food and wine? Take your pick from these outdoor restaurants. You won't be disappointed.

Want to recreate those fun-filled, warm, cozy winter afternoons under the sun with your loved ones? With a nip in the air, glorious sunny afternoons and restaurants with café-style outdoor seating mushrooming in the city, wouldn’t it be fun to come out of hiding and just head out. And if you know where to be, these food havens can easily pass off as an idyllic hangout zone in a European town. And the best part is that none of these restaurants are in Hauz Khas Village (HKV).

Groghead
New in town, this gastro pub provides a much-needed break from the weekend warriors of HKV and is the perfect place to be if you’re looking for a real gastropub experience. Conveniently located in Green Park, and jointly owned by three entrepreneurs, brothers Sandeep and Anuj Sehrawat and Vivek Malik, the place is meant for all those who love Grog (Australian slang for booze).

Just like someone who loves sleeping too much are often called sleepy heads, this place is meant for people who loves grog. Hence, the name Groghead.

Nibbles - Fruit & Nuts in barrels & Knock-out Shrimp Shooters
Knock-out Shrimp Shooters- Groghead.

On being asked as to how they plan to be different, Sandeep says, “One doesn’t visit a restaurant for good interiors or gigs. Food is primarily a customer’s main concern. And with food taking a huge backseat in the industry, it was about time we offered something different to the foodies. Our food menu is very extensive and we are trying to serve really good quality food. We would never compromise on that as we know how frustrating mediocre food can be.”

Aubergine Farcie
Aubergine Farcie- Groghead.

It’s true that they are still in the process of developing their menu, but signature dishes like Salmon Khan (grilled salmon steak served on a bed of vodka-injected seared watermelon), Twistizzas (pesto pizza twist served with three dips — jalapeno, salsa and cherry tomato mayo), Knock-out Shrimp Shooters (beer battered shrimps in hot sriracha mayo), Archer’s Greens (assorted seasonal veggies and cottage cheese, grilled on skewers, smeared with tangy chermoula dip), Arancini (cheesy risotto balls, green pepper and jalapeno salsa, cherry tomato dip), Persian Jujeh-kabab (chicken kebab flavoured with persian spices and saffron, pita, hummus, muhammara), Intoxicated Prawn Star (jumbo prawns marinated in tequila, zesty lime, basil and garlic, grilled and served with chipotle butter cream, cumin and garlic beans, spicy mexican rice), and The Sign of Four (quenelles of mozzarella, ricotta, cheddar and jack, mixed with fine herbs, saffron rice, tomato malakoff sauce) are a foodie’s delight.

The Capitalist (L) and O!O!O! Orgasm on Order (R).
The Capitalist (L) and O!O!O! Orgasm on Order (R)- Groghead.

In desserts, Groggy Chocolate Fondue (melted Swiss chocolate with dark rum and chocolate liqueur, served with fruits, marshmallows, jujubes, churros) and Apple Cider Cake (pound cake, mascarpone, apple cider glaze) are must-tries. The beverage menu is equally phenomenal with quirky drinks like The Obedient Gin (gin, apple juice, cucumber, basil, ginger, lime juice), Dizzy Flamenco (tequila, peach liqueur, TG margarita mix, splash of red wine), Capitalist (bourbon whisky, earl grey tea, grape juice, glasco citron, bar spice mix), Melonella (watermelon, basil, lime, sweetened sparkling water), Itsy Vit C (fresh orange muddled, roasted cumin, orange juice, himalayan salt and roasted cumin rim), Evershine (Green apple, ginger, mint, lime, sparkling water) and many more.

Where: A-5, 2nd Floor, Green Park Main Road, above Koncept Hyundai
Time: 1 pm to 12.30 am
Meal for two: Rs 1,600 + taxes (exclusive of drinks)

Dramz Whiskey Bar & Lounge
Even though this place offers European and Continental food, Dramz Whiskey Bar & Lounge is the place to be if you love big Indian flavours and are a connoisseur of premium whisky and wines. This bespoke whisky bar and lounge boasts of a collection of 200 labels of premium single malts from 11 countries, and has the advantage of being the first single malt whisky bar and lounge in the country; that too with an amazing view of the iconic historical monument Qutub Minar. Sounds good, right?

Baked Sea Bass with Olives, Tomato and Lime Foam.
Baked Sea Bass with Olives, Tomato and Lime Foam- Dramz Whiskey Bar & Lounge.

Vinay Sehgal, executive sous chef, Dramz Whiskey Bar & Lounge, says, “Our aim is to give our diners a fine food and whisky experience and provide an amicable ambiance for passionate single malt drinkers. We always advise and help our customers to pair their drinks with the food for an unique experience, and that is our USP.”

On being asked as to why the menu has more of Indian dishes he says, “We used to have a balanced menu earlier, but on popular demand we were forced to redo our menu as more and more customers started asking for Indian food.”

Pulled Lamb.
Pulled Lamb- Dramz Whiskey Bar & Lounge.

You can try out their signature dishes like Chicken Envelopes (slow-cooked chicken wrapped in filo pastry, cooked in an oven, served with cocktail dip), Stir Fried Pork (Belgium pork belly stir-fried, flavoured with star anise, and stir-fried with chilli garlic and fresh herbs), Tandoori Broccoli (broccoli marinated with yogurt, chilli, cheese cooked in tandoor), Stuffed Mushroom (button mushroom, stuffed with duxelle, flavoured with thyme, covered with parmesan cheese sauce and gratinaed in the oven), Pan Seared Gnoochi, served with rosemary butter emulsion (homemade kufri potatoes dumplings covered with semollina, seared on a hot griddle, served with rosemary butter emulsion, broccoli, slow-roasted onion), kasundi Machhi Tikka (fillet of sole, flavoured with kasundi and carom seeds, cooked in clay oven pot, served with mint chutney), Mushroom Cappucciano (truffle-flavoured mushroom soup, topped with foamed milk), Roasted Vegetable in Filo Pastry (melange of roasted vegetables covered in filo pastry, served with cheddar cream sauce, micro herbs), Baked seabass with olives, Tomato and Lime foam (Mediterranean baked fish, flavoured with tomatoes and olives, served with lemon foam) and Bharwan Aloo (stuffed potatoes with cottage cheese and flavoured with green cardmon, served with tomato coriander chutney).

Gulkand Ice Cream.
Gulkand Ice Cream- Dramz Whiskey Bar & Lounge.

For desserts, pick up their Gulkand Ice Cream (traditional ice cream flavoured with rose preserve) or their Kesari Phirni (ground rice cooked in milk, flavoured with cardamon and saffron).

Where: DRAMZ Whiskey Bar and Lounge, QR 1580/1, KD Marg, Near Qutub Minar, Mehrauli
Time: 1 pm to 11.30 pm
Meal for two: Rs 2,000 (exclusive of drinks)

Pamphilos Kitchen & Bar
Pamphilos, where Pam means ‘all’ and philos means ‘friend’, is a café-cum-bar that revolves around a concept of ‘friends of all’. This artistic cafe lounge has two floor and each has its own unique points and a story to tell.

Talking about the idea behind the Pamphilos, Sourav Deshwal, co-owner of Pamphilos Kitchen & Bar says, “We wanted to design a place that is both easy and classy. The idea began with the picture of an old English pub hit by an art movement! We wanted it to be a place that invites you to spend time in it, much like Pamphilos herself. The place is an all-time host.”

Garlic Mustard Prawns.
Garlic Mustard Prawns- Pamphilos Kitchen & Bar.

Yasheel Anand Singh, co-owner of Pamphilos Kitchen and Bar, adds, “Think about a café transcending into a lounge as the sun sets. This is exactly the place as the second floor turn into a day bar. You have coffee and alcohol, blended! This floor has its quirks with different furniture settings, much like in one’ own living or dining, adding up to the warm factor of the space and of course the big contrast of a bar. Moving up, we have a terrace space that we divided into two parts, one of the open mini garden with a deck and the little bar in a closed section. This area was specially designed keeping private little parties in mind. This section has an air of luxury as compared to the rest of the space. Over all, the idea was to plan the space tastefully, uncluttered.”

But a place can’t run on ambiance alone. Food is the biggest motivator and guess what? You won’t be disappointed.

Cheese Bombs.
Cheese Bombs- Pamphilos Kitchen & Bar.

Chef Nadir Ali says, “We pay special attention in terms of consistency and what goes into the dishes as it was first conceptualised. Our methods of cooking are traditional and we try to create dishes that are as close to the original as possible. Since we are a multi-cuisine restaurant, we try to give the great culinary experience to our guests from around the world.”

If your are heading towards this place, try out their Vegetarian Falafel Wrap (traditional Arabic dish wrapped in a pita stuffed with hummus, onions, bell peppers and lettuce), Non-Veg International Platter (fish florets, buffalo wings, quesadilla, chicken bruschetta), Garlic Mustard Prawns, Margherita Pizza (classic marinara and mozzarella cheese) and Grilled Fish in Caper Butter Sauce (grilled fish fillet with garlic, olive oil and lemon, served with agrodolce salad). For desserts, try out their Crumbed Banana Caramel (panko crumbed banana lightly fried served with vanilla ice cream).

Veg Pizza.
Veg Pizza- Pamphilos Kitchen & Bar.

This is also a place for enjoying gigs, live bands and musical nights.

“We play EDM, Techno, Deep House, Sufi Nights Bollywood, Retro Classic music. Patrons are happy when they get a little more than what they expect in terms of fun. We do organise a Ladies Night every Wednesday and also have Sunday Live Grill Brunch,” says Yasheel Anand Singh, owner, Pamphilos Kitchen & Bar.

Where: N-8, 2nd Floor, N-Block Market, Greater Kailash (GK)-1
Time: 11 am to 12.30 am
Meal for two: Rs 2,500

Indigo
The reason as to why you should visit this place other than its gorgeous setting is that Indigo’s unveiled a new menu that truly celebrates the winter season and has been crafted by their resident culinary genius Chef Nitin Kulkarni. This menu sees influences from across the globe with a focus on delicately combining Asian flavours, specifically Indian.

Mango and Passion Cremaux Coconut Ice Cream.
Mango and Passion Cremaux Coconut Ice Cream- Indigo.

Chef Kulkarni says, “This menu sees influences from across the globe with a focus on delicately combining flavours of Asia and India, using a variety of ingredients from different parts of the country. We have introduced several new dishes and small and large plates, the small plates are curated keeping a light meal in mind. There is something for every palate on the menu – and this is a menu that we are all very excited about.”

If you want to feel the warm comfort of a cold evening, try out their spectaculars like the Red Bean and Celery Soup (sweet corn and chestnut relish, with or without crispy bacon), Chicken and Barley Broth (mini chicken pot stickers), Warm Mushrooms with Goat Cheese Mille Feuille (whipped chevre, rucola, porcini liquor) and the Braised Lamb Shank. You can also choose from a host of Gourmet Sandwiches and Light Flatbreads, which have especially been put together for the lunch menu.

Guava Panacotta Passion Fruit Gel.
Guava Panacotta Passion Fruit Gel- Indigo.

This new menu will also make any vegetable lover feel special, with special attention given to ingredients such as parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, fresh kale, Swiss chard and more. In addition to these, Chef Kulkarni also brings you a fantastic seven course Chef’s Tasting Menu, so that you can enjoy the Indigo culinary experience, as it ideally should be. If all this isn’t enough, contemporary dessert that showcases minute presentations and modern techniques can also titillate your taste buds, like the Mango and Passion Cremeux (coconut ice cream, sour cherry gel, pistachio cake), Guava Pannacotta (passion fruit gel, strawberry compote, caramelised popcorn), Valrhona Manjari Mousse (mango sorbet, coconut brioche, mango fluid gel) and Deconstructed Red Velvet Cake (valrhona dulcey ice cream, raspberry gel, red beet confit).

Deconstructed Red Velvet Cake.
Deconstructed Red Velvet Cake- Indigo.

Also, for those lively Saturday bar nights, you can now have several options on the all new Bar Snack Menu.

Where: One Golden Mile, Opposite Bhikaji Cama Place, Netaji Nagar
Time: 12 pm to 3.30 pm, 7 pm to 12.30 am
Meal for two: Rs 3,000

Aanch
If you are from West Delhi, you have definitely heard of this place. And if you haven’t visited this place yet, we reckon you do it soon. Built in a 20,000 sq ft area, the entire place has been converted into five different restaurants and the best part is that there’s seating arrangement for all generations. To satiate your pubbing craze, you can hit Ecstasy, a huge 40ft bar area — easily one of the longest bars in the Capital. Then, there’s Kash (a hookah lounge), Majlis (a dining hall for private parties), Company Bagh (an al fresco restaurant) and Aanch itself, which is a fine-dining restaurant.

Paneer Shashlik.
Paneer Shashlik- Aanch.

Located on the top floor of the largest Shoppers Stop mall in Rajouri Garden, the place attracts a lot of customers, mostly Punjabis.

We asked Bhuvnesh Bhalla, co-founder and director of Aanch on how do they stand out from the crowd and he said, “Our aim is to keep things real and give our customers a real feel be it in terms of food or ambiance. We have stuck to the root level and considering the kind of people we attract, we have perfected Punjabi food like Butter Chicken Masala and Dal Makhani. But it wasn’t easy, as we did 102 trials for the Butter Chicken and 76 trials for the Dal Makhani. Moreover, the kind of people who works with me are at the top of their game.”

Golden Fried Prawns.
Golden Fried Prawns- Aanch.

This place is a mix of all things and we root for it as they change their menu every six months, only barring the hot favourites. But that too happens after a lot of trials.

“We don’t repeat a dish unless it works,” says Bhalla.

Other than Butter Chicken and Dal Makhni, you can try out their signature dishes like Paneer Shashlik, Golden Fried Prawns, Drums of Heaven, Malai Kofta and Barrah Kebab.

Malal Kofta.
Malal Kofta- Aanch.

Where: 4th Floor Terrace, Shoppers Stop Mall, Rajouri Garden
Time: 12 pm to 1 am
Meal for two: Rs 1,450