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After leaving a hole in Delhi’s culinary/nightlife landscape, Tabula is back, resurrected as a beach-style restaurant. And we mean literally. The outside area is sprinkled with sand, while the restaurant, done up in chill blue and white (hammock included), is littered with events from beachwear nights to Bring Your Pet to Play — the latter will debut soon. We suspect all that sand will help.
The menu is a medley of seafood, comfort food and Delhi’s default dishes of pasta and pizza. The drinks menu is large, something reflected in drinks such as the one litre Shutter Island Iced Tea, served in beakers. Despite being on the beach, we remember Winter is Coming, a reeling muddling of gin, cucumberslices, lemon juice, soda and mint.
Following the adage of ‘when in Rome’ (or on the beach), we begin at the coast, ordering Butter Garlic Prawns and Calamari and a Chicken Shish Touk from the desert states, for contrast. Both the prawns and the calamari are simply done, sauteed in so much garlic as to negate the previous nine days, with a mild infusion of chilli and herbs. Served in an iron skillet and sizzling, we wash them down with the accompanying garlic bread, losing ourselves in a sea of flavour. The shish touk, meanwhile comes tender and encased in pitapockets, accompanied by Middle Eastern dips; the beetroot hummus is to hummus what red velvet is to cakes.
For mains, we head out West, with Gringo Sliders and American Fried Rice. The sliders come with an entourage of chipotle mayonnaise, a tomato relish and mustard, the stars themselves featuring mini tenderloin burgers, stuffed with runny mozzarella and cheddar and slathered with guacamole. The fried rice comes spiced with Thai flavourings, accompanied with diced pepperoni, sausages, cherry tomatoes, chicken and egg. We eschew the last, because we still believe the chicken came first.
Natural history aside, both the dishes remind us of survival of the fittest, given how their tastes linger so lovingly on our palates.
The chef recommends our dessert — waffles. We get a platter, four toasty waffle wedges, mired in a pastiche of maple syrup, blueberry compote, chocolate sauce, nutella, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, all topped off with a gleaming knob of butter. Yes,it was as good as it sounds.
MEAL FOR TWO: Rs 3,000 (including taxes and alcohol)
ADDRESS: The Village Complex, Asiad Village, Khel Gaon Marg; 26492896
The story appeared in print with the headline Tabula Rasa