Indigo at One Golden Mile, Delhi opened with much aplomb and almost soon after, celebrity chef Rahul Akerkar exited the company. Skeeter visited the restaurant both before and after his exit and here’s an account of her last visit for a winter menu tasting. One enters the sprawling courtyard, passing by their Deli, from where Skeeter remembers picking some good breads and croissants on her last visit.
On a crisp winter evening, the tasting menu started with a lovely amuse bouche of brioche topped with jam and goat cheese, with an edible flower petal that brightened the plating. A spectacular wild mushroom consomme with mini chevre tortellini followed thereafter. The consomme was light and hearty, and the tortellini paired well with it.
|Wild mushroom consomme with mini chevre tortellini
The salad of asparagus, shaved fennel & green apple, baby greens, chives and parmesan dressing was crisp, well dressed, refreshing and aptly portioned.
Faith in their food was restored with the Herb ricotta & saffron stuffed cappelletti (hat shaped pasta) with basil butter roasted mushrooms, baby carrots and parsnip puree. It was a stellar dish full of oomph and flavour. Skeeter would go back for this one.
|Herb Ricotta and saffron stuffed Cappelletti|
Bite sized desserts. Need we say more? You fix that craving of yours and you can’t possibly get greedy as it is all over in a bite. Or two! A bite whose taste lingers on, long after it is over. These desserts also make for perfect picks for a get-together at home, as you continue to sip wine and talk late into the night.
Here are Skeeter’s picks from their kitty!
This absolutely fab Passion Fruit Tart with a mini macaron (Rs 60). Looks pretty, tastes better! Move away lemon tart, you have competition!
The Belgian chocolate fudge studded with nuts and dusted with more chocolate (Rs 30 a pop with minimum 6 pieces to order). Best had under the blanket with a book in hand and Jasmine tea on the side!
Bite sized baked Kala Khatta cheesecake (Rs 60) with an enticing blueberry and blackberry compote. Love their raspberry cheesecake too!
The Mint cooler lemonade served in a glass jar with the right amount of sweet and tang will quench your thirst and make you forget the sweltering heat outside for a while. The olive-studded bread and hummous were a great starter. The hummous was creamy and full of flavour and the olive-studded bread was wholewheat. What else could one ask for? I know it’s gonna be on my dinner table again and again, and more!
From the pizza selection, Skeeter tried the ‘Roast zucchini, tomato and basil pizza’, that has a light and crisp base. The base sauce is made in-house and was finger-licking good. The pizza was overall perfect and I did not realise the absence of cheese. I would’ve loved a crispier base and if the zucchini was char-grilled it would make for a better sight on the plate, but then that’s just being greedy and asking for more. This pizza makes for a perfect treat for weight watchers, as is.
The ‘Jalapeno, pineapple and rocket pizza was rather inspirational and it’d be my go-to pizza in the days to come. If there is poetry on a plate, this is it, this is it, this is it! A crisp base, smeared with tomato sauce, topped with generous helpings of pineapple slices and rocket leaves. You get your pizza fix, you eat your dose of the favourite fruit and you munch some salad, all at a go. Oh did I mention, they have a low cheese and no-cheese option as well. Just ask them and they oblige. They claim to procure as many organic ingredients as possible. Plus ten for that. Vegan pizzas, anyone? Almost everything on the menu can be made vegan if it already isn’t. They even cater to the needs of those suffering from celiac or gluten allergies.
The Pizza cannot get hotter than this!
Meal for two: Rs 750
For more information, check the Anna Perenna Pizza website
When I arrived back in Delhi, I loved what the good old Delhi Golgappa with cold, boiled potatoes and chickpeas and teekha pani did to my tastebuds. In Delhi, for sometime now, I find myself craving Pani Puri, the Maharashtrian way at times, and the Vada Pav very often. If there is any difference at all between the two cities, that I’d readily admit, it is the pricing. Bombay food is cheaper. Period.
When one of my favourite Bombay eateries opened up in Delhi, I decided to give it a try. Shiv Sagar, of Bombay fame has a Janpath address now. #Win
The ambience is welcoming. A Bombay person would easily connect. Start your meal at Shiv Sagar with a pineapple or watermelon juice, as I recommend them for their taste and freshness. Ask for a no-masala version, if you please, else they add it by default. I had a sample of 6 juices they offer on a sci-fi test tube platter, all of which I enjoyed. The sev puri comes recommended too. Papri topped with potatoes, a medley of chutneys and spices, finished with a generous helping of sev and pearls of pomegranate. Street food, the hygienic way, served up on the table. I’d have preferred it a bit more spicy.
Shiv Sagar also manages to do justice to the quintessential Maharashtrian street food, the Vada Pav. The chilli garlic powder on the side is amazing too! If you are in the mood for something tangy, go for the chinese bhel. It is neither Chinese nor Bhel, but crispy fried noodles tossed in a sweet and sour sauce and topped with onion and coriander. Yum!
|(Left: Dough balls and garlic butter. Right:Bruschetta Con Funghi )|
|The Pizza tossing spectacle at Pizza Express, Delhi|
|(Left:Proofing of the dough at Pizza Express, India. Right: Pizza base with tomato sauce from Parma )|
The Giardiniera Pizza (classic base) is topped with mushrooms, mozzarella, leeks, cherry tomatoes, artichokes and olives on a tomato and pesto base drizzled with fragrant garlic oil and comes at Rs 510. The Pizza Express classic base has its own fan following but if one wants they can upgrade it to the thinner, crispier Romana base for Rs 100. Extra toppings for any pizza come at Rs 45 a pop; choose from char grilled veggies, eggs, sweet peppadew among others. There are some non-veg toppings available too but that was not Skeets’ area of interest. Skeets moved on to the Padana pizza (RS 595) on a Romana base. It came topped with Goat’s cheese, mozzarella, spinach, caramelised onions and a drizzle of garlic oil. This sublime Pizza was Skeeter’s personal favourite and she recommends you must try the Padana at Pizza Express. Oh and do drizzle some extra garlic oil for enhanced flavour.
|Padana pizza on Romana base|
On to desserts, Skeets is happy to report that the Pizza Express Cheesecake did not fail her. The baked vanilla cheesecake (Rs 295) is served with your pick of cream, gelato or mascarpone cheese and fruit coulis on the side. It did justice to the chain and lived up to Skeeter’s expectations. There are a few other desserts and Dolcetti on the menu, but Pizza Express is all about classics for Skeeter.
|Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with mascarpone and fruit coulis|
London vs Delhi
The few branches of Pizza Express in London that Skeeter likes are the Bromley and Bloomsbury ones. The ambience of Pizza Express, Delhi is pleasant and inviting with comfortable seating. The decor of every Pizza Express branch represents something from the area in which they open shop. This one has painted plates on the wall to represent ceramic pottery of the area. There is a splendid rooftop seating coming up soon too and the liquor license is awaited.
The wait staff are very well trained. Full marks for that! The menu in London is a little more elaborate with a few extras in each section. Am sure the Pizza Express, India people will up their game with time and add more from the London favourites.
The Pizza standards are up to the mark as there is a taste tester who is flown from London for quality maintenance. The tomatoes comes from a region near Parma in Italy, a tradition being maintained by the chain since 1965.
There was a drizzle of cream that dressed the Cheesecake at the London branches. Skeets prays the Pizza Express at Delhi incorporate that and make Skeety happy.
A meal at Pizza Express would be approximately Rs 2000 for two people. A must try Pizzeria, this.
A dinner at a pre-determined venue with a specially curated menu will be held each month in various cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and more… There are no +1s allowed. You have to be a solo diner. You’d be joined by other such diners and would gradually get to know each other over perfectly timed courses that give you ample time to befriend and network with others on the table. The table could have people who are new to the city, people who are looking for work-related opportunities, or just a cool bunch to dine out with and explore a new cuisine, perhaps.
Dinner with strangers is a concept popular in the West, which people sometimes organise at their homes. Yes, they open their homes to complete strangers and sometimes even throw in a new cuisine for everyone to sample. The possibilities are endless. It maybe a potluck, or a cookoff, it only gets as fancy as your mind.
Moving on to Skeeter’s main course and dessert together, she could not decide which of these stole the show for her. The Vegetable Tagliatelle with carrot mash and basil oil was part of a very pleasant surprise, for it was no pasta, but farm fresh, seasonal, organic, vegetables like carrot, yellow and green zucchini, peeled into strips and plated wonderfully to mimic Tagliatelle, cooked/steamed very lightly to leave the texture crunchy enough for one to bite in. The sweet scented basil oil peeped from between the vegetables to reveal itself and lend flavour to the dish. Skeeter has never had a healthier dish at a restaurant. The portion size and the quality of this Vegetable Tagliatelle with carrot mash and basil justifies the price tag (Rs 500) absolutely. Skeeter will go back for only this one, on and on. That said, Chef Alexis Gielbaum at Le Bistro Du Parc told Skeeter that they change their menu frequently. So one is likely to go back at Le Bistro Du Parc for a fresh menu and more surprises. It is also commendable to note they have compensated vegetarians (for a limited number of dishes in the already small menu) beautifully by creating star dishes such as the one Skeets mentioned.