There’re many in Delhi for whom Berco’s is the first name that comes to mind when we say ‘Chinese food’. This chain of Thai and Chinese restaurants across the capital has made a mark for itself in over 27 years since it was started by the Advani family. There’s no one in my generation who’s grown up in Delhi and not eaten a decent ‘semi-authentic’ Chinese meal at the chain’s famous Connaught Place outlet. So when I got to know that Berco’s has opened yet another restaurant in Rajouri Garden, a rush of nostalgia drove me to try it out.
Used to the long waiting ques at Delhi’s restaurants, which are generally bursting at the seams on Saturday evenings, I duly called up the place to reserve a table. “We don’t reserve tables,” said the voice at the other end, hastily adding, “but there’s no waiting, so please come whenever you wish.” My happiness at the ‘no waiting’ surprise, however, turned into a bit of a shock when I reached there and found the restaurant totally empty. Yes, not even a single guest on a Saturday evening. Guess the location of the restaurant, which is fairly into the interiors of a residential area, was the main culprit, but it was quite amusing to see the waiting staff whisper ‘someone has come’ into each others’ ears.
Anyhow, I ordered for Chicken Hot ‘n’ Sour Soup (Rs 75) while my companion opted for Talumein (Rs 90). Both turned out to be exactly the same in appearance and taste, with the latter having noodles, of course. For starters, we tried the Crispy Chilly Lamb (Rs 160) and Shanghai Chicken (Rs 175). The lamb was crispy alright, but a little less salt would’ve helped. The chicken turned out to be great, with crisp fried spinach leaves making for a perfect accompaniment.
Either we lazed around over the starters or the staff found it a bit too much to keep staring at just one occupied table, but we were asked a hundred times to order for the main course ‘before the kitchen closes’. We asked for double fried pork in oyster sauce, a speciality of the CP outlet, but were told that no pork dishes on the menu are available. We settled for Chicken Kunchao (Rs 160) and Shredded Lamb in Schezwan Sauce (Rs 175), with the latter turning out to be perfectly flavoured. For dessert, we ordered for Brown Zebra (Rs 90) (brownie with vanilla ice cream) and Death by Chocolate (Rs 90) and again, both turned out to be different only in name.
The overall experience was average. The place has a long way to go, but it was surely fun being the only one being waited upon by a staff of over 20 on a Saturday night.