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Dash of SA in Delhi

india Updated: May 21, 2010 01:25 IST
Jimmy Chew
Jimmy Chew
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

A South African chain has opened its first cafe in Delhi and the youth are flocking to it, no doubt drawn by the infectiouslynamed Giggle Juice, the hookahs and the inexpensive grub. News Cafe is on the 2nd floor of DLF Promenade in Vasant Kunj and it seemed only right that we should drag some South Africans and a pair of teenagers along for a Sunday lunch — the South Africans because they were familiar with the brand and the teenagers because we had been told that the place has “a vibe”.

This is a cafe that does not pretend to be anything but. Even with the fancy dishes (a dash of Thai, some grills) and an extensive drinks menu, it’s a burger, fries and sandwich place which pays a lot of attention to turning out really good burgers, fries
and sandwiches.

The interior is nothing fancy except for the bar which glows deeply purple at night. It’s really the balcony that one should head to. Yes, even in the midst of a searing Delhi summer — they have done the sensible thing of putting misting fans all over the place so that one can dine al fresco even in May. Here you will find an assortment of young people lolling about, listening to some good music courtesy a South African DJ and sucking on shishas.

Back to the Giggle Juice (Rs 325). It is a lurid, evil-looking blue drink made up of white spirits, southern comfort, blue curacao,
grenadine and lemonade and will put you in a sunny mood for the rest of the afternoon.

Best thing about News Cafe — they serve an all day breakfast. And it’s a very good breakfast, which is tragically rarer in Delhi than you would think. The breakfast menu is not vast but it swings from the traditional English — think bacon and eggs — to muesli’s, yoghurt and the like.

The Traditional (Rs 350) served up two eggs, four rashers of bacon, chicken sausage, grilled tomato, mushrooms, potato rosti and toast with some multi-grain bread. Very good — eggs cooked just right, bacon done just this side of crisp and good sausage. The bacon tasted a bit like it had suffered freezer burn and was the only off note.

The cafe comes into its own with the burgers. You can try the burger trio (Rs 350) — mini chicken or beef burgers, served with cheese, mushroom sauce and bbq sauce, but it’s the classic beef burger (Rs 300) which does what a straight up and down good beef burger should do.

We also tried two “platters to share” which serves 3-4. The mini burger platter (Rs 750 — 8 little chicken and lamb burgers) and a top seller platter (Rs 900 — peri peri chicken wings, chicken bites, butterfly prawns and fish finger served with potato wedges).

Both platters were good in the way most things deep fried tastes yum, but nothing exceptional. A good choice for a table of young people who just don’t know what to order.

The service is slick and professional, friendly without hovering and the food comes quickly, the drinks are replenished and the bill is prompt. The South African teen had the last word:
If you close your eyes, you could be in Sandton (Johannesburg).”

Where: DLF Promenade, 2nd Floor, Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj
Tel: 011-46605774
Meal for two: Rs 1,200

Food: ***
Overall Ambience:****