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Lap up the winter sun

Here’s a tour of al fresco restaurants in the city where you can soak up the sun while dining...

india Updated: Nov 11, 2011 11:17 IST
Shara Ashraf

Here’s a tour of al fresco restaurants in the city where you can soak up the sun while dining.

The Banyan Grill, Hauz Rani, Saket
Enter The Banyan Grill (originated as Casa Portuguesa, a Portuguese eatery, it relaunched itself with a new name and a menu revamp) and you find yourself in a different land. Set under a century-old banyan tree, painted completely white, the place looks like an ancient Portuguese bungalow with a pebble-tiled courtyard. Designer Nakul Sen, who has a boutique inside the building, has designed the restaurant. The food lives up to the ambience — the steaks are cooked to finesse, the lamb chops are juicy and the Caribbean grilled chicken is delicious. The grilled pineapple and cottage cheese with orange jus served here is a mood lifter. The environment’s friendly; and if you’d like to cook yourself a meal, you’re more than welcome into the kitchen. You can also grill your meat or fish at the grills placed outside. There are some nice Chilean wines too to jazz up your meal.
Meal for two: Rs 1,600

Amour, Hauz Khas Village
Amour’s picture postcard ambience makes it a perfect pick for a romantic date. The place is done up in a nouveau rustic style, with woodwork, seats seasoned out of old Goan boats, muted upholstery and lots of green plants. Treat yourself to a serene view of the ancient Hauz Khas Complex and the lake from the restaurant. Chef Gerrano Rociola from Italy helms the kitchen and whips up some impressive dishes, such as fresh tuna cooked in a delicious sauvignon sauce, and quail with pancetta, prune glaze and maronglasse (caramelised chestnuts). The cellar stocks some good Italian wines.
Meal for two: Rs 2,000

My Pot Belly Roof Top Café, Shahpur Jat
The story behind this one-of-its-kind Bihari eatery is as amusing as its name. When designer Puja Sahu stumbled upon the junkyard on the terrace of the building in which she runs a boutique, her gut told her that she could turn it into a sexy restaurant. She also knew that the place would be a success only if she serves Bihari food. With great faith in her mom’s recipes, the young Bihari turned the junkyard into a breathtaking place with thatched roof, green walls, peppy green- blue chairs and a lovely tree top view. Think beyond litti chokha here as chef Pappu serves a variety of delicious lesser-known Bihari offerings such as Jhamuria — aubergine and potato in a mustard sauce; and dana ka roti — rice flour paranthas stuffed with poppy seeds. There’s a range of spicy mutton and fish dishes too.
Meal for two: Rs 700

La Terraza, Tivoli Garden Hotel, Chattarpur
Set up by the poolside amid lush green trees, it’s a nice place to indulge in a leisurely meal with your family. Skip the Chinese and Italian options and stick to the North Indian fare that the chef specialises in. The barra kebabs and mutton Pakhtoon kebab are appetising, so are the Indian desserts such as gulab jamun and rasmalai.
Meal for two: Rs 2,500

Side Wok, Connaught Place
Relish a fabulous view of Connaught Place as you dine here. The kitchen offers cuisine ranging from Burmese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian to Singaporean. Choose whatever catches your fancy as most of the food is such that you can lick it off your plate. Go for the garlic prawns, whole fried pomphret with burnt chilli wine sauce, assorted mushrooms with oyster sauce, and mapu tofu. Among drinks, take your pick from the single malts, imported wines, delicious sake, and Chinese beer such as the Tsingtao. The desserts such as the blueberry cheesecake, or the tiramisu will have you asking for a second helping.
Meal for two: Rs 2,000

LightHouse 13, MGF Mall, Saket
While the ambience has been kept simple and muted, the food’s delicious and the menu is quite exhaustive. The salmon in orange hollandaise sauce pepped up with orange jus tingles your taste buds with an amazing mélange of sweet and sour flavours. The fried prawns are crunchy from the outside and juicy from inside, and the Baklava comes filled liberally with pistachios. There’s a nice range of cocktails to pair up with your meal.
Meal for two: Rs 2,000