Nu.Delhi in Malcha Marg is a swanky place with lots of attention having been paid to the décor — dark and smoky with shiny faux leather booths, lots of dark wood, lovely red lighting and a really pretty mezzanine lounge which overlooks the bar, the stage and the central dining area. It is a great pity that not as much attention has been paid to the food.
The restaurant is the brainchild of the same team that brought Delhi the cool hangout zone Q’BA in Connaught Place and @Live, also in CP, with both places being popular live music hangouts. The difference is that while your expectations of the food at Qba and @Live are tempered by the primary USP being the music and the drinks, the same can’t be said for Nu.Delhi, which appears to have been designed as a restaurant first.
It may have been a mistake to have lunched there instead of going for dinner, when the place would be buzzing, the band playing and the drinks and atmosphere toning down high expectations from the food.
The menu has two distinct cuisine sections — Indian and World, and perhaps another mistake was zeroing in on the World Cuisine.
The starters are good and there are some interesting choices — crudités and bruschetta for example -—even though there is the ubiquitous Lebanese mezze featuring hummus etc.
An asparagus vol au vent (Rs 275) suffered from too much puff pastry cooked too long, so the filling was completely lost in its carb midst. Now that was a pity because the filling was really tasty.
A chicken shawarma starter (Rs 375) featured very nice pita bread, nicely cooked chicken and lots of fresh salad, BUT it lacked character, needing better hummus and a touch of chilli. It was a generous helping, in fact, more a light lunch than a starter.
The main dishes were a little hit and miss. The New Zealand lamb chops (Rs 975) were tender and tasty except they were closer to rare than the requested medium, and there was a strange sweetish aftertaste that had nothing to do with the red wine sauce or the herbs that had been used. It was served with a scant portion of really nice mashed potatoes, accompanied, however, by a weird salad that tasted like it had been tossed in milk.
The pan grilled trout (Rs 550) was the biggest disappointment. This fresh water fish demands to be crisp on the outside and soft inside. Instead, served with potatoes cut to look like pineapple rings and some asparagus, it was a flaccid, tasteless piece of fish which tasted too ‘fishy’, and not in a good way.
The trout was dispatched and an order placed for a seafood risotto. This saffron dish with its generous helping of fish, calamari and prawn needed a bit more flavouring to bring out the tastes of the seafood.
Nu.Delhi serves a cheese pate (which a friend recommends) but as a starter and not an end of meal offering.
The two desserts we tried were way more successful than the earlier courses. A tiramisu was pronounced very good and the kulfi with its topping of brulee and a pretty nest of spun sugar was delicious.
Address: 14/48, Malcha Marg
Meal for two: Rs 2,500 (plus taxes