I have a problem with restaurants that open in a hurry. Serious problem. Reminds me of those rare Hindi movies that release during the examination season because of pressure from the financers, and then lament the lack of audience in the theatres. In the case of restaurants, however, it is worse, because for no fault of the guest, he discovers that half of the services are yet not operational.
Curiously enough, I’m yet to come across eateries where the customer is asked to pay less to make up for the lack of promised services. Anyhow, the point of this long crib will present itself later in the course of this review. Going by the name of the restaurant I’m writing about this week — Wow — you’ll see a lot of ‘wow’ and ‘yuck’ as we go.
This new Chinese eatery, located in the war zone of Connaught Place, takes some serious trekking and rockclimbing skills to reach. Now, approach roads that are all dug up, of course, are no fault of the restaurant but pray, why open a new business in the peak of Commonwealth Games preparations when the existing restaurants in CP are also having to eat all their food themselves every evening.Anyhow, the restaurant that proudly screams ‘restro-bar’ in big, bold letters outside, is decent in terms of décor, with primarily wooden finish and walls having square cut-outs with hidden lights (the space that was being nicely utilised at the time we went, by a guest family that had put their kids’ shoes in them).
There’s a faux glass ceiling with water running into it, which ends in a small water fall at one end of the restaurant. Wow…except that there seemed to be a leakage and we were subjected to water droplets falling on us occasionally, as we ate. Yuck. Three of the wait staff placed themselves exactly 5 cm from us, not out of an extra zeal to attend to us, but because they were watching TV, which was perched on a panel right above our table.
We started by trying to order for a chilled beer, which did seemed like a perfect thing to do on a hot afternoon after all the trekking. But we were told that the bar is not operational since they don’t have the licence yet. Yuck.
Then we tried ordering for Chilli Garlic Butter Prawns (Rs 395) as starters. I’m saying ‘tried’ because the moment we said it, the one taking the order resolutely said, ‘no...I suggest you go for the crispy chicken instead’. Wow…amused to see the passion with which he had decided what we should be eating, we ordered for the Crispy Chicken Pepper Salt (Rs 185) as well, … as a tribute to that passion, while not resting much hopes on the prawns since he seemed reluctant to serve it. The chicken was very good and crispy…but much to our surprise, the butter prawns were way better and in fact, truly excellent. Maybe the man had some personal problem with prawns.
For the main course, the place has a great concept of ‘noodle’ or ‘rice bowls’…or mini meals served in a bowl with a thick gravy dish poured over rice or noodles. We settled for Sliced Chicken in garlic sauce (Rs 250) on a bed of fried rice and Lamb in crushed black pepper sauce (Rs 270). Wow. You truly have to give it to the chef for the chicken preparation, which had roasted cashew lending a great flavour to the spicy garlic sauce. The lamb was well cooked, though for some strange reason, had no salt at all. I didnt need to call out to the waiter and could have simply dragged one to the table with my right hand, since they were by now standing 2 cm away from us, but decided not to disturb someone who was so totally into the match.
We were going through the dessert menu enthusiastically when told by the patronising one that none of the desserts was available, as they are not fully operational yet. Yuck. Finally, we took out the credit card to pay and were told again that it’ll take 20 minutes as the credit card machine is not operational yet. Yuck again. I’m still keen to know why they opened, without the basics still in place. Maybe they got a fabulous chef who threatened them into opening or else he’ll go elsewhere. Wow.
Where: L-22, Connaught Place
Phone: 011 4328070
Meal for two: Rs 2,000 (plus taxes)