Sunday, February 7, 2010

Indochine, Lado Sarai OLD REVIEW that was published in Outlook Envy ;)

Picturesque expanse of the Qutab Golf Course, envious interiors and a fine choice of dining areas define INDOCHINE FORBIDDEN CITY at Aurobindo Marg, Lado Sarai in the capital.

Indochine is an international chain of restaurants that has its presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Germany besides India. It can boast of its unique choice of an exotic cuisine that comes from the land of French Indochine comprising of Southeast Asian nations like Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In India, it is a joint venture of Mr. Michael Ma, CEO of the Indochine group and restaurateurs Mr. Jay Singh and Mr. Sanjay Mahtani.

Forbidden City has three dining options ranging from a bar to a fine dining restaurant.

The premise is primarily divided into three areas spread on two levels.

The ground level has an indoor bar named the bar SaVanh that has a dimly lit ambience to itself. There is a lounge like atmosphere with a DJ console that is the first visible area as one enters the bar. “The bar has a good choice of drinks to offer besides sumptuous finger food” tells the Restaurant manager.

It has a place to accommodate about 400 people easily and weekends see a huge rush of party freak Delhiites pouring in. “Though the place was brimming with a 1250 people last weekend, but we still do not want to promote Indochine as a club, we rather want to promote it as a lifestyle and a culture oriented place” added the manager.

There is another option of casual dining in the open, adjacent to the Qutab Golf course called ‘Café Alfresco’ that gives a spectacular view of lush green surroundings. The menu is a modest one that limits itself to only a fewer number of bites to choose from. The entire area on the ground level can be used to plan private parties and get togethers.

On the first floor is the fine dining restaurant called Madame Butterfly that has an Asiatic theme in its décor besides offering a clearer view of the golf course through the glass present on the left side of the restaurant. It has both smoking and non smoking areas indoor and in the open respectively.

The decor is a combination of dark red, brown and black that gives a very Chinese feel to it. Though there also are bamboo sticks lying on one side of the restaurant that does till an extent add a Vietnamese feel to the place.

The music goes with the theme and according to the manager; similar soundtracks are played in all the Indochine outlets across the world barring aside a few tracks that are favorite to the sporadic clientele. On the whole, the ambience is a combination of shades of reds, light music and comforting view of the green expanse that provides a good option of enjoying one’s lunch or dinner, whatever has been planned!

The chefs are also trained in and brought from Singapore and an effort is made to standardize the flavor across all the outlets of Indochine in the world.

The food as they put it is ‘nutriceutical’ in nature that has both nutritional and pharmaceutical essence attached to it.

The entrees included an exotic Indochinese salad called the Aloe Vera Pomelo salad.

Pomelo is a citrus fruit that is easily available across Southeast Asia. The salad also included green field baby spinach and cashew nuts and was prepared in a special Indochine sauce.

It is nutritious sans doute and has a very tangy flavor to it. Priced at Rs. 275 it’s a healthy choice. Forbidden City chilly prawns (Rs. 800) is one of the see food options available besides delicacies like lobsters and crabs. Prawns are cooked in a Chinese red chilly sauce and are a good option to choose in appetizers.

The main course included steamed rice( Rs.125), stir fried chicken of the bamboo pavilion(Rs. 575) that came in a taro basket and includes cashew nuts,

water chestnut, ginko nut, carrot, and leek prepared in satay sauce.

Tenderloins with XO sauce (Rs. 475) is a delicacy that is offered here. It is served in a clay pot in which the dish is prepared and loins are juicy and soft prepared in a shrimp based XO sauce with a hint of capsicum, onion and garlic.

An assortment of mushrooms called Xao Ba Nam (Rs. 450) is a must try. It includes mushrooms like golden, shiitake and button available in both veg and non-veg sauces.

The food is less spicy than Chinese food and has a larger menu of healthier options.

Dessert included ‘chocolate temptation’ (Rs.375) that had a brownie with melting chocolate sauce atop it along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Though it is a very regular dessert available at almost every restaurant, here the presentation was brilliantly done. A white platter that had a vanilla ice cream scoop garnished with nuts and a chocolate brownie on one corner beautified with strawberry syrup in the middle.

The staff is well informed and offers good advice whilst choosing from the menu.

Indochine indeed offers a unique choice of dining in Delhi and is developing into a lifestyle hang out zone along with providing an exotic cuisine like nobody else.

Meal for two- upwards of Rs. 2000

Address – Forbidden City by Indochine, Behind Qutab Golf Course, Aurobindo Marg, Lado Sarai, New Delhi-110030

Telephone- 011-29523330

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