Am I in Europe? No, its Lodi-The Garden Restaurant. Close enough!
Have you ever wanted to be in your city, yet not be in it? If you haven’t thought about it ever, this might be your perfect chance! Imagine sitting in a typical Greco setting on an ideal afternoon enjoying a meal infused with beautiful Mediterranean flavors created specially keeping in mind the monsoon season? Love it? Thought so.
It was an amazing opportunity for me to have been invited by Lodi- The Garden Restaurant to review their special monsoon menu. Me and Mr. Travel Pants were planning to go there for a candlelight dinner since months now and even though he couldn’t quite make it this time but I am sure to drag him there, soon!
The monsoon menu is a perfect way to let yourself splurge on a three course meal and not worry too much about your budget! For just 2500 (for two) they give you an array of options to choose from and well by the end of meal you will be full and happy! You can always hop over to Lodhi Garden after your meal and take a walk around the beautiful Mughal tombs and lush greenery and say your little “thank you” prayers for the bliss you have been presented with.
The menu consists of mocktails and cocktails, each one unique of its own. It was a hot afternoon and both me and my best friend, Alison, we decided to go with the mocktails. Funny thing, we both ended up ordering the same, because, well, it was just too tempting!
Here’s our tropicana, yes, the name is completely symbolic of the drink. We both took our first sip and blurted out almost immediately, “this is exotic!” It has pineapple, coconut milk and loveliness of lemon leaves blended together.
Then it was their turn to be tested under my ever vigilant eyes, the first important criteria of fine dining. Their bread basket! Yes it arrived, the loaves were toasted with butter and herbs and they were perfect, not warm but I genuinely didn’t care! The presentation was impeccable! I was swept off my feet. Literally.
Lodi, uses fresh organic produce and with each bite you can tell the difference between the food you eat everywhere else and what they serve you. Every little thing is fresh and they really try their best to use as less preservatives as possible. We were lucky enough to have a word with the Chef himself! Chef Elam Rana takes every effort to make his dishes stand out, it was great talking out the nitty gritties of the food with him and I was cajoled by the glimmer in his eyes when he spoke about his signature dishes. Aah, my long forgotten dreams of being a chef.
Our starters and soup were brought out, we went along with whatever was suggested by the Chef himself. The soup was made of a smooth fresh lentil paste, coconut cream and coriander. Both Al and me, we aren’t really the soup people but this time it was religious. Seriously. Let me say it again, it was smoooooooooooth. That’s better.
In came the batter fried king prawn infused with lemongrass and fresh chilies. I am a king prawn lover and if they are golden fried, I almost behave like the crazy ex-girlfriend who is still possessive of her lover and not willing to let him go. That is my relationship with king prawns. And you know how to oomph the craziness factor a little bit more? Just inform the poor girl the prawns have been brought from the Andamans. Yes. I mean knowing something is that amazing is GREAT but also knowing it wont last forever, heartbreaking! This is probably the only place in Delhi that sources their seafood from the Andamans and authenticity speaks for itself the moment its inside your mouth! I will spare you the gory details. Moving on,
Main course was a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian dish. The veggie one was baked crepes of home grown spinach and maize with parmesan caper cream and chopped olives. It was a great dish, the crepes were perfect however it could do with a little more parmesan caper cream since it got dry and the taste of spinach became a little too overpowering. Nevertheless it was really good and you could tell the difference between the freshness of spinach stuffing used here and the ones you eat everywhere else.
After which came the most awaited dish of the day, green tea smoked duck with tamarind and plum puree. It was my first time tasting duck and I was excited and nervous and silently praying that it wont disappoint me. The smoked duck was PERFECT! It was a perfect rare which is awesome because I hate rare and medium rare, glazed with a little barbecue sauce and served with mashed potatoes that melted in my mouth. The puree was of a beautiful red color from the plums and the tamarind gave it a succulent taste!
We were stuffed by now but you NEVER say no to dessert!
Both the options were laid on our table.
Lovely pink plum sorbet. It was soft and tasted delicious!
And the honey glazed peach with mango ice cream. The peaches were perfectly caramelized and mango ice cream during the monsoon months never ceases to amaze me. What more? It was drizzling a little every now and then in the afternoon!
The restaurant also has their own resorts for more information you need to go visit. They are always coming up with new and interesting events, just tomorrow, is their Friendship Day special evening! Their menus are revamped every quarter and winters have open air barbecues and special Sunday brunches! Once you are there be sure that you will be pampered by the staff.
After thanking the staff and the chef for the wonderful afternoon we couldn’t help but snap the outdoors, where I am hoping to take Travel Pants for a romantic evening out.
I didn’t want to leave and wished I could live there forever, but hey! All good things come to an end, don’t they?
We took a walk in the park to let the food settle in before heading back to the normalcy of chitter patters in our everyday lives.
If you haven’t been there yet, what are you waiting for?
P.S. Thank you Upasna for recommending me to them! It was an experience I couldn’t thank you enough for.
Thanks Ankur and the team for going the extra mile and taking such good care of us!!