Give way as your Schengen Visa is here to take you on a gastronomical ride through the by-lanes of la-di-da environs of 26 European countries – exploring the nouvelle concepts of gorgeous grub. Pristine and pale green swank envelops this three-tiered restaurant, Schengen – Deli, Bistro & Bar. As you walk into the slush achromatic space, the ground floor which has an in-house bakery welcomes you. It’s bantam and cozy keeping the Deli scene in mind – you could sit for coffee or just take away your heart’s desire. As you walk up the staircase, the first floor which is a lounge will warm the cockles of your heart. It’s neat décor with hackneyed European setup, unassuming wooden furniture, yellow windows, shelves decked up with antiquated trimmings, dim light and live music corner, that keeps churning out the best of romantics and Latino, will fasten you to the seats for long. The décor has been looked into by the owner Bhanu Nehra himself. An avid globetrotter and food lover that he is, hint derived from his travel chronicles of Europe can be seen in everything from plate hangings to an impressive and animated wall art that form the backdrop for the Bar on the second floor. You have the luxury of sitting out on the terrace that overlooks the halcyon high-browed Malcha Marg Market. I chose to go and perch in a quiet corner of the pub lounge on the second floor. Wait until the clock strikes 9 and this place will be buzzing with people. I was an early bird as I wanted to chat up with the Head Chef, Piyush Jain.
Piyush is continuously trying to innovate the dishes keeping the customer’s choice in mind. He says, “if my variation of a certain dish doesn’t appeal the customer, I give him the original version of the same. I want him to go out happy “. I like his passionate concern.
I was first served a Sangria – smooth and fruits deliciously pre soaked in grape juice. The Nine Hills never tasted better. Even the Bailey’s Frappe was beautifully frothy – the coffee blended with the liqueur delectably. My friend Natasha has a puppy love on it now. The Melon Cooler that is a whiskey blend with watermelon is a refreshing twist to a cocktail comprising whiskey.
First on the table was a complimentary assortment of breads. The snacks – Greek Vegetable Kebabs, Mushroom Halloumi Kebabs and Cajun marinated Chicken Satay were just so light and easy munch-ons over tipple. What I really enjoyed was the Wild Mushroom Solyanki Soup – not overtly creamy, one can taste fine mushrooms in each spoon. Good! The Wild Mushroom Risotto – that had my favourite shiitakes, was really well made. Perfectly cooked and aptly creamy!
The Lamb Goulash – traditional lamb stew from Spain. Served with rice, the dish was savoury. It had a smoked paprika flavour that was piquant. The Butter poached Duck Breast was not the best though – medium rare – I thought it was undercooked and a little too chewy for my taste. Served with mashed sweet potato as a bed and a lavash ring, it’s quite a portion.
Trio of grilled Sole Skewers is something one should try. But the crumbed fish fingers were dainty darlings – crusty outside with palatable inside, not chewy unlike the bad ones.
Roasted Chicken Pizza freshly baked was crisp with sumptuous toppings – can pass off as a good meal with your Shiraz.
P:S: The Watermelon, feta and pine nuts Salad is the best – melon scoops with nuts drizzled all over amalgamated with feta cheese and basil leaves is a perfect dish to savour on a sunny summer afternoon.
Time passed chatting up with my lovelies, reminiscing old Hollywood english romantics as they seasoned the aura – It didn’t even strike that our desserts took quite a while to come – the service got a little delayed with walking guests.
The Tiramisu was awesome – spongy and scrumptious. Even the Red Velvet Cake was good. The menu has only a very limited desserts to serve as of now, but very soon there are a few more to be introduced. The ones that comprise the menu right now are good, worth spending your penny on.
Thus, my travel to Schengen countries came to a appetising end.
Casa: Schengen, Malcha Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi