a fine mix of European and Asian flavours at Dirty Apron and a Jazz club in the city
If you are looking for places with live music, especially Jazz in Delhi the chances are you will end up stepping up on that Piano keyboard floor. The Pianoman Jazz Club has a nice and warm ambiance, a mezzanine level seating that is quite intimate and functional. Very intelligent use of space, dimly lit brick walls and vibrant energy that I could feel even in the day time when a band called Bolly Jazz was practicing.
We were there for lunch at Dirty Apron which is more open with bright natural light and greenery laced windows. Promise of good food, some peppy fusion of European and Asian flavours and some good chitchat with a few blogger friends is what took us there on a weekend. It is always good to be with more people when you go for food tasting so you can take your bites from everyone's plate to see what you like.
I started with a piña colada that was very good. The beverage menu is quite interesting with quirky names and the drinks look gorgeous.
I had ordered a Vietnamese Chicken Pho Soup that comes with a grilled strip of tofu. It was just okay taste wise with few chunks of chicken and noodles. I tasted the Hungarian Mushroom soup from my friend's bowl and loved it absolutely. Very flavourful and rich tasting, this soup is a must try if you like mushrooms. The Seafood Chowder served in a crusty bun was superbly flavourful.
Among the appetizers I loved the taste of Stuffed Mushrooms Nonya Sauce. A few bites from the Korean Nacho also felt good. I liked the use of homemade Kimchi and peanuts in the Nacho salad.
For main course Masamman Grilled Snapper was my choice, I found the fish nice but loved the slices of sweet potatoes and wilted spinach with sesame it comes with. Red Curry Marinated Lamb Chops were quite good, the bed of miso mashed potatoes was even better.
Herb crusted Sea Bass with sweet chilly Sambal comes on a bed of Wasabi mash and it quite delectable. I loved the way mashed potato is made so playful, the end result is delicious.
The flavours of Chicken Laksa Risotto and Keemaroni (keema with Mac n Cheese) are addictive to say the least. These two dishes that we tried were the most cheesy, the flavours doing a tango, I could see everyone loving these two dishes.
My favourite was the vegetarian Coconut rice with Sambal and Okra topped with Crispy Onions and Lime. This was my kind of coconut rice with the sweetness of onions, umami of sambal and creaminess of the coconut rice.
The Pork Chops with Apricot Brandy (not in the collage above) sounded exciting but failed to impress. The rib chops were really baby size so may be that was the reason, flavours were nice though. Thai Curry and Pumpkin Gorgonzola Ravioli was unimpressive. Too mushy even though I like pumpkin a lot.
On the other hand I loved the Ratatouille which is a dish with mushy vegetables where a measured precision of mushiness was bang on. Flavours were balanced too and I took second helpings, I never need brad with Ratatouille but the Focaccia that came with it was really nice.
The citrus Creme brulee was nice, presented beautifully.
My good friend Ruchira Hoon has done the menu at Dirty Apron and I knew it will be delicious food all over, but I believe some credit must go to the kitchen team to be able to follow the blueprint and keep cooking the food consistently good. I found quite a number of dishes that I would order again when I go.
The best thing about the menu is that everyone would be able to find according to taste and diet preference, I found a lot of healthy meal choices that are so delicious you wont ever regret not choosing something sinful, the coconut rice with okra and grille fish dishes fit the bill absolutely. There are a lot of indulgent foods and a lot of salad meal choices are there too. Something that works for me absolutely.
A filling 3-4 course meal will cost about 2000 INR for 2 and it is value for money too.
The menu at the Jazz club is different, more of small nibbles served like finger food so the food doesn't come into the way of music. Long time I attended a live concert so I am planning we will keep a track of their calendar now. I heard they are not repeating bands for six weeks and they are playing live Jazz everyday. That is quite an achievement indeed.