|Appearances can be deceptive ( Chicken Laksa Risotto)|
Friday, February 19, 2016
The Piano Man Jazz Club has actually grown on the capital and has been quite the talk of the town, making most other clubs appear very mundane. So when I got an invite to check out the team’s food endeavour, ‘Dirty Apron’, I just had to go check it out! Dirty Apron’s creative interiors, chic and friendly atmosphere, strike the right balance between camaraderie and intimacy. You could opt to melt into a chair and soak in the atmosphere, hang out at the terrace with your favourite cocktail, or then settle down to a languid meal with soft music playing in the background.
Coming to the food, to start with I was happy that the menu wasn’t too big as you would see in most establishments, thus making it easier to decide. My daughter and I are big oriental fans so immediately opted for the Vietnamese Chicken Pho to start with. When done right (unfortunately not in this case) chicken pho in a place like Delhi can sometime outsell the epitome of pho’s the beef pho. This is why I fail to understand why restaurants don’t make an effort to serve this humble dish the way it is meant to be! The pho broth is the soul of the dish and the chef here had got that really wrong. You can be pardoned for serving underdone or chewy banh pho (the pho noodle). You can be excused for not having the right meat or toppings. But jumble up the pho broth and your pho is ruined. Anyways next came in the Jerk chicken and the Shish Taouk….both average and not even near authenticity. Flawlessly made jerk chicken can be addictive: It’s misty and moist, sweet-smelling and spicy. The extensive marination and cooking time leaves it nice and tender and the hot chilli sauce classically aided on the side cuts through the lushness of the meat.
Now we were hoping that our mains better be good, so came in the chicken Laksa Risotto. I am the person, who doesn’t really like sweet in my savoury, but of course there are some beautiful dishes that demand a hint of sweetness and I do enjoy those. The Risotto was absolutely disappointing and had too much happening …nothing was right…texture...nor the flavour or the taste! By now I was eagerly waiting for my Crunchy mushroom pappardelle with broccoli and panko crumbs to arrive (I was drooling thinking of the one I had tried at Jamie’s restaurant in Vasant Kunj that I had tried), alas…. they had killed it….too saucy …just did not work for me! The Lamb Moussaka which the chef sent was slightly better and palatable (though again could be much better). Among the desserts Lemon grass and Kafir lime scented crème brulee was not so bad and a pleasant sweet ending but again the Orange and chilli chocolate mousse just ruined it for me!
That said Dirty Apron and Arjun Sagar Gupta are earnest and passionate about the food and surely can try and work towards it! I am more than eager to give it time to soar to its full prospective as being from the trade I know there can be a lot of teething issues...but the point to be noted is that the competition is tough !
B6-7/22, 2nd Floor, Opposite Deer Park, SafdarjungEnclave Market,
Safdarjung, New Delhi.
Tel: 011 4131 5181
ON THE POSITIVE
India’s first Jazz Bar on the ground level ‘The Piano Man’ is a must go to. The stage is well-appointed to congregate a diversity of performers, the bar is well planned and the star of the show is the chandelier that suspends over the stage. Erected using 58 trumpets, theorised by Arjun himself and designed by Amith Chhabra; it lends an additional dash of allure to the space.