The culinary scene all around the globe has been pretty revolutionising in the recent times, to say the least. With interesting fusions, crossover of regional cuisines and what not, this seems to be the time for the food scene to bloom further. But, what has actually caught the attention of chefs and food connoisseurs around the world is the modern Indian cuisine. It has not only taken the centre stage but has also paved the way for several Indian regional cuisines to shine and inspire a host of restaurants to experiment. Delhi, especially, has seen some of the finest regional gems in the recent years with Nepali, Andhra, Kashmiri and more cuisines being added to the menu of restaurants. Joining the list is another eatery - Monsoon by Café Lota at the new glittery party hub, Aerocity.
If you've been to the iconic Café Lota at the crafts museum, you'll know what to expect at Monsoon, in fact, it is all the more better. One look at the restaurant will transport you to the calming first rain of the monsoon season and the joy it brings with it. With hanging light bulbs, yellow dewy walls, louvered windows and modern wooden furniture, Monsoon stands out from its neighbouring restaurants for its spacious yet cosy vibe.
The menu boasts of some of the most unusual dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, which would definitely make you wish you had a huge appetite to try it all. Right from the moth-watering podi idli to succulent kala chana kebabs or the khapli (wheat) bandel cheese salad, Monsoon offers a host of appetisers in its vegetarian fare. And, if you are biased towards seafood, you simply cannot miss the Mulakittathu fish which comes laced with Kerala-inspired spices cooked over tandoor. But, if you though it was just about the southern flavours, wait till you see the prawn momos served with fiery Sichuan pepper chutney or the keema gujiya. Monsoon fried chicken takes away the cake with its juicy, tangy flavour that shines through its mint-coriander marination. Also, if you wonder what to pair the amazing appetisers with, Monsoon dishes out interesting concoctions like elderflower spritzer, kiwi ka panna among others, besides a fantastic bar, stocked with everything from Belgian, German, Bosnian to Bhutanese beer along with all sorts of wine.
Trust Cafe Lota for thinking the undoable and you wouldn't be disappointed. With the main course of Monsoon on the table, don't be surprised if you find an avid non-vegetarian noshing up on the creamy walnut paneer or the heavenly tinda matar curry, Yes, tinda! - what we might avoid at home, but here it is magnificently stuffed with cottage cheese and cooked in tandoor in a luscious yogurt curry.
For non-vegetarian food, look no further than the delicate Tamarind fish that has the tilapia fish coated in a delish tamarind and oyster glaze in moilee sauce paired with appams. For meat lovers, the Jau and meat stew is surely going to satiate the taste buds with an interesting blend of goat meat, cereal and lentil. And if you thought this was it, we couldn't have a better end to the meal with salted caramel kheer on the table. A delightful kheer topped with caramel and a hint of salt was a divine closure to a content spread.
So, whether you are looking for a dating spot with an unconventional setting and an innovative menu, or are looking to go out for dinner with family, Monsoon by Café Lota can be on your list. Make sure you have a huge appetite, an empty stomach and an experimental palate!
Where: R4, Lower Ground Floor, Worldmark 1, Aerocity, New Delhi.