You must have heard about restaurants changing menu over weeks, some tweak their decor a bit over span of few months, but this new restaurant in Lodhi colony is creating ripples for its delightful switchovers that take place every day! Yes, you heard us. Nege and Ju is a charming European bistro by the day and peppy Asian Tapas bar by night. Nege means 9 in Afrikaans and Ju translates to number 10 in Japanese. Everything from the menu, cocktails, decor, staff uniform and music changes overnight to justify the vibe. Both the European and Asian fare is kept very modern, minimalist and eclectic, scoring high both in terms of flavour and aesthetics. Chef Ravi Shukla along with his team worked tirelessly for 9 months to put together two exclusive menus of Nege and Ju. We got a chance to taste both of them and here's what we think about it.
Nege is the place for the bon vivants of the city who like to eat in style. The plush pastel colours with lots of whites adorning the restaurant make it the perfect place for a swanky yet swish meal. Luxury takes a new meaning in Nege with soothing, chic interiors and some ambrosial meals to stoke your mood. Nege is for people who like to stay in class and enjoy their lunch at ease with a glass of good wine.
The moment we entered Nege for lunch, the high-spirited vibe charged up our appetite instantly. Although, the place was packed, we manage to grab a table, and luckily, didn't have to wait too long for the food to arrive. And, our eyes were only too pleased to see the most creatively plated food. Tapas Cochin Prawns On Himalayan Salt, served with paprika, garlic and lemon aioli set us afoot on our long gastronomical journey ahead. Juicy and succulent - the prawns were cooked to perfection. Next, what came before us gave us a peep into the finery of culinary art. Aspa Avo can be easily mistaken for a table decor, until you dig into it to taste the overwhelming freshness of the appetiser. Beurre Noisette, avocado, asparagus, and sea salt, get together to make this mesmerising dish. We couldn't believe something as simple as Goat Cheese Salad could taste so unbelievable. It was beyond refreshing; it was soul-soothing.
Permesan Tortellini is for cheese lovers who like a font of gooey cheese bursting in their mouth. If you want to have chicken for mains, do try Nege's Roast Chicken paired with baby carrots, roasted celery and fermented natal plum. Vegetarians must pick Fig, Peach, Plum from the Grills section. The grilled fruits smeared with balsamic vinegar and served with chimichurri chutney, make for an exciting dish.
The best part of any meal is desserts. Al least, it will be here in Nege. You just can't miss their Autumn Fall - mille feuille ice-cream enhanced by passion fruit crumble, ginger and kiwi ganache, and orange jelly is a treat for dry mouth and a sight for sore eyes. How? You've got to visit Nege and see it for yourself.
We started with smoked artichoke with yuzu miso glaze. The miso glaze with a hint of wasabi, lemon is a delectable composition of flavours. It is tangy, buttery and goes so well with the perfectly smoked artichoke. Next, we tried our hands at the Cantonese roast duck pancakes. Roasted duck strips wrapped in paper-thin pancakes with plum sauce and cucumber impresses for its crunch and crackling zest. Speaking of textures, another dish that wowed us was the lamb in kimchi sauce. The Korean inspired dish was made in a week-old fermented sauce that gave it a bold undertone. We then moved on to the carpaccio and were mighty impressed by the amount of flavour these thinly cut strands could hold. You may opt for their avocado cured papaya salad. Teeming with the goodness of truffle, ginger oil, kaffir lime oil, lemongrass oil, beetroot green, rice crisps, this carpaccio is a winner. If you are craving raw fish carpaccio, you must go for their Yellowtail carpaccio. The fish was so thinly sliced that you could see-through the design of the plate underneath. To cut through the raw feel of the yellowtail fish, the chefs have used jalapenos, avocado, ginger oil, kaffir lime oil, lemongrass oil.
You would find an overwhelming emphasis on healthy, locally sourced ingredients in Ju's menu. We tried their red-rice sushi with a filling of avocado, fresh truffle and beans. Then among mains, we tried the barley chicken. Crispy baked chicken with a sprinkle of Thai curry dust served with hot barley. The dish spells guilt-free indulgence. Salmon belly with gluten crisps was another highlight of the menu; not only for its nouvelle appeal, but also for the theatrics involved in serving the dish. It arrives on a huge tray with 4-5 herbs and condiments that are meant to be mixed with the salmon. Dunk your gluten crisps into the salmon-mix and chomp away!
For desserts we were rather tempted to try Ju's ultimate cheesecake. Resembling a block of brie, this unique cheesecake has no crust. Creamy and comforting, enjoy this delish treat with strawberry salsa.
What: Nege & Ju
Where: 9 - 10, Market, Block 8, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi
When: 12noon – 12midnight
Cost: INR 2,500 for two people (approx.)
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.