Cafe Immigrants: Where world cuisine gets an Indian touch

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New Delhi: Strongly believing in the fusion mantra, Cafe Immigrants in the national capital serves up delicacies from around the world with a fine touch of Indian masalas.

The restaurant, which started off last November, is located in the heart of the city’s most hustling and bustling Connaught Place central business district.

The moment I entered, I was drawn towards a large collection of photographs mounted on the walls beside the stairs that lead to the restaurant.

“We all are immigrants to this world, people keep travelling and the name of the restaurant is inspired from the idea of travelling,” its general manager, Pankaj Badola, told IANS.

The interior presents an incomplete rustic look with beautiful posters and photographs – the effect enhanced by huge chandeliers, dim lighting and soft music. There is also an open area for those who would like to dine in fresh air.

“There is competition no doubt, but we are sure that we will be a trendsetter in CP with our in-house fusion dishes,” Badola asserted.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Umesh, who has been in the industry for more than a decade now, is known for his out-of-the-box ideas and who has drawn up the restaurant’s menu.

“For us, both quality and quantity matter. The menu has been drawn up keeping in mind the different demands of our customers”, Badola said, adding that the restaurant also has a Wi-Fi facility.

I took a table beside the window that gave a panoramic view of the crowded Connaught Place and a host of sky-scrapers.

The menu appeared never-ending, with a wide range of dishes from Ukraine to Vietnam – and crossing all over India. Interestingly, ghee (clarified butter) cans served as cutlery holders to give a traditional touch.

As I sat, I was welcomed with a paan (betel leaf)-flavoured cocktail – a drink with a strong taste of paan, mixed with dry red chillies and gulkand (rose petal jam) that left a sweet-tangy taste in mouth.

Next came in Laksa – a traditional Vietnamese spicy noodle soup accompanied by a green mango chutney.

Next, there was grilled chicken with aam papad, an

amalgamation of a sticky Indian savoury with chicken cooked in the western style. However, it was the starters menu that amazed me with its variety.

From New Orleans southern fried chicken to mutton

gulouti kebab, from a Vietnamese fish delicacy to Maharashtrian Koliwada fish fingers – the spectrum will leave you spoilt for choices.

I was served Koliwada fish fingers as Badola suggested. Made from authentic Koliwada spices from Maharashtra, the fish was well marinated with the dominating taste being of the Koliwada masala.

Taking care of my craving for more starters, I was presented with butter pepper garlic prawn. The prawn pieces, deeply coated with butter with a hint of black pepper, melted in the mouth the moment I gulped them.

With a heavy heart, I had to stop eating the prawn dish to make way for the main course. The menu left me bewildered about what to choose from the main course. I ended up with the Cafe Immigrants speciality – khichdi served with bacon and Chicken A la Kiev, a Ukrainian dish made of fried chicken stuffed with loads of butter and garlic. The khichdi, a traditional Indian delicacy, was cooked with a lot of spices that left a rich flavour in the mouth.

For dessert came the Chawanprash smoothie – a ‘hatke’ preparation made of the Chawanprash health supplement and mint, along with a cookie and vanilla ice-cream.

Veggies won’t be disappointed as the menu offers a long list of dishes like matar aur khajoor ka shammi kebab, charmoula mushrooms in white garlic sauce and methi cottage cheese with parantha to choose from.

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