Fit of quintessential luxury, every diner needs to experience — Lodi, the Garden Restaurant
For starters the place is brandished for romantic dates and lazy brunches and lives up to the expectations by throwing itself on you with its view of the attached Lodhi Gardens. For people who don’t know about the Lodi Gardens; the iconic gardens are known for its monuments and streams adjacent to very own posh frequent visit of the elite, Khan Market. On the very first glance you notice the hanging lights and the carts paving your way into the open air restaurant with the host expressing her delight as she expected to see us in the evening.
Upon entering and finding us a perfect spot offering assistance in ordering, the service hints towards diligent knowledge. The First two suggestions which were happily accepted, sesame coated deep fried scampi prawns with sweet chilli relish ( INR 525) and pickled chilli stuffed with goat cheese and thyme mousse (INR 395) was a good start. Where the prawns were fresh and gave a good lead for a bland palate, the goat cheese and the subdued pickled chilli and goat cheese did delight with the rich creaminess. A good start.
We ordered cold fumes ( INR 225) a good kick of ginger, lemon and orange with lime, however on the sweeter side with a dash of Vodka and cool buzz a non alcoholic fruity buzz of blueberries which added the balance to otherwise heavier starters.
Delightfully moving with the Poached Pears salad with goat cheese with melon and olive oil dressing (not mentioned on the menu but a seasonal addition) was crisp and dressing spoke volumes of chefs research on the balanced dressing of a classic English salad.
From the salad and keeping in the mind the fresh produce for the menu concept the next on the table was the catch of the day, touted as exquisite, we were served a bassa fillet (INR 895)(this is the widest farmed catch hence the idea of exquisite is not the most convincing one) with capers and lemon sauce, nothing special about the prep nonetheless did contain the taste and flavours of a fresh fish and capers sauce, and did lack a bit of texture.
The fish was followed with soup of the day, asparagus soup with roasted garlic and walnuts which chef had forgotten to offer before the fish. asparagus soup(INR 365) — tasting of fresh vegetables, was buttery and garlic would have ensured asking for a refill however the walnuts smelled a little too funny and restricted a second serving.
However the dining experience peaked with the mains with fresh rosemary quinoa with butter nut squash and seasonal veggies ( 695), Pumpkin ravioli in burnt butter and sage (INR 595) and braised lamb shoulder in rosemary and red wine jus served with the peppers and egg plant grilled on sides. The mains were prepared with the sworn oath of recipes followed with utter discipline. Where quinoa retained its texture, the vegetables added crunch and a lot of moisture to the otherwise granular preparation. The ravioli had internalised the sage and burnt butter combination, adding a lot of country side flavours to so far polished city meal. The classical moroccan braise had great texture and mutton did offer itself in tender form however the wine and rosemary jus could have used more seasoning. The Grilled pepper and egg plant was tastier than the lamb.
We have had satisfied ourselves with the meal so far and with already full stomach were contemplating to whether to go or not for the desserts. The manager did manage to convince us(fortunately) by confessing his love for the Almond bread pudding with fig ice cream and toffee sauce(he pops a piece every now of then of the pudding himself) (INR 395) And Fresh Fruits in orange liqueur and whipped cream (INR 295) Where the pudding was balanced and not overtly sweet the toffee was warm to compliment the creation perfectly. The orange liqueur shone bright between the fruits.
Well we do recommend people to add this amazing garden restaurant on their list of special dates and times when they would love to experience the time tested recipes and a setting which is one of its kind.
The diligence in giving freshly cooked, regimented preparation and a service which gives you reasons to smile. Lodi — The Garden Restaurant is a fit of quintessential luxury, which all of need to experience, capturing the charm of a by gone era, classic euro-asian recipes and good service.