Food Review: Lodi The Garden Restaurant
For a winter person like me, there are only a few things delightful about summers. Watermelon is one of them. So this Monday’s lunch at Lodi (note it is not Lodhi) – The Garden Restaurant with a Melon Special menu this month was just what the doctor ordered!
I must mention that I have a little prejudice towards the restaurant because of its location – Lodhi Road, my favourite area in Delhi – and the alfresco setting (one of the best in Delhi). One step into the restaurant premises and you the owner, Inderpal Singh Kochhar, loves ‘green’. The ambiance is green with lots and lots and lots of plants! And a lot of vegetables used at the restaurant are green (read organic) coming straight from the owner’s farm in Delhi. There is a small cart right inside the premises with fresh green chilies, aloe vera, kadi patta growing in small quantities.
For evenings or winter afternoons, I love sitting outdoors. The unforgiving weather, of course, did not allow us this time. The interiors are good enough with soothing orange colour walls & white curtains.
I chose the ‘Melon Menu’ albeit with some additions from the main menu (European, Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine). The meal started with cold soups: I had ‘Three Melons and Tomato Gazpacho’ (Rs 365) soup while my companion ordered ‘Musk Melon soup’ with low fat yoghurt, sparkling water and fresh mint (Rs 365). I liked the second one better for its refreshing taste on a hot, sunny day.
The vegetarian salad (Rs 425) scored over for its presentation. A big circular piece of watermelon with (home grown) sprouts and sweet balsamic, topped with feta cheese was delicious visually as well as otherwise. The non-vegetarian salad came with farm greens, fresh honeydew, and crisp prosciutto (ham) with wild honey and white wine vinaigrette on top (Rs 495).
To go along with the meal we had a revivifying Watermelon Mojito (Rs 245) and Melon Milano: made with melon, lime juice and melon syrup (Rs 245). For the mains, we chose dishes from the main menu as recommended by Sous Chef, Sagar Anand: Rosemary and Thyme Quinoa (Rs 695) and Fresh Andaman Prawns in non-vegetarian (Rs 1025). Now, quinoa is something I tasted recently at Sanskriti Retreat in Rishikesh, which served only healthy Ayurvedic meal. It is a South American grain with several health benefits I was informed. If you are health conscious, the dish at Lodi served with roasted vegetables and little feta is apt. However, I found it bland and did not like it much. I instead indulged in prawns grilled with delicious lemon butter (my gym instructor doesn’t read blogs tee-hee!). The dish was perfect since the prawns seemed fresh and tender.
I could have had more melons for desserts but the chef recommended two items that were extraordinary. Banofee Pie (Rs 365) made from bananas, cream and toffee on a thick layer of crumbled biscuits was appealing. But I can’t put in words the superlative taste of ‘Almond bread pudding with warm toffee sauce & fig ice cream’ (Rs 395). The ‘homemade’ ice cream simply adds to the divinity of the rich pudding. It is truly outstanding and I highly recommend it.
Next month, there will be a Mango Special menu at Lodi.
Thumbs Up: To the ambiance and fresh ingredients.
Thumbs Down: The prices are on the higher side. Vegetarians could find the options limited (in the main menu).