Cafe Ludus makes for a charming casual dining destination

The charming casual dining restaurant also serves some fun food.

Anushree Basu-Bhalla        Print Edition: Aug 18, 2013

Casual dining culture is one segment that has developed at a lightning speed in the capital. It's a lucrative business segment that caters to a larger audience and renders a fun dining environment, at the same time being easy on the pocket.

Delhi's dining scene has seen a barrage of such restaurants and eateries, sometimes filling almost an entire dining location in the city (here's looking at you, Hauz Khas Village).

Being a food and nightlife hotspot in South Delhi, Saket too has a number of specialty restaurants and cool cafes that leave its patrons spoilt for choice. Hence when you hear about a new cafe, you're somewhat apprehensive and hope to god that the restaurant has enough character (and of course an impressive F&B menu) to combat the burgeoning competition.

That way, Cafe Ludus, located in the MGF mall of Saket District centre, is comfortable in its own skin. It positions itself firmly as a place for the young and the recently-turned-legal-drinking-age.

The decor is bright with neon lights on the walls, complete with a projector screen and a DJ console in a corner, de rigueur among the resto-pub of its genre.

The most interesting corner of Cafe Ludus is 'the library' that's stocked with well-thumbed pulp fiction, some lifestyle journals, a globe, an old transistor, and other knick-knacks. The space resembles a college dorm, straight from a Karan Johar film.

The Ludus library section

There's outdoor seating as well that overlooks the expansive district centre.

We took the couch near the library and started sifting through the delightfully doodled menu mainly featuring standard continental and Lebanese fare.

The first to arrive were the beer-batter fried fish sticks and tartar sauce that were washed down well with our Ludus Style mojito and Budweiser. Up next were wholesome chicken barbeque wraps stuffed with fresh veggies.

The Piranha Burgers
But the highpoint came in form of the Piranha Burgers platter, with a choice of chicken, lamb and tenderloin mini burgers.

Start from the chicken and go on till the buff... the burgers are juicy and tender with fresh ingredient and distinct flavours. Even after a generous portion, you're never quite satiated with them.

For mains, we ordered the braised lamb with rosemary risotto and the black pepper tenderloin in red wine jus served with grilled asparagus and mashed potato. Both the dishes have a hearty, country feel to it but the tenderloin fared better than the lamb in terms of the flavour.

The lamb
The lambs were a tad overdone that left it chewy.

The sweet pimento and fig 'Bipolar' cheesecake was rather underwhelming as it didn't match up to the rest of the evening's fare.

Cafe Ludus is quirky and full of character. It's best to stick to the finger foods here and options are plenty.

For its pricing, portion size seems a bit restricted but that could be for the location in question.

The bipolar cheescake
You will take the experience with you and may even return for the food (definitely for the burgers!).

Meal for two: Rs 2,000 (without alcohol or taxes)
BT More Recommends: Piranha Burgers
Address: 24 & 25, 2nd Floor, MGF Metropolitian Mall, Saket, New Delhi. Tel: 011 30146022

The interiors

The interiors

The Ludus library section

The outdoor seating arrangement

The outdoor seating arrangement

The outdoor seating

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