The Buddha Bar franchise has finally come to Delhi, and though the establishment might be a letdown for those comparing it to its international versions, it successfully champions the cause of Japanese cuisine in the capital.
B-Bar as it is called, didn't make the best first impression. In a city where location is more important than a name, the restaurant has found space in a busy mall. An exclusive lift on the ground floor might have salvaged the situation, were it not for the fact that it is shared by patrons heading to the gym, so you find yourself riding the elevator alongside sweaty fitness freaks.
Moving on, the interiors do a good job of making up for the approach. A lifesize Buddha statue shares centrestage with a circular bar while the dining area surrounds. Swatches of red, gold and black catch and hold your gaze while the dim lighting keeps it from becoming oppressive.
The gold-leaf upholstery, tasselled chandeliers and wood mesh sliding doors all lend to the theme, and set the tone for an Asian-state-of-mind. The menu offers superb seafood and meats, and vegetarians too have options aplenty. After settling on a bottle of Bordeaux, we started with a mix of small-portion starters. The lobster dumplings were delectable-moist, well seasoned and served in a delicious spicy-cream sauce. The new-style sashimi platter and California roll were a big hit too. The sashimi was skillfully cut and seasoned beautifully while the California rolls were a mouthful of soft, yummy flavours that blended and melted on the tongue. The maki roll was nothing to write home about, and the pork gyoza was dominated by a tandoori flavour where the meat was lost in entirety. The fried calamari too, was disappointing. Coated in a tasteless batter and dripping with oil, you should definitely avoid ordering it.
After a much-needed break, main course came in the form of roast black cod with misoyaki and ginger lamb chops. Both dishes deserve full marks. The cod was expertly cooked and served in a clear sweet-sour sauce which teased the tastebuds. The lamb was the best I've ever eaten. Slightly charred on the outside and soft within, each bite was a delicious surprise. As far as desserts go, I'd say don't bother. Save your appetite and calories for the food, they're worth every inch and kilo on the scale.
BT MORE RECOMMENDS
Roast black cod with misoyaki
Meal for two (with alcohol) Rs 8,000 including taxes; for reservations..(011) 46098989