By Prakriti Bhat
PVR Saket has a new entrant which gives the nearby food outlets stiff competition. With all the qualities of a chic HKV (Hauz Khas Village) café, Locale lies at the heart of PVR Anupam complex in Saket. In a Community center such as this, restaurants are expected to be cramped and mainstream. Locale comes as a breath of fresh air with its vibrant décor, graffiti walls and a lively ambience. About a month old, the rustic and wooden theme interiors are the highlight of this place. The owners Gurvinder and Nainjyot Dham have left no stone unturned to ensure that the place pleases your senses. The restaurant hosted a Bloggers’ Meet recently and I was glad to have tasted their delicacies.
The place is a multi-cuisine and a ‘multi-purpose’ restaurant. It’s a café, a library, a bar all packed into one. The library section provides a serene ambience where you can enjoy a book or a conversation with your friends over a simple cup of coffee. What I like about the place is that is not cluttered with artifacts. One often comes across cafes where beautiful antiques clutter the corners. Locale is beautiful and funky but in an orderly fashion. They serve a variety of cuisines including Mexican, Chinese, North Indian and Thai.
Amongst the mocktails, I tried a Green mountain which was a Kiwi based drink. Kiwi flavoured crushed ice was piled in a mountainous heap in an elegant Margarita glass. It tasted good but the only downside was that this mountain of ice began to spill out with each sip and therefore it became quite messy. The other bloggers raved about the Tomato Basil soup so I am guessing that should be another thing that you could try, if interested in a hot beverage. The Ferrero Rocher Shake, Mars Bar Shake and Oreo Shake were all good but I prefer thick milkshakes whereas the ones served here were quite diluted.
Amongst salads I tried a Fruit Mojito Salad and a Thai Chicken Water Chestnut Salad. My favourite was the Thai Chicken Water Chestnut Salad which was quite an innovative blend of ingredients. Basil, lemongrass, water chestnuts and chicken come together to soothe your senses in this wonderful salad. Soya Chaap being the second most popular vegetarian starter (after Paneer Tikka!) is given a Punjabi tadka in their Soya Chaap Tikka. It is spicy and has a distinctive smoky flavor. The Mushroom corn Cigar was my favourite vegetarian starter here. Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. It is gooey and just melts in your mouth. Loaded nachos were good, nothing exceptional. The Dahi ke Kebabs here were different as the exterior was not crunchy and hence was white in colour. It was made of hung curd in and out!
The non vegetarian starters scored high on concept and flavor. Bread Roll Prawn in chilli sauce was definitely the winner in this category. Soft and succulent prawns were wrapped in a bread roll which was then deep fried. The prawns remained soft and thankfully, were free of the ‘seafood’ taste. Mutton Koobideh was basically a satay. The meat was seasoned well and grilled on wooden skewers. Fish Vepudu was a South Indian snack riding high on the flavor of curry leaves. For a lover of South Indian Cuisine like me, this is a must try!
The main course included an array of Indian and continental dishes that spoil you for choice. Cheesy Mushroom Ragout with Jalapeno Corn Rice is a culinary ride that you oughtn’t to miss. The Ragout is extremely creamy and served with aromatic rice. Chicken Tikka masala with Rice and Lachha Paratha is a combo that is a universal favourite. The Chicken Tikka masala is perfectly spiced and a simple salad of chopped cucumbers, onions and tomatoes is presented in a tiny crown made of Papad. However, it’s their Smoked Steak of Chicken with Creamy Corn and Pilaf that steals your heart and triumphs over your taste buds with its creamy texture and a fantastic intermingling of spices.
For Desserts we tried a Sizzling Walnut Brownie with Ice cream. Bringing a twist to the classic brownie-ice cream combo, the makers pour caramel sauce over the dessert that sets it apart. But the BEST was their Tiramisu! It was definitely the best Tiramisu I have had till date. With Kahlua at the bottom and an airy texture this dessert leaves you asking for more even after a tummylicious meal! It’s a must try.
For those of you who are tired of visiting Hauz Khas for your dose of culinary treats, this is the right place to be.
Address- 17, Community Centre, Near PVR Anupam, Saket
Cost for two- Rs. 1200
Contact no.- 01133107908