Thursday, May 26, 2016

{Niche} - Lounge & Bistro, Connaught Place - A Review !

Sometime ago I was invited to  "Niche - Lounge and Bistro" , in CP. Ever since it's launch, this place has been the talk of the town!

Looking at the lounge, you can tell that it is a formal establishment that caters to a niche audience. It has beautiful, calm and quiet interiors, with a private area as well as an option of outdoor seating. There is a stage in the middle of the lounge for live performances, and the entire thing is under a glass ceiling, allowing one to view the romantic starlight cosmos!

We started off with trying their signature cocktails. The "African Daisy", which is inspired by the famous perfume by Marc Jacobs, is presented with such beauty and elegance that it is sure to win you over before you take a single sip. It is a chamomile and tequila based drink, and it has a very strong, and mildly bitter, taste. An egg is blended into the drink, which adds to the pungent taste and smell, in such a way so as to not lose the intricate balance of its components. Overall, not my favorite tasting cocktail, but definitely the most visually appealing one!

I also tried their mocktail "Kaffir Lime". This is a combination of lime and spicy pineapple marmalade. It was as soothing as it was refreshing!

Next, we had their very popular "Pulled Kathal (JackFruit) Taco" . There is a delicious gravy of JackFruit inside the crisp taco. The overall combination was mind blowing, and definitely one of those "Oh wow I didn't know these two went together!" moments! Served with Salsa and Sour Cream, though it really needs no accompaniments.

I learnt that at Niche, the dishes are prepared using what is called "Progressive Cooking". This helps in retaining natural flavors and textures in their dishes.

One such dish was the "57 Degrees Duck". The duck is slow cooked for 6 hours at 57 degrees, in order to retain as much of the juices as possible, and by not straining them out of the protein strands. (This same technique was used by Heston Blumenthal in order to make his perfect beef steak, which was slow cooked over 24 hours. Read more about it here

Next, we had a beetroot and goat cheese salad. Honestly, the salad was so pretty looking that I just didn't feel like eating it. I would have sat there and stared at it all day, if not for someone at the table going for that first bite :P. Once we did though, I found the salad to be very light, and the portion size disproportionately lower than its price.

Coming to the Mains, we had Hari Saag and Lamb Shank Rogan Josh. It happens rarely, that I find a main course to ever be more interesting than starters, and this was one of those times. The mains were definitely taking in all the limelight here!

Haari saag is basically Sarson ka saag, served with Polenta balls, accompanied by corn bread. It is a complete meal in itself, and I can safely say that this is the best Sarson ka Saag that I have ever had in whole life, even better than the one my mom makes!

And finally, the hero of the day! The Lamb Shank Rogan Josh is sheer brilliance put on a plate. The meat is cooked till it is tender and melts in your mouth, the juices are totally retained in the meat (The kind of juiciness that can only be achieved by vaccum sealing the meat before cooking it), and the spices are balanced perfectly. The curry is authentic and mildly spicy, and yet not heavy or greasy. Everything about this dish, from its Presentation to its Taste, is top notch!

After this massive haul, I had no space left for desserts. This time I was determined to stop here, or I would literally suffer in the hours to come. But then the waiter brought in a Mango Cheesecake. Mango. Cheesecake. Of course I had to try it! Quite honestly not the best cheesecake I have ever had, but still, good enough that I went in for a second bite when I was slipping into a food coma.

The service here is not only quick, the staff appears to be well trained in both the menu, as well as ettiquette. Food served with a smile and a warm attitude, makes that much of a difference in your meal, and maybe even your entire day!

Overall the experience was amazing. Quite an expensive place to be.. but nevertheless, every once in a while, you have got to indulge yourself!

Rating :

Ambiance            - 4.5 / 5
Food                    - 3.5 / 5
Service                - 5 / 5
Value for Money - 3 / 5
Overall Rating     - 3.5 / 5

Cost for 2 - Rs. 1,200 to 1,500 (Without Alcohol)

P.S - Most pictures are here from Mystic Foodie Mantra, as I happened to lose all my data. Big thanks to Maneesh Ji,  inviting me for #TheMessa at Niche 

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