There’s a new place for gigs, for you sophisiticados out there. It’s Depot 48 in N Block Market, GK 1. The elder Depot’s lil bro opened its doors for musicians and patrons just a few months ago. Come last week and we headed to Depot 48 with light hearts and empty stomachs.
Rubbing shoulders with Bohemia, DIVA Italian, Shalom and Sidewok, Depot 48 has big plates to fill. With its American plus Mexican fare, it stands out like like an Ozzy fan at a Taylor Swift concert. It would be the first choice of many craving a little meat, melted cheese and big flavours.
Old school cassettes in metal stands welcomed us in. The walls, dark, have an elegance with the black modern art pieces and the space is handled well with a sense of warmth. A minimal setting, it is perfectly understated, as if the place is wearing a pair of black designer jeans ripped in just the right places.
The stage was set. The food made an entrance, and everything else lost focus and slid into a cool black fadeout. There seemed to be a spotlight on the dishes and we hardly had to look twice at what we were eating.
We tasted an assortment of dishes from each section of the menu – the Bar Eats, the Quesadilla Bar, Salad Bar, Burger Bar and Waffle Bar. The restaurant menu has been lovingly curated by Ritu Dalmia and is reminiscent of Depot 29, but has it’s own voice with new experiments and flavours. The play-by-play follows.
Under the light of Edison bulbs, we were served our appetizers – tortilla chips, empanadas, quesadillas and soft tacos. The tortilla chips were paired with a spanish artichoke and spinach dip in a tiny cutting chai glass that powered up the combo. This green dip is a force to be reckoned with. We kept it with us all through the night dipping the rest of the meal into it. We didn’t even miss the guacamole, and for avocado-patrons like us, that’s a big thing to say!
If you’re a cheese-mafia, the meat empanadas with herb salsa and the ham-cheese quesadillas are what you need to order from this menu! The herb salsa was a delightful burst of fresh flavour and went even better with the tortillas. The soft duck tacos laced with green apple chutney, pickled cucumber, caramelised onion was a medley of sweet and spicy.
The salad was up next. We were presented with a mix of quinoa and chicken with pomegranate, mint, pine nuts, topped with rocket brushed with balsamic. When we dug in, ka-boom! the entire dish came together. The rocket complemented the quinoa as did the chicken. The scattered pine nuts and pomegranate made every bite taste a little different in a good way. For a place that can easily focus on its big bold favours, Depot 48 has paid attention to the little things and that is heartening in the grand scheme of the things.
The Depots have a brand new cocktail menu. Our poisons of the night were gin and whiskey and the recommendations made by the manager which were spot on. The Gingranate was a potent treat where the hero of the cocktail, pomegranate, made the gin pop. However, the Jack Bearer was the showstopper: a light-coloured whiskey cocktail, with hints of orange and vanilla & an orange rind for company, all of which blended to create a sublime concoction of intoxication. Even a non-whiskey lover would adore the Bearer.
By now our appetites were whetted and we were ready for the mains. Out came a platter of three sliders, and each was better than the next. The first was a lamb burger with habanero and pickled onions. Then there was a classic crispy chicken burger with bacon, which we thought was a winner till we had the BBQ pork burger with pineapple salsa and a slice of grilled pineapple, and if you can’t imagine it, we’ll tell you it was divine. Their veggie-burger options look good too, if our experience with the salad is something to go by, we’re hoping to try some soon.
Our second main was the good ol’ fish and chips. The fish was a succulent golden cooked with pepper in its crust. It was simple enough, we think a dash of tabasco and vinegar might jazz it up! One thing we noted, be it fish, chicken, duck or pork, the quality of each meat was par excellence and that came across in every bite.
A great meal came to a great ending with the ever-popular waffles coming to the fore. We opted for half and half: chocolate gianduja and banana toffee which was accompanied by a generous scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. Dusted with sugar, they were topped with caramelised walnuts which added to the luscious combo. The banana filling added oomph to the otherwise simple waffle and the toffee with it worked flawlessly.
Depot 48 has maximised the potential of each dish it has taken on. We tried albeit a few, but will definitely be back for more. The service was prompt and the servers, courteous and helpful, adding to the entire experience. This depot has a classy young vibe to it and is a place to go to with the gang, or on a chill date. Acoustically designed for live music, Depot 48 knows how to play it cool without trying too hard.
With a maximum pax of 48 people, this is a more intimate space for a gig than Depot 29. Folk, fusion and contemporary artists the likes of Ensemble Transatlático de Folk Chileno, the Arko Mukherjee Collective and Tajdar Junaid have performed here.
- Jack Bearer Cocktail
- Tortillas with Artichoke and Spinach Dip
- Chicken and Quinoa Salad
- Pork and Pineapple Burger
- The Waffles
For reservations, call 011 4508 1948 and head to N3, Second Floor, N Block Market, Greater Kailash, New Delhi 110048 this weekend!