Last week, DSSC hit up one of the best loved markets in Delhi for our monthly Day Out sesh – the Lodhi Colony Market.
The DSSC crew recently pulled off two cracking events over the same weekend, so this Saturday we decided to spend a much-deserved low-pressure weekend out. We covered Khan Market & Mehar Chand Market in our previous day outs & decided to check out their cousin Lodhi Market this time.
9.00 am: The All American Diner
This week the art bug bit us as we decided to begin our day out by taking in a couple of exhibitions at the IHC followed by a traditionally American breakfast. We spend so much time looking at food that’s art, this was a big refresher! We were familiar with Krishnendu Chatterjee’s food photography but his black & white pictures on display were enthralling to say the least. Art is visual & paintings speak to some people better than photographs. A few of us were quite taken by the East meets West’s collaborative between Leroy Parker & Tarana Singh. Their work was like a playful burst of colour that cheered us right up. We love their vibe & this put us in a super mood for breakfast and where else would we go but the good ‘ol diner!
The Sunshine Buffet Breakfast at the All American Diner was like a feast for our eyes & we were in for a welcome change. We tasted the lamb pie & got a load of the paprika roasted chicken. The corn spinach bake was divinely delicious & it was hard not to devour the cottage cheese steak in one go. We washed our meal down (of course) with chocolate shakes, vanilla shakes & one cheeky brownie one. The mega-event was discovering how taboo-liciously good french-fries with shake are. (Psst, this secret was too good not to share.)
Visit the All American Diner at the India Habitat Centre on Lodhi Road from 7am to midnight, all days of the week.
11.00 am: Mittal Tea House
After our hearty breakfast, we regrouped at the Mittal Tea House for a morning pick-me-up cuppa. Though we DSSC peeps love a good cuppa joe, we hold a special place in our hearts for some wintery masala chai. It is also the perfect time of the year to stock up on the tea selection at office. A heavenly smelling corner of our workspace has a cupboard dedicated to just tea; from Pukka herbals & green teas to Darjeeling and English varieties, our little pantry could rival that of many cafes.
We were in for an enchanting experience as the shop attendants flitted around like elves showing us the colour of a first flush Darjeeling, making us smell a Kashmiri Kahwa & having us taste a magnificent mango tea with a touch of honey. We bought ourselves a little tea strainer to use when at work & the tea connoisseur of the office got a timer for their personal collection. After getting enough tea leaves for the work family & office family, we finally left the aromatic interiors of the Mittal Tea Shop & moved on to Ping’s.
Check out Mittal Tea House’s extensive collection at block 13, Lodhi Colony main market.
11.30 am: Ping’s Café Orient
We’re already gigantic fans of Ping’s as you can check out here. It was our work venue for the day & we were stoked to be there, but couldn’t start our work day without fuelling up first. Between the crew, we ordered baos to share, sashimi to start up & a round of dim sum for good measure. We had some serious emails to shoot off & didn’t want to have to hit the snooze button anytime soon.
When the food arrived, we knew this truly was one of the best brunches ever. The silken tofu baos were a treat & actually converted an anti-tofu colleague to pro-tofu. Score for Ping’s! The philadelphia cheese & mushroom dimsums with truffle oil were delectable as were the sinfully scintillating pork gyozas. We felt spoilt to bits & almost had a chopstick battle for the last dimsum. The tuna-salmon sashimi neatly wrapped up our light brunch & sealed the deal. The restaurant prides itself on its healthy menu & we will be rep-eating our meals here for guilt-free indulgence. And then it was time for us to make space for our laptops on the table.
Visit Ping’s in block 13, Lodhi Colony Main Market. Call 9999447977 for bookings.
4.00 pm: Lodi – The Garden Restaurant
The team did their thing for a good three & a half hours but come 4.00 pm, our internal cake alarms went off. We hadn’t been to The Garden Restaurant for far too long and decided to have our cake break there. We braved the Delhi air and sat in their al fresco space & breathed in what just might have been the cleanest air in the city. The greenery surrounding us made us feel grateful after weeks of monitoring air on our iPhones.
We enjoyed our little break from the rush of everyday life as we tried a bit of everything from the Lodi’s dessert section. We loved their take on the baked cheesecake with its sprinkling of pomegranate & toffee flakes. The carrot cake was divine & tasted like it had been made with carrots from another world (maybe it was). But the star of our decadent meal was the almond pudding with the homemade fig ice cream, a wintery delight. It all went well a pot of tea (we were still hung up on our tea-scapade from morning) & a sugary hit later we were all set to entertain our clients at the Lodhi Hotel.
6.00 pm: On The Waterfront, The Lodhi Hotel
Having been acquainted with the Waterfront only in passing, we decided to meet this week’s client within its watery fore. The entire restaurant has glass walls & is surrounded by a water body. We were seated on a table right next to the glass, making us feel wonderfully floaty. We checked out their bar menu and noticed that each cocktail has a bit of its history next to it, for instance, did you know that Hemingway believed he was a diabetic & preferred sweet liqueurs in his drink to actual sugar? Well, that’s the inspiration behind their Hemingway Daiquiri (no added sugar)!
Before we were able to study their entire menu, much as we’d have liked to, our gracious clients arrived right on time-o. We hatched some top secret plans over freshly-brewed cappuccinos & caffe lattes with them . Not to reveal too many of our secrets but we discussed a tasting & possible event in the coming year. Our clients had their own industry secrets which we exchanged for worthy gossip we’d managed to source. (Curious? Keep reading our website!) All in all it was a productive meeting with the creation of an action plan & a to-do list. We invited our charming guests to join us for dinner but they declined, so it was going to be just the main homies out on the town.
On The Waterfront is at the centrally located Lodhi Hotel near Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. Call 011 43633411 for reservations.
7.50 pm: Guppy by ai
With a day of business well-carried out, it was time to tend to the gastronomic cravings. We landed up at a member of the Olive Bar & Kitchen family – Guppy by ai. We reached a bit earlier than we expected, but it gave us all the more time to peruse the menu for our favourite time of the day – mealtime!
Award-winning chef Vikram Khatri is at the helm of the restaurant & we were excited to see his take on contemporary Japanese cuisine. We began with the Chirashi Seafood Salad & the Smoked Pumpkin Salad (holla at the vegetarians in the house.) The way the flavours blended together left us wanting more. We aren’t denying it, we stole more from the veggie salad then we expected to, though the crab, prawn, tuna & salmon salad whetted our appetites just enough so we were hanging on for the main course. And if you know anything about Guppy, you’d know we had to order the world-famous ramen burger. A personal serving of this was enough to fill each of us up. The mushroom version had five, yes five types of mushrooms & the chicken version had a fried egg & cheese along with the chef’s special sauces. The kicker was the ramen, instead of the bun, the burger was enclosed in a “fillet” of ramen on top & bottom. An ingenious meal all the way from Japan & absolutely worth it. We had our fill & left with Japanese dreams in our eyes.
Guppy by ai is located at Number 28 in the Lodhi Colony main market. Call 011 24690005 for reservations.
10.30 pm: Tres
But the night was still young & we did not want our fantastic day to come to an end. So we summed up all our team spirit & popped into Tres. This cozy little place with its cool ambience & mood lighting immediately took our day’s stresses away. We found a corner perfect for all of us & relaxed into the evening. The next day was Sunday after all.
Between us (you’re not getting any real numbers!) we ordered a gorgeous Chocolate Mix Berry Sangria, a Himalayan Lemongrass cocktail, a few glasses of Prosecco & a bottle of the Viña Laroche 2012 Pinot Noir from the Casablanca Valley in Chile. Our servers enthusiastically recommended us the Burrata-Mango Salad & the Quick-Tossed Sproon Valley Mushrooms to munch with our drinks… a dinner after dinner, did christmas come early? We weren’t gonna say no! The drinks & the starters took our breath away for a minute & we wished we had more room for the food. But as the drinking went on, we vowed to bring our next client here & that was that. We’ve made peace with the fact that there’s always going to be too much good food & too little time. So we indulged in a bit of light-hearted banter & poked fun at each other’s eating quirks till it was time to go home.
Tres is located at Number 17, Lodhi Colony Main Market. Contact 011 24625520 for reservations.
It was a great end to a gastronomically wonderful day out not to mention time well-spent bonding together. We basked in the little gems Lodhi Market had to offer, wowed our clients & got to know a little more about the team we love & we know it goes a long way ‘cause the team that eats together, stays together.