Strategically located in the beautiful and sprawling greens of the Lodi Gardens, the Gardens Restaurant has been one of the places I was looking to visit for quite some time. Always while crossing Lodi Gardens, I used to long for a fine dining experience in the natural settings at the restaurant. I finally managed to go there when I was invited for a review of their new Farm to Fork Menu.
We were here on a mid March day, a time when summers were just around the corner. It was a slightly warm afternoon, so we decided to sit inside in the air-conditioned comfort zone on the first floor. We sat near the glass panels to enjoy the view outside which comprised of potted plants, some interestingly shaped sofas made from driftwood.
The Garden Restaurant is a lovely place with both indoor and outdoor space. If you prefer outdoors, you will be very close to nature. The ambiance is the most romantic, with leaves falling on the garden full of pebble stones. This place also has curtained seating arrangements perfect for a romantic date.
The restaurant is a great place for Alfresco Casual Dining Restaurant, and can accommodate over 180 people at a time spread over the Atrium, Bar Floor, Terrace, Garden Area and the Ground Floor.
As I entered the restaurant, I felt like entering into a theatrical setting, with lanterns hanging from tree tops, tables in curtained pavilions and wooden carts and a menu that is filled up with dishes from Europe and the Middle East. This place certainly boasted a cool, calm, and intimate environment.
The chefs use fresh and mostly ‘home-grown’ seasonal ingredients here from their own Noida garden, and every dish looks like a work of art. In fact the photographer in me, found it difficult to eat the food served, and most of the times I was busy shooting pics. The best part about this place is that its chefs keep rotating the menu according to the seasonal demand and the expectations of the customer.
Well now on to the food for which we were here. We thoroughly loved the welcome drink that quenched our thirsty throats. While we waited for our soup and salad to be served, we ordered Cool Buzz; a refreshing drink made with blue berry, lemon chunks, fresh mint and lemon juice. My colleague, a great lover of guava juice, ordered Beach blast made with fresh pomegranate, guava juice, fresh mint and lemon juice. With our drinks we also got a complimentary basket of garlic bread. The drinks tasted good: the fruitiness of the ingredients was well balanced with mint and lime juices.
Salad is always an excellent way to start the meal, and soon our salad plate arrived on our table. And the art work done even with a salad plate was amazing. Its difficult to describe in words, so friends, I will request you to go to the restaurant for yourself and enjoy the visual feast before you dig in. We were having the Green asparagus, runner beans, swiss chard and walnut with wild honey and lime dressing salad. The ingredients were fresh, and as I said earlier it was a lovely presentation, but I found the taste too simple, and I regretted breaking the art piece.
Next on our table was Chilled farm fresh green peas and Mint soup. It was a healthy option created specially keeping in mind the approaching harsh summer months in Delhi. It was a perfect blend of peas and mint leaves; I enjoyed it till the very last drop.
Moving on to the mains, we tried the Shallots, Sugar snap peas and baby spinach Risotto. It again was a visual treat and a great healthy option. It was a little heavy, filling, and flavourful. You should not miss it while at The Gardens.
We also tried homemade fettuccini with fresh basil, spring onions, broccoli, rocket and feta cheese. Once again it was a delicious dish with a great presentation.
I guess every one following me must have known by now that my meals never finish without having something cold and sweet. So as soon as we finished our mains, we went in for dessert options from the main menu along with the dessert on the spring menu.
Fresh strawberry, mint & lime sorbet was a classic spring flavoured dessert, straight out from a painter’s canvas. For taste though, I would have preferred it to be slightly sweeter. Almond pudding, fig ice cream with a toffee sauce, and Dark chocolate ganache dried meringue and salted caramel were the two other desserts that we tried while at the Gardens Restaurant.
The homemade fig ice cream on the Almond pudding was extraordinary; it was lovely, creamy and smooth, with fruitiness of figs and the crunch of tiny fig seeds making the experience of savouring the ice cream divine.
But here is the catch, friends, try just the ice cream. The toffee sauce was over done in this presentation and spoiled the entire experience on the combination. I just concentrated on the ice cream and enjoyed my experience.
The Dark chocolate ganache was downright heavenly with a loving blend of deep-dark caramel.
Well, it was the end. Or, was it really the end? I still had the feeling that something was missing. Well, if I speak about the individuality of the dishes and other factors, everything was well conceived, but I still wanted more, I was not satisfied, and I guess I will have to soon return to the restaurant to find the answer.
Food: 4.5/5 Taste: 4.5/5 Service: 4/5 Ambiance 4.5/5
Cost: INR 2500/- for two people (approx)
Address: Near Gate 1, Lodi Gardens, Lodi Road, New Delhi.
All pics by Pradeep Chamaria for exatraveller.com
Disclaimer: We were here to review the new spring menu – “Farm to Fork”. Our views are based on the day and time of our visit and on the taste and quality of food we consumed. No money exchanged hands.