Food: New cafe brings the taste of Delhi to Mumbai, all buttered up

Mom's Butter Chicken Tikka Masala. Pics/Atul Kamble

When Cafe Delhi Heights sold its 2,00,000th Jucy Lucy Burger (Rs 445), the chain organised a competition at its outlets in Gurgaon, Delhi and Noida. Ashish Singh, the corporate chef of 13 of the outlets — with another one coming up on Janpath and Mumbai's first branch launching at Kamala Mills today — tells us that the winner ate two-and-a-half of the burgers, while the runners-up gave up at two and at 1.75. Consisting of a 250gm mutton patty, 70gm cheddar cheese topping and 15 to 20gm of jalapenos, respectively, all stuffed in a six-inch bun, this burger is definitely not for the weak-hearted. But if you love gastronomic challenges, it's a must-try. We make a mess when we try one, but relish the paprika-herbed patty with crunchy veggies and a cheesy aftertaste.

Panzanella Salad

A board displays 2,08,133 when we walk in, the number increasing with each Jucy Lucy sold. A look around the vibrant 80-seater space, opposite Farzi Cafe and cushioned between The Beer Cafe and Love and Cheesecake, reveals it to be family-friendly. The booths come with LCDs; there is a low-seating area for noisy groups and a bar section to slip into nightclub mode.

Owners Sharad and Vikrant Batra have also got Michael Swamy — who opened Nueva, a South American fine-dine, with the duo in Delhi — to create a recipe book based on the 80 dishes from the menu, which will be launched in Mumbai next month.

Anti-oxidant Smoothie

We start with ISBT Makhani Maggi (Rs 285), loaded with chunks of butter that melt into the creamy gravy. Our cholesterol level shoots up even before we take the first bite of the spicy, Indianised recipe that may receive scorn from Maggi purists. But we are surprised at ourselves for actually polishing off this bowl.

The Sushi Chirasa (Rs 825) — traditionally served as a bowl of sticky rice, with crabsticks, avocado, tuna, salmon and peppers tossed in — is completely avoidable as the sticky morsels fail to impress us.

ISBT Makhani Maggi

We cleanse our palate with a Nimboo Anardana Shikanji (Rs 205), which is garnished with coriander and embodies the best of a chatpata flavour.

By the time we reach the Eggs Benedict (Rs 375), we are wishing that the dishes went easy on the butter, since they are comfortingly palatable without it. The Benedict comes on a bed of moist croissant and bacon, and the yolk oozing out of it tempts us to dig in.

Jucy Lucy Burger

The croutons in the Panzanella Salad (Rs 375) are crunchy, and so are the French beans, broccoli and babycorn, flavoured with Parmesan and herbs. We also sip on an Anti-oxidant Smoothie (Rs 325), which has chia and flax seeds, strawberry and yoghurt.

Finally, slow claps and drum rolls for Mom's Butter Chicken Tikka Masala (Rs 625), please. This one's a family recipe, with the chicken smoked in the tandoor and tender to bite into. To our delightful surprise, the creamy tomato gravy is sans cashew nuts. The dish is served with hot naans and saffron-scented rice. Slightly tangy and spicy, this is one butter chicken that Mumbai's been craving for.

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