Capital Kitchen at Taj Diplomatic Enclave is an amazing place if there an important event. It is the little out of ordinary things that make special occasion truly special. So, when we headed to the Taj Diplomatic Enclave for a staycation to celebrate seven-year mark in our journey as man and wife, a dinner date had to be part of the otherwise non-existent itinerary. Our options were – fine dining restaurant Orient Express, Chinese restaurant Spicy Duck, North Indian restaurant Masala Art and the contemporary Capital Kitchen.
The fine dining restaurant was eliminated for obvious reasons (ahem, too expensive!). I’m a sworn fan of Chinese cuisine and seafood, the man not so much, with a special aversion to seafood. The order of preferences is reversed when it comes to North Indian cuisine, while the man loves his butter chicken and paranthas, the sameness of the food we have grown up eating just fails to excite me. So, we found the perfect middle ground in the Capital Kitchen. It had pizzas, pastas, burgers, lamb chops, salads, sandwiches, fish, shrimp, salmon, besides the typical Dilli Ka Khana, meaning there was going to be no dearth of indulgences for either of us.
The setting of restaurant has an infectious charm to it. Wooden interiors, sumptuous yellow lighting, inverted brass vessel like lamps, crystal glasses and fine liquor stocked on giant racks and a glass wall on one side offering a clear view of the lawns and swimming pool.
My favourite bit of detailing was this enormous brass vase overflowing with choicest lilies in whites, pinks and vibrant yellows.
Settling for a table by the glass wall, we spent a long time going back and forth over the menu, struggling to decide what we wanted. Talk about being spoilt for choice. After much deliberation and some Bira in our systems, we settled for Hanoi Grilled Lamb.
The description on the menu read: Grilled lamb chops marinated in Vietnamese spices served with rice noodles and iceberg salad. So we thought there is lamps chops and noodles and a salad, sounds like a hearty portion, let’s just split one.
When the order arrived, we were a little confused by what we saw. The noodles were nowhere to be seen. I called one of the waiters and gently reminded him about the noodles that were supposed to be part of the order. Clearly amused by our confusion, he pointed to what was the tiniest form of vermicelli-like strings, I have ever seen, used as a dressing on the side and said, ‘Ma’am, the noodles are right there. I’ll get you some more.’ Here I was expecting a generous bowl of Vietnamese noodles. Bummer!
Other than little noodle debacle, the Hanoi Grilled Lamb was a blow-your-mind, make-your-taste-buds dance kind of delicious. No lamb chops I have ever eaten before – and I’ve eaten my fair share of ‘em – come a close second to the depth of flavours and the perfect texture of these. I don’t know if I should credit the Vietnamese spices or chef’s precision of cooking the lamb chops just right, so they could be pulled apart by a fork but weren’t even close to being overcooked. Spot on. Just when you thought these lamp chops couldn’t get any better, you are greeted by a fresh hit of flavours hidden in the juicy layer of meat closer to the bone. At this point, I just dropped the cutlery and put my hands to good use, nibbling on the bone until I had savoured the last bit of those decadent chops.
While my food-loving soul had orgasmed on those Hanoi Lamb chops, our stomach were still hungering for more. This time, I let the man pick the dish, and not disappointing me with this choice, he went for the Lamb Burger. The lamb patty topped with cheddar cheese, gherkins, tobacco onions, crispy bacon and French mustard mayonnaise, and served with a side of potato wedges and tomato salad was quite a contrast to our previous order, both in terms of intricacies and portion size.
But the one thing the two absolutely contrasting dishes had in common was a rich gamut of flavours. For me, the layer of crispy bacon was the highlight. It was crispier than any crispy bacon I have tasted. As I bit through the layers, the softness of lamb, crispness of the bacon, creaminess of cheddar and mayo, and crunchiness of the gherkins and onions, set me off on another saporous ride. If you love a good burger, this one is must try.
The Capital Kitchen staff rounded off the evening by presenting us with an anniversary cake, validating their sense of hospitality all over again. The staff on the floor was polite and courteous. I owe a special mention to Manager Vinay Sharma for his attention to detail and knack of sensing just what his guests needed and making it happen.
So, Delhi folks, what I’m saying is: for your next special celebration, keep the Capital Kitchen in mind.