Skeeter's dream Delhi house would have a lot of natural light, a lot of greens (with maybe a patch of thicket) and a patch of an organic kitchen garden. The kitchen garden would overlook a pebbled path with some bright garden umbrellas planted here and there for a nature-packed cuppa in the morning, a glorius lunch in the afternoon and a humble bar-be-que at night. While all that may be a little far-fetched to call hers forever, Skeeter does sometimes hop, skip and jump to Lodi -The Garden Restaurant for a meal. Last Saturday, was one such occasion.
A welcome shot of the seasonal mango panna perked Skeeter up as she flipped the pages of the menu. In no mood for a particularly heavy meal, Skeeter began with the Lodi greek salad with a lemon dressing (Rs 395). A salad can only be right (crisp and fresh) or wrong (overdressed and wilted) and this one was right. The salad portion was big with lettuce, bell peppers, assorted olives and some feta thrown in and tossed with a lemon dressing. Skeets went on to have the Mezze platter (Rs 595) instead of a full fledged main course and was happy with her order. The Mezze came in an oval dish with fresh pita, hummus (a perfect blend of flavours), tzatziki (fresh and creamy) and baba ghanouj (just the right texture). Different preparations of the falafel always intrigue Skeeter. Some are too dry but taste good, some are soft and fluffy. The one at Lodi was shaped a tad different and took Skeeter back to the kuchas of Chandni Chowk where she has some of the best kalmi vadas (more on that later). The falafel tasted somewhat like the kalmi vadas and the texture was nice (neither too soft nor too hard). The accompanying spanakopita was nice and crisp on the outside, tender and bursting with flavour inside.
Next came the dessert platter (yes a full dessert platter with a slice each of the sinful array of desserts). Skeeter picked the mango cheesecake. The cheesecake was nice in texture albeit a tad less flavourful, or so thought Skeeter.
Dessert usually ends a meal, but Skeeter couldn't leave without sampling some of the products Lodi stocks at their Deli. The onion jam was deelish. A must buy, especially when you lead a hectic life and would want to save yourself all the trouble and labour that goes into making it. Skeeter, of course, makes it at home and it is a big hit. Also, try their organic mustard oil (Rs 200). Skeeter had been looking for the same for a while and found it here. Apart from these there are some pates, dips, pickles, preserves, flavoured oils and salad dressings to choose from. Skeeter has heard that much of the food you eat at Lodi, is grown at the farms owned by them and is organic. The mangoes used in the cheesecake were organic as well. That the tribe of restaurants in Delhi is slowly but steadily moving towards Organic, is a sign of good food returning to our tables.
And the last word: do try out the carefully crafted breakfast menu (popular among with expats in Delhi and backpackers on a stopover). They have some interesting tea blends, coffees, buttermilk, juices, jams, porridge, waffles, pancakes, muesli et al.
(P.S. Though I am a patron of Lodi, I was invited by the team on this particular visit.)