Monsoon by cafe Lota……Revisit the Indian flavors…..
As the drops of rain promise a new life, to the dull universe, the Newly opened, Monsoon promises a life-like experience, amongst the usual, with its refreshing take on Indian flavours with its own unique subtle nonintrusive way of introducing you to the existing treasure of Indian Ingredients and cuisine.
Monsoon By Cafe Lota , was on my “to go to” list since the day it went live, due to its lineage –Cafe Lota at the Crafts Museum, Pragati Maidan.
While my mind was guessing what the new place would be like, I made no attempt about a pre-research and wanted to leave a space for surprise, when I visit the place.
The place is located at the Wordmark one, Aerocity, amongst the fancy peers around. Monsoon is rather unpretentious and welcoming. With large wooden French style windows, the natural hues of walls, the greens placed around, gives just the right hint of earthiness, syncing with the name.
In my glass
The beverage menu, with mocktails like Root to fruit, Guava Kombucha, Asafetida sour and Penicillin ( a Ginger, Lemon, Honey Drink), kept us in a debate mode for some time as they all appeared to be innovative and worth a try.
The ones which won in the debate, Guava Kombucha with just an apt dose of sweetness and flavours, turned out to be a great accompaniment to the awaited great food. While the Root to fruit is like another mojito with the twist of health with Tumeric, the menu has umpteen options for my next round of mocktails.
By now we had already ordered some starters (details of which shall follow), the mention of the next round of our beverages shall create the right kind of buzz for the exciting meal we enjoyed along.
A short section of natural vinegar made into mocktails stirred with just the right hint of sweetness from the Jaggery is worth a try amongst the others on the list of Beverages. They caught my attention more so because of my inclination to a natural, healthy lifestyle.
The natural Vinegar creates the right Ph for the gut and makes these mocktails a clever addition as a health elixir.
The Coconut Vinegar infusion had more coastal style flavors from curry leaves and the pineapple while a hint of chilies could cut the sourness well. And the Jamun Vinegar infusion was fruity enough to make it more palatable and just apt to be opted for, if in doubt.
On my plate
The food innings started with the salad bowl, with the steamed Khapeli wheat, pomegranate, and Bandel cheese( a local cheese from eastern India), with the dressing of mustard and sugarcane vinegar. A right example showing how a local ingredient can be trending in that humble bowl of sheer goodness.
The Buckwheat Pancakes, with mushroom and spring onions, made the center of discussion while it was polished off in no time. The use of Zarai Cheese ( from Uttrakhand), again established how these ingredients bring the Desi feel to each dish, keeping the gourmet quotient intact.
The lemon and ginger chicken and the prawn pepper fry had distinct identifiable flavours of the Indian spices used. This rightly exemplifies, that spices are not about heat, they are about defining the flavor graph of a dish.
The mains consisted of the Pumpkin and spinach Curry and the tamarind coated Talapia fish served over tempered spinach in a coconut moilee curry. Served with a Maize flour thepla and rice roti.
The Kulchas On the menu reminds of some great comfort food, and the one we had with Goats meat and marrow, served with a bowl of garlic yogurt and white butter, had the generosity and love which only mothers can bring to a meal.
For the desserts, the choice of Barnyard Millet Kheer with the jaggery caramel, and the Yogurt cheesecake with a Millet Crust were like a stamp of assurance that the base idea of delivering Indian flavors through simple dishes like these, is taken care of all across the menu.
These dishes are not complicated and yet complex. A complete responsible take on Indian flavours where the dish does not lose its connect in the process of modernization. Use of local ingredients from across the country, introducing them in a way that they appear much approachable in the first place and then once you have them, they are sure to create a special place in your idea of a gourmet meal.
The place is recommended for the ones who love Indian food, beyond a geographical bias. A meal that dissolves the line between healthy, delicious, modern, local, sustainable and truly Indian.