If you are a Delhiite and used to visiting Lutyen’s Delhi, then you definitely know that Lodi: The Garden Restaurant is the place to enjoy the winter sun and summer evenings. It’s the proverbial paradise where you expect to see nymphs and swans, pixies and fairies, birds and birds. But even though those are missing, I simply love the ambience. Nature undisturbed, the restaurant offers great food and impeccable service.
In fact, I would say it’s a lovers’ getaway. Flowers, trees, canopy seating, it’s the restaurant where you forget the world. I would love to sit around and drink coffee and read a few books. That said, the seating offers complete privacy.
Out under the open sky, the trees swaying and the sun shining, it’s difficult to decide what you want to eat. The menu has a variety of dishes, very influenced by European tastes, though it does suit the Indian palette. And there are different menus for winter and summer, keeping in mind the food suited to the weather, light for summers and slightly heavy for the winter.
There is no obtrusive loud music to disturb your conversation.
I was greeted with a warm welcome drink. As my friend was late, I had fresh orange juice. And it was truly fresh! Browsing through the menu I discovered that one had a good option from platters. But you need at least two people to eat one platter, I thought to myself after seeing the proportions later.
We didn’t order drinks, but there is a garden bar to complement the menu. And you can drink anything from wine and champagne to cocktails, to regular rum and scotch and even mocktails.
When you come to the Lodi, you must keep a lot of time on your hand to enjoy the ambience and the food. There are flavoured soups and plenty of salads if you want a light meal. And the main course had platters, char grills, and pasta.
So orange juice downed, I dug into the veg mezze which had falafel and cheese fatayer with hummus, tzatziki, babaganoush, tabouleh, pita and homemade pickle. It was light and the cheese fatayer melted in the mouth.
My friend ordered a manali basa served with crunchy runner beans and potato salad spiked with mustard and beurre blanc. The verdict: It was good!
If you don’t wish for platters, then you could try the rolls and wraps. And the desserts on offer are sure to tempt all those who have a sweet tooth– homemade fig ice cream, fresh fruit with honey or whipped cream, chocolate mousse, eggless chocolate truffle, banoffee pie, almond bread pudding with warm toffee sauce and fig ice cream, seasonal fruit cheesecake.
My vote: You have to go there once and then you will feel like going again and again, as it is the perfect place to unwind and come out in a better mood. And if you do end up eating a lot (personally I found the food light on the stomach and leaving you with a soft texture in the mouth), then you could just walk it off in the neighbouring Lodi Garden.
My recommendation: Opt for lunch in winter and then dinner in summer and you would have experienced it at its best.
Address: Lodi-The Garden Restaurant, Next to Lodi Garden, Lodi Road, New Delhi; for reservations call: 9818743232
Text by Ambica Gulati