Lounge Reviews

Lounge Reviews
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First Published: Sat, Oct 13 2007. 02 16 AM IST

Indian-Chinese cuisine dips to a new low, courtesy Domino’s Chilli Chicken pizza
Indian-Chinese cuisine dips to a new low, courtesy Domino’s Chilli Chicken pizza
Updated: Sat, Oct 13 2007. 02 16 AM IST
Domino’s Chinese pizzas
This space was meant for trials of every kind; from the beginning we envisioned it as a place where we would go through the teething pains on your behalf, our reader, and try all manners of experiences so you would be better prepared and informed. In that spirit, this week we decided to forgo the usual five-star eatery and spa treatment for a treat that’s closer to home. Stuff that’s as close to soul food as it gets for itinerant journalists: the humble pizza. Little did we know how much it would ask of us.
Indian-Chinese cuisine dips to a new low, courtesy Domino’s Chilli Chicken pizza
“Welcome to Domino’s, would you like to try our new range of Chinese pizzas with different Chinese toppings?” (Beware, you unsuspecting pizza lover, there’s more than a hint of sadism in that invitation.) Close on the heels of the World Food Fest at rivals Pizza Hut, Domino’s introduced the Chinese pizzas about a month ago. The options form the core of what our columnist Vir Sanghvi once christened Ludhianvi-Chinese cuisine: Chilli Paneer, Veg Manchurian, Chicken Manchurian, Chilli Chicken. We tried all four together, and still live to tell the tale.
The good stuff
A few weeks ago, we had written about the Chinese invasion of the Indian palate. We are happy to note that we were right about the trend: Yes, Chinese food is gaining in popularity like never before. And what better proof of that than its proliferation into the arena of pizzas. We’re happy to have caught the trend at the first swell. About the pizzas themselves, the crust was thick, crisp and golden, and the cheese was fresh and sprightly. Full stop.
The not-so-good
Where do we begin? Let’s just say that, unlike us, if your monthly pay doesn’t depend on doing a review of a slice of Chinese pizza, then don’t buy it. If you’ve already been sold on the paneer pizza idea, then these flavours are definitely more your beat. But, in a blindfold test, you would be forgiven for not realizing your Chicken Manchurian from your Chilli Chicken. The pungent sauces for all tasted the same, slightly tangy, with a flat spicy taste. While the Chilli Chicken was the better among its siblings, the Veg Manchurian, with blobs of corn starch speckled across the crust, was the worst. The Chilli Paneer was dry and tasteless, while the best thing that could be said about the Chicken Manchurian pizza was that, thankfully, it didn’t have the corn starch blobs from the veg option.
Talk plastic
The regular-sized vegetarian options cost Rs110, while the large is Rs350. The Chicken Manchurian and Chilli Chicken options cost Rs135 for a regular-sized pizza, while mediums are Rs245 and the large, Rs395. But, here’s a word of advice: Use your money wisely, choose pepperoni.
Manju Sara Rajan
Glo, The Metropolitan Hotel, New Delhi
A ‘typical’ lounge-bar which adds nothing to New Delhi’s nightlife
The latest offering from the Shalom/Laidback Waters people, Glo, nestled into a back corner of the Metropolitan Hotel, garnered this reaction from my friend as we walked into the bar: “The first word that comes to mind is ‘typical’.” It’s like most other lounges in the city. It’s first and foremost a lounge, with no dinner menu. Snacks are available—bite-sized, decent-tasting appetizers. And the lounge will stay open until 1am to attract the late-night crowd.
The good
Designer Sumit Nath, also responsible for the appearances of Shalom and Laidback Waters, has reached a perfect collusion of retro cool and cozy. The palate of golds, blacks and silvers mesh beautifully, under soft candlelight. The two stunners in the room are the back bar and the ceiling sculpture. The back bar is a long sheet of dark cement, with tea lights twinkling, recreating a night sky. And, the ceiling follows the starlight motif with a metallic oval hosting starbursts.
The not-so-good
I ts crime is no less or no greater than the other 10 lounges in the city—there’s just not much to set it apart. We spent most of the two hours there bemoaning the lack of diversity in the city’s nightlife, a common refrain heard around the Capital. The music, spun by DJ Ashish Srivastav, was chill house and not so loud as to drown out conversation. The drinks were adequate (except for the house speciality “Glo”, a frighteningly bad combination of gin, vodka, tequila, rum and créme de strawberry). The ambience, nice. But we’ve seen it all before. It’s just another hotel lobby bar dressed in pretty clothes. When I asked the bar manager what set it apart, he directed me to the front page of the menu where a string of sentences tried to explain that the bar would take me to a higher consciousness. The fact that I’ve seen similar philosophical treatise at three other lounges did not help in setting this place apart. The words were repeated on candlelight holders around the bar: “Have a fling with bliss—that’s when you’ve felt the glo.” And that’s just my problem with the place. A few fancy words with no real meaning does not a good bar make.
Talk plastic
Cocktails start at Rs395, local beers are around Rs165, and appetizers cost about Rs395.
Melissa A. Bell
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First Published: Sat, Oct 13 2007. 02 16 AM IST