The board outside hasn’t registered the change yet, and the WildChild’s predecessor, Tazza, still retains a presence on it. This anomaly means that shopkeepers and security guards around the market are clueless about the latest addition to the area.
But this brand new café from the Kasbah stable, at Greater Kailash-I, New Delhi, seeks to create a niche in the manner of Mumbai’s Hard Rock Café. Launched by the owners of Café Morrison in South Extension-II, Café WildChild is a theme-based restaurant devoted to rock legends. Apart from plans to project rock music videos, the walls of the cafe carry poetry by Jim Morrison and psychedelic digital art that is also for sale. The food is a bastardized version of café and pizza parlour fare. But what it lacks in genealogy is made up by a careful attention to detail.
The good stuff
The Prosciutto pizza (Rs310) is warm and simple; the ham, sourced from The Oberoi, is delightfully spicy and flavourful. The thin crust is made in-house and apart from the meat, it is topped with a combination of mozzarella and a tangy tomato sauce prepared with basil, oregano, leek, celery and carrots. The choice of pizzas is extensive, ranging from Esotica, sweet corn, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes (Rs240), to Pepperoni (Rs310), and if the prosciutto one is any indication, the range is not likely to disappoint. Thankfully, it also steers clear of that awful innovation: the floury thick crust. The dessert section borrows heavily from Kasa Gelato of the same management. It features interesting combinations such as Chocolate Explosion (Rs110), an overload of chocolate fudge gelato, chocolate cake and chocolate syrup. Besides the eatables, the theme is manna for rock-music fans and future plans include inviting bands to perform live. At the same time, the outfit does not alienate the uninitiated, and the volume is not turned up too high, which allows conversation to flow smoothly. And most importantly, the loo is a comforting private space, done in a warm wood finish.
It would be inaccurate to slot all the shortcomings as teething troubles. In fact, the management needs a rethink on many of the minor details: What self-respecting café would place Maggi noodles on its menu? The tea, unfortunately, comes from tea bags and the cookies don’t make the cut. The Chicken Caesar Salad (Rs140) doesn’t measure up to the pizza; though the lettuce is fresh, I couldn’t say the same about the chicken. Also, there is no non-smoking section. Though this might not be a big issue for diehard rock enthusiasts, the lack of a demarcated space clearly demonstrates a serious policy void. It is also likely to curtail WildChild’s appeal to some of the older crowd and people with children. And, tellingly, the mango desserts are still unavailable despite being on the menu; the management insists that Monsieur Alphonso has failed to travel the distance between Maharashtra and Delhi in two months. And what about some serious baking? After all, what is a café without croissants?
A meal for two, consisting of a 12-inch pizza, a sandwich, a smoothie and a dessert would cost at least Rs700. Beverages are available at regular café prices and a pleasant evening of conversation with an old friend over a coffee will cost less than Rs150.