Sunday, 21 August 2016

Restaurant Review | Depot 48, GK-1 N-Block Market

Since my review of the new menu at Depot29 I was looking forward to the launch of Depot48. At first glance the menu at the new joint seems almost identical to that of its older sibling. Although this is not a bad thing since I really like the food there, there are a few additions here to give more choice to regulars and more options to visit both the Depots.

The space is acoustically designed to facilitate live music performances.

The central ethos of “Original Music and Inspired Food” however remains the same. Unlike split-levels at Depot29, 48 is contained all one a single floor. The space is designed with world-class acoustics and layout of the sound giving diners the flexibility to engage with the music or hang back at the bar to chill. So you can enjoy independent original music with gigs every weekend and an eclectic selection of commercial music on non-gig days. Girjashanker Vohra, co-owner Depot48 who also happens to be a professional sound engineer, has installed soundproof material on the walls making it look aesthetic enough to pass off as cool installations.

Clockwise from Top Left: Artichoke and Spinach Dip with tortilla chips;
Chips and Salsa; Chicken Wings; Gingranate and Coccarito.

An interesting chat over Spanish artichoke and spinach dip with homemade tortilla chips (Rs 340) and chips and salsa with Vikas Narula, co-owner Depot48, reveals that Ritu Dalmia’s recipes and support in setting up Depot29 encouraged the duo to take the next step and spread their wings to open another outlet in South Delhi. Although I would have loved to have my favourite dishes from Depot29 that are fortunately all available here as well, we decide to try the new additions to the menu. The Grilled Haloumi Salad (Rs 530) with mango, cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves and Japanese gari showcases the freshness of ingredients used and a good balance of flavours and textures. Creamy Sriracha Pasta Bake with chicken (Rs 570) is sheer comfort food with an elevated flavour and a gentle kick of sriracha. The fantastic new mains include Polenta crusted Halibut with pan-tossed asparagus in an orange and lemon sauce (Rs 690). The combination of fish and orange sauce has become an absolute favourite of mine across restaurants (one finds it at almost all of Ritu Dalmia’s restaurants as well). The Chicken Schnitzel (Rs 550) is quite a revelation. This traditional European dish is usually too bland for Indian palates, so here it is cleverly combined with a tangy tomato sauce, with fresh Thai chillies and served with a side of sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes. It works very well. And the thin schnitzel that is panko crumbed is a delight to bite into.

Clockwise from Top Left: Grilled Haloumi Salad; Chicken Schnitzel;
Creamy Sriracha Pasta Bake; Polenta crusted Halibut. 

Even though I ask for the veggie dishes to make my review suited to all, I have to say that I don’t take very well to the vegetarian options in this case. The Green Apple, Rocket and Goat Cheese Quesadilla (Rs 510) and Sweet Corn, Jalapeno and Goat Cheese Quesadilla (Rs 490) don’t quite hit the spot for me. Maybe it’s because I remember the flavour packed Pulled Pork, Refried Beans And Jack Cheese Quesadilla (Rs 530) very vividly. I usually enjoy my vegetarian dishes as much as the meaty ones, but unfortunately not in this case. But there’s always a next time where I know I will indulge in the juicy burgers, including the Depot29 Lamb Burger (Rs 590) and the Jackfruit Burger with Plantain (Rs 410).. so there’s plenty of yay for veggies too. This time however, there’s deliciousness in the form of the Soft Shell Duck Taco (Rs 650) that’s loaded with Mexican rice and zinged up with green apple chutney. I have shared the Restaurant’s Recipe below the review!

Top: Green Apple, Rocket and Goat Cheese Quesadilla.
Middle: Shredded Duck with Green Apple Chutney.
Bottom: Sweet Corn, Jalapeno and Goat Cheese Quesadilla.

And yes, Depot is famous for its choice of waffles, but today I get to taste the Cake in Jar that is yet to find its spot on the menu. Available in three flavours: whiskey, Baileys and salted caramel, it would make everyone happy to enjoy a wider dessert choice.

Dessert: Bailey's Cake in a Jar.

Girjashanker sums the place perfectly: “We love good food and what we love even more is that Depot48 is a place which has great food, a fantastic bar and the kind of music you would hear in a concert venue.” And I can only agree with him.

Depot48, Level 2, N-3, Greater Kailash-1, N-Block Market, New Delhi-110048.
Ph: 011-4508 1948.
Timings: 12noon to 1am.

RECIPESoft Shell Tacos With Shredded Duck, Green Apple Chutney, Pickled Cucumber and Caramelized Onion

Recipe: Soft Shell Duck Tacos

For two taco sheets:
To 50 grams of Maseca flour add 10 grams of margarine, a pinch of salt and baking powder. Mix well and knead. Divide into two parts and roll flat with a rolling pin into a spherical shaped sheet.

Shredded duck:
Take 500 grams of duck leg. To confit the duck, mix the duck leg with 250 ml olive oil, 5 grams salt, 5 grams black pepper, juice of 1 medium sized lemon, a couple of bay leaves and 2-3 pods of garlic in a heavy pot and fill with vegetable stock. Cook on low flame until the meat is thoroughly cooked and falls off the bone. Toss the duck in a pan with caramelized onion, pickled cucumber, garlic, green chilli and coriander. Adjust the taste as desired.

Mexican rice:
Mix 10 grams of white rice with 20 grams of wild rice and add three cups of water. Cook on medium flame until the rice is al dente. Mix rice with 10 grams of finely chopped red and yellow pepper, 5 grams of chopped garlic and 10 grams of chopped onion in a pan and sauté in olive oil until cooked. Add 10 grams of paprika and 25 grams of corn. Toss it all together and keep aside.

Green apple chutney:
Take one green apple; remove the peel and dice into small pieces. Mix 10 grams of onion and 10 grams of garlic in a pan and sauté in olive oil. Add 10 ml white vinegar, brown sugar, fresh red chilli (preferably bird’s eye chilli) and salt to taste. Wait until cool. Blend the apple and onion-garlic mixture together to achieve desired consistency.

To serve
Heat the taco sheets on a grill pan and spread the green apple chutney on them. Top with Mexican rice and shredded duck and fold. Serve with sour cream and chipotle sauce.