Food rating: Made to order

The newbie on the block, Dirty Apron, enjoys his older brother’s street name, The Piano Man, not to mention the music of the latter as you climb the elevator to the former. Set over two levels, the top-floor open-air restaurant overlooks Deer Park and is heated by a wood-fired oven in one corner and a bar along one side of the space. More food-oriented than its sister group, Dirty Apron combines Asian and European flavors and dining minutes from both continents into a cohesive menu. The playlist here is also not something to drown in conversation.

We start with soup, one with pumpkin and peanut butter. Velvety and smoky, like a flaming crimson silk glove, the soup slides down our esophagus, with a buttery nutty flavor behind it. We slurp it in despite the fact that we normally avoid pumpkin like a haunted house, preferring it as a jack-o-lantern over part of a meal.

In that case it must be Halloween, because we are then stuck in a Thai Curry Pumpkin and Gorgonzola Ravioli. An idyllic marriage of East and West, like a commercial for peace and harmony, this is comfort food with an accent. The silk gourd harmonizes beautifully with the mild tartness of blue cheese (key to the success of this dish is balancing the different proportions) wrapped in ravioli bags poached in Thai red curry.

Not to mention chicken, we have both the Jamaican Jerk and Shish Touk grills. The Caribbean chicken is, among other things, rubbed with allspice and slowly grilled over a fire. The Arabian variety is much softer than its colonial-era cousin, two continents away. Both representatives are gentle and service oriented, we do not find any complaints with either of them. We look to the sea for our main course and settle for a Herb-Crusted Sea Bass with a Sweet Chili Sambal.

The fish is as flaky as the comic relief in a sitcom, melting in the mouth. The South Asian sambal sauce adds an interesting element to the dish, but we wish it was a little less saccharine as it takes the tip of the spike away.
Dessert is a Crème Brulee ‘scented’ with Lemongrass and Kafir Lime. The scent floats over the crackling caramel crust, while the custard remains pristine and calescent. Some marriages just work, we suppose.

Meal for two: Rs 3,000 (including taxes)
Address: B6-7/22, 2nd Floor, Opposite Deer Park, Safdarjung Enclave Market, Safdarjung.
Contact person: 41315181

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