Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. The newly opened Mozart Café at the DLF South Point Mall bears no resemblance to the great maestro. With a dimly lit lower ground floor (euphemism for basement) location, a kitschy confused interior, and a clichéd Indian-Chinese-Continental menu, the restaurant is neither a café nor has any howsoever remote connection to Mozart.
Coming to the food in this diverse and seemingly discordant ensemble, there is a wide choice presented in its encyclopedic 18-page menu offering drinks, starters, mains and desserts in Oriental, Indian and Western style dishes.
In starters, hot basil lamb (Rs 375) is nicely cooked, though the hot and basil elements are somewhat lacking. The specially-imported-from-Brazil spare ribs in honey chili sauce (Rs 375) lack the bite and the mouth feel that is so essential while savouring a good spare rib. The rock shrimp tempura with wasabi mayo (Rs 450) does not have the crispness one would associate with a tempura, and the mayo ends up drowning the taste of the prawn itself. The crispy fried calamari (Rs 400) is at best a time-pass snack.
The kebabs are a mixed bag. The mustard marinated river sole (Rs 400) is nicely seasoned but the fish is dry and overcooked. The chili and red pepper chicken tikka (Rs 325) lacks the succulence. The pudina seekh kabab (Rs 400) is dry, though the gilafi chicken seekh kabab (Rs 325) has an interesting texture. The achaari sabz platter (Rs 325) is full of yum goodies. The pineapple, mushrooms, broccoli and potato are all perfectly cooked and interestingly seasoned. The stars of the afternoon are the chutneys. The mint chutney is fresh, tangy and flavourful. The walnut and yoghurt dip with its creamy, nutty texture is again a stroke of genius. These chutneys are certainly one of the better once that Gurgaon has to offer.
The same is not really true for the mains. The Mezze Platter (Rs 550) is average at best. The one element that does stand out is the zatar spiced prawns, which are wonderfully flavourful, albeit a bit tiny. The Chicken Scaloppini with hazelnut cream (Rs 425) is a breaded chicken breast that is deep fried and served with some jus and a creamy sauce. Though well intentioned, but is too salty to enjoy. The silken tofu with tomato and ginger broth (Rs 375) is light and flavourful. The tofu has been treated with the respect it deserves, and the accompanying udon noodles are cooked just right.
Now to the desserts. Bailey’s Crème Brûlée (Rs 295) is disappointing. The caramelized sugar on top is as thick as Lonavla chikki, while the custard underneath is cold. The molten chocolate pudding (Rs 325) is a sinful indulgence of a soft yielding pudding, with a centre oozing with warm rich gooey chocolate. As always the chocolate goodness leaves one feeling loved and cared.
Overall, the restaurant is a bit of a hit-or-miss with food, and not very different from dozens of me-too eateries that have lately opened up in the vicinity. While their energetic chef Niranjan should be able to fix the food, it is unclear if the restaurant will be able to offer to Gurgaon’s fickle diners a good enough reason to frequent this place.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 2.0, Ambiance: 2.0, Service: 2.5| Overall
Meal for Two: Rs 1200 (without alcohol) | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Happy Hours: No
Address: LG-34, DLF South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 54, Gurgaon
– Aalok Wadhwa
This article for first published in Suburb Magazine, Gurgaon