The historic Hauz Khas Village may be a honking loud and overcrowded, but it sure is the place in New Delhi to be seen, shop, eat and overall have a great time. The burgeoning “village” today plays host to more than 50 restaurants and eateries of all shapes and sizes with each trying to find their place in the Sun.
As Saurabh Verma, our host for the afternoon, guided Pawan Soni and me into an alley, I was a bit sceptical about what we were getting into. However, as the glass doors opened to “Zo Café and Kitchen” I felt cheery. The first thought was that it was simply elegant. Done up in white, with tapestries, old paintings and antique statues that added to the candle lit decor, Zo gave me a feel of a very stylish museum. A huge chandelier hung over the entrance to the basement provided a very chic look to the entire ambience.
My first reaction to the presented menu was that it was limited. It sure was a mix of Mediterranean and Italian cuisines but in my opinion Zo could have offered a wee more. This is when Saurabh assured us that while the menu was limited, we were still in for a treat. Saurabh proposed an ensemble of Zo’s best. First to appear were half and half of crispy, cheesy and delicious Pizzas – Verde (Rs 325) & Pepperoni (Rs 425). This was immediately followed by a beautifully done Grilled Rainbow Trout (Rs 590) in a lemon and mustard sauce served with grilled vegetables on a bed of mashed potatoes. The trout is one of Zo’s signature dishes and I think discerning fish lovers will absolutely adore this one.
However, this is when we realised that with just two dishes and four dinner plates on the table, it was becoming a tad difficult to accommodate stuff comfortably. We figured that the table was a bit small for four diners to eat their meal comfortably. The clearance was also a bit slow and led to addition of clutter which is what we mentioned to Ankit, the suave owner of Zo who had just walked in.
Next on the table was Funghi Imbottiti Fritti (Rs 245), panko crumb-fried mushroom caps stuffed with jack cheese, mozzarella & spices served with spicy tomato salsa. Hot as they were and not realising so, a careless bite burnt my upper palate. The mushrooms are yet another one of their signature dishes and a must have, but please do it slowly and carefully lest you want to suffer the same fate as mine. We went into a tizzy about what to order next. While I wanted to have yet another one of their fabulous pizzas, others on the table were deliberating with their own choices. In the end the Meat Lovers Pizza (Rs 415) won and we were served another lovely piece which disappeared in no time hungry that we were.
The Chocolate Coulant (Rs 225) with vanilla ice cream served at the end was a fitting finish to the lovely meal that we had just savoured. I tried hard(ly) to resist this sweet rhapsody but eventually succumbed.
To sum-it-up: Zo Café and Kitchen is a great place with equally good food for you to spend a lazy afternoon or a romantic evening without feeling a massive pocket pinch. I hope Ankit gets bigger tables and polishes the rough edges around the service staff which is when I would like to go back once again and try the remainder of the menu.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.0 | Ambiance: 3.5 | Service: 3.0 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two: Rs 1200| Alcohol: Yes| Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 11 AM to 11.30 PM
Address: Zo Cafe and Kitchen, 1, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi-16 | Phone: 99111-85007