Located in the elegant and sophisticated DLF Emporio Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Cavalli Caffe is an adjunct to the haute couture boutique store by the famous Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, a favourite of the Indian glitterati. Do high-fashion credentials translate into high-five food? I was about to find out.
My companions and I chose to sit at the bar cum café than in the main atrium of the mall, drawn by the dazzle of glass, crystal and blacks and whites. The café boasts of materials and décor created personally by the famed designer known for his fine materials and iconic zebra print. The table while fashionable was a little too small for a repast for four persons and we were just three of us. While one waited for one’s orders to be served, one could enjoy fame vicariously, looking at photos of famous personalities with the designer, adorning the wall.
The diabolically named Diavola pizza turned out to be divine, the thinnest crust that I have seen on a pizza in India, topped with the tastiest pepperoni, while the usual Margherita was equally well-defined by the thin crust once again. The pizzas were light and easy and were perfect as starters. The Crespelle Alla Florentina turned out to be a designer version of cannelloni, chic and slick, the spinach and cheese rendering a nuanced taste. Again, light and easy.
Sufficiently allayed as far as my skepticism was concerned regarding the quality of “designer” food, we proceeded to our main course. The Lamb Burger was at the suggestion of the waiter who assured me that it is a popular choice amongst the patrons. Having loved and lost my fondness for the lamb burger of a popular Delhi-based restaurant chain, it was with trepidation that I heeded to the waiter’s counsel. It turned out, there was no cause for concern. The burger was delightful, evenly textured, lightly spiced and went very well with the garlic infused cream and Tabasco flavoured sauce that it came with. And it tasted great even without my regular cheese. Special mention must be made of the fried onion rings that accompanied it. Crunchy, light as air, it was as zesty as the spiced and superb French fries that tagged along.
The Grilled Salmon served with a sweet berry sauce, with grilled green asparagus, baked potato fillets and buttered quinoa was a different take from the usual lemon-butter that salmon is dressed with. Needless to say, it was different and distinct. The coffee was good. Alas, no word on the desserts as we did not try any, but the menu had the usual suspects. I wonder why it did not feature the famous Cannoli (Puff pastry filled with ricotta)?
While the food left us wanting for more, the service was left wanting, initially. The basket of scrumptious bread with olive butter was served only after us asking for it. Subsequently however, the waiter was ready with his advice, whether it was the non-share-ability of the individual dishes or their advisability. He shot down our choice of starter, Asparagi In Camica, (asparagus with poached egg in a cheese dressing) for the former. The food portion size is just enough for one. And then, he advised us not to go for the Ossobuco Alla Florentina as, “he would not recommend it”. (He said he doesn’t like it. But why??).
The restaurant reflects the charm of an intimate Italian restaurant with the famed designer’s touches, be it décor, table service, ambience etc. Another go to place for authentic Italian food served in a stylish, fashionable setting.
Disclosure: This review was done after an anonymous visit, the food paid for by the reviewer.
Food: 4.0/5 | Ambience: 4.0/5 | Service: 3.5/5 | Overall: 4.0/5
Meal for two: Rs. 3500 (Without alcohol) |Credit cards: Yes | Alcohol: Yes | Timings: 11.00 am-10.00 pm
Address: CAVALLI CAFFÉ, Ground Floor, DLF Emporio Mall, 4, Nelson Mandela Road, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi | Tel: +91 11 46950000