Woks restaurant at The Lalit New Delhi has recently introduced ‘square meal box’ a special lunch menu, that has been designed keeping in mind the individual business diners who are rushed for time but still want to have a decent meal priced at Rs. 699/- for vegetarian and Rs. 799/- for non vegetarian, accompanied by a glass of wine or beer or soft drink. On offer are seven different menus, and the restaurant is willing to mix and match, as well as customize the taste of the dishes.
Located on the hotel’s rooftop, Woks is a posh looking Chinese and Oriental specialty restaurant with waterfalls, a wooden bridge over a pond which has a sprinkling of fish, and other far eastern knick knacks. I am here at the invitation of the hotel, to check out the dishes on offer.
As most of us do, I start my tasting with sampling out the three soup choices, which are man chow vegetable soup, minced chicken with asparagus soup, and sweet corn vegetable soup. Man chow soup, because of its spicy nature is easily the one that stands out, while the other two are less fiery.
Coming to the mains, it is mostly the vegetarian dishes that impress the most. The cauliflower in garlic butter sauce, which had been a favourite with the restaurants patron even in its earlier avatar as Blue Elephant, is back here. It is a sinfully addictive indulgence. It is essentially cauliflower fried in batter and then cooked in a sauce of chilies, garlic and cream. Vegetable Manchurian, the Indian Chinese classic is as good as it gets. Stir fried mixed vegetables in soya garlic has crunchy vegetables in a light and spicy sauce, easily appealing to the Indian palate. The Thai veg green curry and chicken red curry are both excellent and showcase the restaurant’s mastery over Thai cuisine.
The other main course dishes do not impress as much. Mofu tofu with hot bean sauce has no connection with the Cantonese classic mapo tofu. While the tofu is of good quality, the hot bean sauce is a bit weak. Chicken with black bean sauce could do with some black beans in the sauce. The sliced sole fish with rice wine is good and the sliced lamb with black pepper is competent. The vegetable fried rice is dry but the hakka noodles are reassuringly familiar.
In Chinese cuisine, desserts are always a challenge, and here the restaurant relies on more westernized ones for the final course. The chocolate brownie is good though somewhat dry, and the chocolate truffle pastry is unremarkable. The coconut caramel custard is interesting, but I wish the custard were more jiggly.
Overall the business lunch at Woks is an efficient, value for money offering. The service is graceful and willing to go an extra mile to take care of the guests exacting tastes. So go ahead, mix and match the meal to your own tastes, and enjoy your lunch.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.0 | Ambiance: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two: Rs 1600 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 12 Noon – 3 PM for lunch
Address: The Lalit, Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place, New Delhi | Phone: 91-8826998391/ +91-44447777; Ext: 334