It was an unplanned Saturday night dinner with friends and every time such whimsical spur-of-the-moment plans land us up in Satya Niketan. This time, we decided to go to Crazy Kitchen – a rooftop cafe bang opposite to Venkateshwara College. The 100-step climb might be a bit putting off, but the food and ambience will surely compensate for the ordeal. The mosaic floor strikes a contrast with the bamboo furniture and the white, high-backed Victorian chairs. The hanging plants in pots, multi-coloured glass lanterns and rolled up jute blinds lend an earthy feel to the place.
As we settled down in this cottage-themed cafe, a gaunt smiling host in geek frames handed us the menu. The spread offered is a combination of Italian, Mexican, American and Chinese. We ordered for Lime Mojito (INR 100) to begin with. The beverage arrived within 15 minutes. We chatted on, often peeping over the railings to spot cars and youngsters huddled up in groups, or staring at the jet black sky sprinkled with a few stars here and there, sipping from the jar of perfection. The blending of lime cordial, mint and sugar syrup was just too good.
In another 15-20 minutes came the starters – Talumein soup (INR 130) and grilled chicken with lime, honey and Sriracha sauce (INR 200). The tenderly grilled meat was pierced in long toothpick-like sticks and lined on a dustpan. It was generously smeared with honey, lemon and Sriracha – a sauce made with chilli pepper paste, garlic, distilled vinegar, salt and sugar. The mix of flavours was interesting and as one bites into the succulent chicken, a tangy and mildly sweet aftertaste lingers on the tongue.
The piping hot soup was served in a gamma-sized arty ceramic cup and had ample shredded chicken. It was thick and tasty, but not extraordinary.
Lined up next was Portuguese rice with grilled chicken and Alfredo sauce. You are sure to be overwhelmed by the portions. I also have to give it to Jai, the smart bespectacled owner, for wonderfully plating the dishes. The potato wedges served with the bordering-on-spicy red rice were simply out of this world. Seasoned with salt and a dash of pepper, it was crispy on the outside and soft and juicy inside. The Alfredo sauce was frothy, cheesy, and smooth and was dotted with chicken chunks. It tastes good with the Portuguese rice. But the rice in itself tastes fantastic. However, the grilled chicken breasts were a bit fibrous.
I loved this dish, but the self-proclaimed ‘food critic’ partner argued that the Peri Peri chicken he ordered was way tastier. It was served with smoked rice, grilled chicken breasts and an assortment of sautéed veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini and carrots. The sauce served in a cupcake mould was awesome (our opinion could be a bit biased as we harbour a certain soft corner for Peri Peri sauce) and so was the smoked rice. Though tossed in mild spices, the rice retained its original flavour.
We had thought of ending the day with a milkshake (as the cafe does not offer desserts), but amidst the unaccounted for banter, we forgot to take note of time. When we ordered shakes, it was well past 11.30 p.m. and they had stopped taking orders. But those with a sweet tooth need not be disheartened. You can pamper your dessert craving at The Chocolate Room which is a next-door neighbour to this rooftop cafe. This place is a must visit for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians if you want to enjoy good food at a pocket-friendly price and in an old-world ambience.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Timings: 11 AM – 11 PM
Address: 109, Near Shiv Mandir, Satya Niketan, South, Delhi NCR,
Phone: (+91) 9899077884
Cost for two: INR 600-700.