As I swung open the door of Market Cafe, I was greeted by trance music, minimal décor, and a slightly shy staff. As me and my wife settled down in one of the corners overlooking a small garden, we started to make sense of the setting. The decor looked experimental in patches. Glass lanterns hanging from wooden ceilings were in contrast with blue mosaic work on walls. I wished this 40-seater restaurant had a French window. It is always a happy distraction, at least for me.
I glanced through the menu and found it to be a curious combination of Indian, Chinese, and Continental. To while away the time before the starter arrives, we ordered Blue Heaven (INR 195). It was definitely pricey for a small glass of curacao syrup and lime fizz.
It took them almost 20 minutes to serve the starter. We had ordered Chicken Sautey (INR 450). Grilled and seasoned meat, pierced by a wooden stick, is served with peanut sauce. It reminds you of seekh kebab, although it has a mild taste. If you are carrying a baggage of expectation, this Indonesian delicacy might not give you the best impression to begin with.
Next in line was Fish Khau Sey (INR 475), a dish that the Burmese proudly call their own. You have a choice of rice and noodles to have with boneless balls of basa fish cooked with coconut milk. Believed to have been a staple food in mountainous regions, the dish is served with all the condiments that can keep you warm: deep-fried onion, peanuts, fried noodles, roasted slices of garlic, and slices of lemon to bring that tangy taste.
If you have ever tried Thai Green Curry, this one will be a déjà vu for you.
However, Khao Suey (or Khow Suey) is not meant to be prepared the way we do in India. As the resident chef enlightens me, it is nothing but a Burmese soup with noodles in it. It generally has thinner gravy than what was served to us. “We modify the concept of Khao Suey by making the gravy thicker. That’s how we have converted a soup into a main course”, he added.
The end was sweeter than we had expected. We had settled for something less experimental – Brownie Swizzle (INR 215) – a hot brownie of an impressive size and a generous portion of vanilla. Except for the ordinary taste of the starter and coolers, the place scored decently on other parameters.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
LOCATION: M-40, First Floor, Greater Kailash (GK) 2, New Delhi
TIMINGS: 12 PM to 12:30 AM
PRICE FOR TWO: INR 1500 – 2000