Intro: One of the largest restaurants in Connaught Place
Atmospherics: whether you choose to sit outside on the two terraces, inside the large naturally lit all-white restaurant, at the bar, in the private dining area or in the nightclub, Ambrosia Bliss embodies the new wave of restaurants that have started to dot Connaught Place: something for everyone. I have been there in the midst of a noisy family party, but have been seated in a tranquil spot, thanks to its sheer size. It is always dark and dimly lit in the night club, but the restaurant works because of the range of customers it is able to satisfy. It is just around the corner from Haldiram’s and though it is situated on the second floor, there’s a lift. The best part is the realistic pricing.
Table talk: On the whole, the long menu works, simply because the restaurant is visited by the full sweep of demographics, from the adventurous to the extremely conservative. Our Thai kwai soup (Rs 230) was a steal for the volume of soup and the amount of seafood – chopped shrimp, fish, crabstick – flavoured with a hint of lemongrass. Kashundi fish tikka (Rs 440) in which fillets of sole were marinated in curd and a hint of kashundi. Being a huge fan of this Bengali mustard, I would have liked to have more of a punch, but you cannot hope to cater to all tastes and ladle out strong ethnic flavours! Stir-fried lemon sole (Rs 440) turned out to be Chinese-inspired and featured basa in a clinging, tangy sauce. It was a good idea to have Afghani manto (Rs 330) on the menu, because it is rarely seen outside Afghani joints in Bhogal and Lajpat Nagar. The ‘momos’ from Afghanistan are napped with whipped yoghurt, rajma and powdered mint. If you are not adventurous enough to visit an Afghani eatery, this is the next best thing. In another league were the pizzas. Everybody does Italian style pizzas with varying degrees of authenticity, but it takes a certain genius to go the desi way. The keema curry is a masterpiece of east-west amalgamation, though the cheese was at odds with the green chillies. The sugarfree lemon cake (Rs 330) was good enough to warrant another visit.
Plus and minus: Do sit on the terraces in this perfect weather. The Lebanese manakish was the one disappointment.
Food: 3.50, Service: 3.00, Décor: 3.50
Must try: Smoked chicken and quinoa salad; chicken sukka; silken tofu in Hunann sauce
L 51-54 Connaught Place, Outer Circle
Alcohol served, cards accepted
Open from 11.30 am to 12 midnight
Meal for two: Rs 2,500