The most unpretentious eatery in Crosspoint Mall
Atmospherics: if you are of a certain age, you probably look back with nostalgia at the restaurants that Delhi used to be graced with. Good old eateries where you would visit with your parents and order a mix of dishes, jumbled up across the continents. There was nothing called fine dining, café, resto-bar or any of the labels that we accord restaurants today. Neither was there authenticity, in the absence of widespread foreign travel or the internet: there was just food that we liked or we didn’t! In those days, restaurant décor did not cost crores or even lakhs of Rupees: the mood just had to be convivial. Exactly why Culture Café reminded me of a restaurant in the 1980s is the complete lack of pretentiousness, the lack of expensive furniture and the happy convivial mood. The management had invested wisely in a good sound system and had a classy playlist that would please a wide variety of customers. Some tables were simply wooden boxes on wheels and sofas were slatted wood!
Table talk: you will be spoilt for choice. Momos, pizzas, unashamed Indian Chinese, Lebanese mezze, butter chicken and dal makhni – there’s nothing that you won’t get here. I started with a New England clam chowder (seafood) (Rs 241). Creamy with a hint of cheese and generous amounts of shrimp, it certainly hit the spot on a bitingly cold winter’s evening. In the international section where one popular dish from a sprinkling of countries around the globe is represented, I chose Lebanese platter. There were three choices of components. For Rs 421, I was served three flavours of hummus, a serving of baba ghanoush, pickles and falafel with pita bread. You could cavil and say that the pickles were not sour, but Culture Café and its cheery, friendly staff promises you food that tastes good, without necessarily being at the cutting edge of authenticity. Bunny Chow from South Africa (Rs 591) is another option on the international section. It is served in a (very) soft, large bun split and filled with curried mutton. You eat a morsel of both bun and meat together: it makes a filling meal for one person. Finish your meal with samosas filled with chopped apples.
Plus and minus: Tables number 20-22 are in a tiny, cosy ante-room.
Must try: Maa ki dal, Pahadi mutton rahra, berries and cream waffles
Food: 3.50; Service: 3.50; Décor: 3.50
2nd floor, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase 4,
Open 9 am to 11.30 pm
Credit Cards accepted; alcohol served
Meal for two: Rs 1,200