You could be in a drawing room when you visit this charming, well-appointed room that is a combination of Good Earth taste and Ritu Dalmia’s food. On the face of it, it is a winning combination. It is tucked away in Good Earth, Khan Market, on the second floor and has an interesting patterned ceiling, overstuffed sofas and a distinctly un-restaurant look. The menu is a pastiche of western and oriental starters, salads and main courses. Latitude is not about hearty eating, but about light, elegant meals.
Zucchini and Feta Cheese Fritters (Rs 280) are an ugly joke. They’re not fritters, but cutlets where the zucchini and feta recede into the background and an unpleasant oiliness takes centrestage. My understanding of fritters is like tempura: slices of the main ingredient with a batter covering; crispness is desirable. This version is avoidable.
The rest of the meal was far, far better. Arabic Bread with Halloumi Cheese (Rs 240) is an elegant snack where the za’taar actually lends its flavour to the bread and the halloumi is a dip. Even better was the Duo of Pate with Bread (Rs 240). Chicken liver was the non vegetarian choice and on the day of my visit, Kalamata olives the vegetarian one, but the latter changes daily. The chicken liver pate is made the classic way, with a drop of brandy for added richness. Served with melba toast, if you are a fan of pate, here’s where you can get your regular fix.
Sliced Honey-glazed Ham with Potato Salad (Rs 320) is an elegant preparation, representative of the kitchen at Latitude. Thickly sliced potatoes were cooked so that they had a bite and napped with a creamy dressing. Two folds of ham decorated the plate. Simple, classic and strictly no fuss.
Oriental salad of Mixed Greens with Roasted Sunflower Seeds and Soy Chilli Dressing (Rs 430) is vintage Dalmia. The lettuce and rocket leaves arranged artfully on a plate, the drizzle of dressing, the steamed prawns butterflied – it’s the Diva core competence at work. It’s the same case with Salad Leaves, Apple, Almond Slices, Goat Cheese with Balsamic Dressing (Rs 380). It is attractively put together and the flavours work beautifully.
In the main courses, Vegetarian Massaman Curry with Rice (Rs 350) would have easily been the best dish on the menu had it not been for a curious choice of vegetables. Instead of aubergine and pumpkin, there is bell pepper, potato and – hold your breath – onions and the whole curry becomes a curious blend of South East Asia meets indeterminate country. The curry, let it be said, is rich and flavourful and does not come from a packet – it is made in the kitchen periodically. It is one of the best versions in the city today, and could easily give five star speciality restaurants a run for their money.
Pan-grilled Fillet of Sole with Semolina Crust, Lemon and Black Pepper Sauce (Rs 450) was pleasant.
Do leave place for dessert, always the best part of a meal in a Ritu Dalmia restaurant. I had a wonderful Carrot Cake that was neither too sweet nor too rich. Tiramisu and a Baileys Mousse Cake were options that looked decadent that I had to (regretfully) pass up.
9, Khan Market, above Good Earth
Open from 11 am to 11 pm
Average cost of a meal for two: Rs 1,800
Credit cards; no alcohol