Sometimes, projects that are outside South Delhi hit the jackpot faster: you don’t have to cut through layers of pretence for one. Melting Pot is a new-look food-court atop a mall in Shalimar Bagh that includes a coffee lounge at one end, bar at another and a kids’ play area in a third. I visited while the place was so new that the neighbours had still not figured out that it was open.
The counters all obviously belong to the same owner: you can tell because of the complete coordination between them. Neither is there any need to carry cash – just fill a debit card with any amount of cash and every item you order will be swiped against it. Haven’t finished all your credit, but want to leave the food court? Pocket the card: it will be valid on your next trip, no matter when that is.
So what was the best thing I had? Besides the desserts which could have done a five star hotel proud, the Chicken Momos (Rs 60) from the Hot Wok section were juicy and actually had a texture inside a surprisingly fine wrapping plus an excellent chilli dip. Chicken Tikkas (Rs 100) from the Angar counter were melt-in-the-mouth yet had an assertive marinade and a tangy onion salad.
The Keema Kulcha Combo (Rs 85) from Angeethi was for the traditional palate, but suffered from too little keema in the kulcha. Chilli Chicken (Rs 110) was a surprising entry, that too right next to Fish with Black Bean: the classical and the streetside, juxtaposed together. Another counter, Mr. Rooster, had the tantalizingly named Half Roast Chicken (Rs 85) which turned out to be vaguely like the desi version of the Jamaican Jerk Chicken (completely unintentionally) in that it could be a western dish or an Indian one – there were few clues as to its real identity.
Extremely authentic was the Rajkachori (Rs 40), as opposed to the Chana Bhatura (Rs 70) whose chana just didn’t make the grade though the bhatura was as large as two put together.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the dessert section. I tried Strawberry Yoghurt Delight (Rs 65) and Australian Zucatto (Rs 65). Light sponge, sinful quantities of fresh cream, sophisticated dustings of cocoa or hand-picked strawberries – there’s some real talent here. And the best part is the low pricing.
Melting Pot, Food Court, Shop n Park Mall
3rd floor, near Shalimar Bagh Club, Shalimar Bagh
Alcohol licence awaited; no credit cards accepted
Open from 11 am to 11 pm
Average cost of a meal for two: Rs 300