Simple yet sophisticated: both the interiors and the food
Atmospherics: step off what passes as a pavement, and you’re inside this restaurant that is simple, elegant and charming, without a single unnecessary flourish. I have been to similar restaurants in Paris and London, where the accessories have been kept to a bare minimum and have been chosen for practicality and a certain restrained aesthetic. Every square inch of space has been justified and made use of, and if the tables have the bare minimum of space between them, it is because Plats (pronounced platz) is a mid-range bistro rather than a swanky restaurant. Unique in the city’s dining space, the owner-chefs are husband and wife. In the evening shift, their adorable infant is carried into Platz, where she spends a quiet evening with her parents close by. After 9 pm, the restaurant is packed to the rafters, with not a single empty seat. And while they take table reservations, they will wait 15 minutes before giving it to someone else: eminently fair, given the size of the place.
Table talk: While there is no sign telling meat-eaters to keep out, vegetarians will have the time of their lives here. Around 60% of the menu has most original vegetarian options that include roast pumpkin, latkes and mushrooms of all kinds. My liver parfait choux buns with onion jam (Rs 495) were light, airy, could have been shared between five people and espoused the cooking philosophy of chefs Jamsheed and Hanisha. Grilled Turkish lamb meatballs with pomegranate molasses, pistachio and feta labneh, lavash (Rs 525) could have been anywhere on the shores of the Bosphorus, such were the true-to-type flavours. My main course was grilled stuffed Portobello mushroom with tomme cheese, mashed potato and seasonal greens (Rs 675). I had no idea that this variety of large, fleshy mushrooms were grown in the country: they are a textural treat for everybody, vegetarian or not. Trust Plats to go the extra mile for their mashed potatoes. It is usually a stone cold, rubbery abomination that no self-respecting diner would dream of finishing. In this restaurant, it has been taken to an art form, like that of Joel Robuchon. My dining companion pronounced his charcoal grilled steak, bone marrow crust, baked potato mash, sautéed mushrooms, truffle jus (Rs 775) one of the finest in this city.
Plus and minus: What! No soup!!
Must try: smoked aubergine croquettes; wild mushroom grilled cheese sandwich; single origin dark chocolate souffle tart
Food: 4, Service: 3.75, Décor: 3.75
C-51, Shivalik Road, Malviya Nagar,
Open from 12.30 pm to 11 pm
Credit cards; no alcohol
Meal for two: Rs 2,000