It was love at first sight for me
Atmospherics: Every time you think that Rajouri Garden is too full of eateries for another one to crop up, another one crops up! This latest has a snazzy name and unique concept. Too Indian is a café, retail store and bar (which also serves hookahs). It is easy enough to contact a few multi-nationals selling ingredients, but owner Varun Puri has gone the extra mile and put together the cookies, pickles and preserves of home cooks, as well as commercial chefs whose spice blends have never been for sale before. The entire eatery has pockets to appeal to various sections, including comfortable sofas for the elderly (an important Rajouri Garden demographic). The amuse bouche that is given to every table is a ‘secret garden’ in the shape of a tray, complete with ice lolly.
Table talk: The presentations look completely unlike their traditional counterparts. But close your eyes and pop a bite into your mouth: you will be able to differentiate between dahi bhalla and papdi chaat, though there is no puri or bhalla. The magic of it all is that there is no molecular intervention either. The youthful team of chefs have worked at creating illusions of the gustatory kind without having to resort to droppers and sodium alginate. Like any other menu, some dishes work better than others. I loved Is this dahi bhalla (Rs 195) that consisted of slices of what appeared to be ice-creams with a sprinkling of sev. The chit chat chaat (Rs 145) was three layers of fine phyllo pastry, with Mumbai ragda pattice and aloo tikka and droplets of mango mint chutney and tamarind glaze. Galawat toast (Rs 345) was the highlight of my meal: the toast turned to have been ulta tawa parathas in miniature and the galawat was served in a jar like a pate. If khandani cooks continue to display their notorious reticence to share their recipes, the original recipe will be forgotten in a couple of years and Too Indian’s version will be accepted as the definitive version. Mutton pepper fry (Rs 450) was pulled lamb with the spices of the south, while expectedly butter chicken (Rs 375) made its appearance in an expectedly conventional avatar.
Plus and minus: look out for Varun Puri and his merry boys. They seem invincible.
Must try: Indo Persian kebab, baingan bharta, modern sabzi mandi
Food: 3.75, Service: 3.75, Décor: 3.75
A 39 Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden
Open from 12 noon to 11 pm
Meal for two: Rs 1800
Credit cards; alcohol licence awaited