Somehow, the idea of a beautifully designed restaurant in a surprising location that runs without PR hype vastly appeals to me. That is what New Town Café is all about. Located in a largely residential part of Noida, it has an international feel, is home to swarms of westerners who feel comfortable in its all-white, airy interiors and has a way better-than-average menu, with enough in it to cater to all sections of its very eclectic clientele.
Upstairs is a warm, convivial branch of The Great Kebab Factory that affords an excellent view of the twinkling lights of Noida. On the ground floor, as part of the lobby, New Town Café’s menu consists of sandwiches, oriental food, western and Indian. Nothing is pretentious, but it does have very tasty food all the same, whatever you choose. The meal actually starts with an excellent bread basket far better than other coffee shops offer. It is not easy getting good, crusty bread with a mildly chewy texture for some reason, but you’ll get it here. Washed down with lashings of cream of wild mushroom soup (Rs 165), it’s a light meal when you don’t want to order too much. The restaurant, however, would be well advised to decrease the amount of starch in the soup and increase the mushroom stock for a perfect balance.
The wild mushroom risotto (Rs 325) is absolutely perfect. The service staff cautions you that it is going to be a long wait for the risotto (to make it from scratch it takes 20 minutes — anything less and you know you are being fobbed off with half-cooked rice, which no Italian would countenance). I specifically asked for my risotto to be made al dente, and it was! It is a feat that not too many restaurants in Delhi accomplish. The risotto had the depth of flavour that came from the mushroom stock that was used.
A close second in terms of excellence of preparation was the NTC focaccia sandwich (Rs 275). Open faced, it was topped with slices of grilled zucchini and bell pepper, drizzled with lashings of buffalo mozzarella and served with reduced balsamic vinegar. I can only describe it as a pizza-in-a-hurry — it had all the makings of one, but at a fraction of the calories.
Other treats on the menu include a startlingly authentic nasi goreng (Rs 425), presentation and all. I asked for (and got) extra shrimp paste in my rice. There were shrimp crackers-on the side, two chicken satays and sliced cucumber and tomato. In other words, the classic original from Indonesia in the heart of Noida.
All this is in addition to a buffet at lunch and dinner.
Park Plaza, C Block, Sector 55, Noida
Tele: 0120 4678888
Open from : 7 am to 1 am
Average cost for two: Rs.1000/-
Alcohol served; Credit cards accepted