Trust the Oberois to do things in style. The much awaited patisserie and delicatessen that has come up on the ashes of the old Kandahar is all set to redefine luxury nibbles. First of all the space spells luxe living and spaciousness, there is seating space for 16, and the displays, merchandise, even the machinery is no less than sumptuous.
On the day of my visit, the show-stopper was a ladies handbag and a pair of red high-heel sandals both made of marzipan, appropriately coloured. Nearby was a chocolate sculpture, a well-stocked wine cabinet, a ham slicer that cost as much as a luxury sedan and a display of chocolates that would have been the envy of a Parisian chocolatier.
Have you seen spicy Calabrian salami, San Danielle ham, real farmhouse Cheddar cheese (that is, made in Somerset, not the variety that’s made in Gurgaon!) or Valrhona chocolates on your last trip and wished you could get them in Delhi? Well, now you can. There are other goodies too: real Kalamata olives from Greece, cold-pressed olive oil from Sicily, breads the likes of which we in Delhi have hardly seen, even macaroons which have just about started making their presence felt in our city.
What impressed me the most was the subtle, gracious manner in which a variety of tastes had been catered for. There was gorgonzola cheese (Rs 100 for 100 grams for all varieties) and goat cheese from Piedmont for the dyed-in-the-wool cheese lover, but there were also Edam, Gouda and Emmanthal for the less adventurous.
It is the same with virtually every product – the depth within each range shows you the intensity of research that has gone into the Oberoi Patisserie & Delicatessen. After all, this has been over a year in the conceptualizing, and the attention to detail shows.
Besides the displays which you can pick up to take home, there are a range of sandwiches, shakes and desserts that you can order and enjoy in supremely civilized surroundings. I had the Valrhona chocolate marquise (Rs 325), a sumptuous dessert with an interesting contrast of chocolate textures and intensities as well as the lemon sorbet (Rs 300) an interesting drink short on tang but high on flavour.
Where there is scope for improvement is in the macaroons. The best ones come from Paris and are soft and buttery, with thinnest possible crisp crust and a creamy filling that highlights the macaroon itself. In the absence of superior flavourings, fine almond powder and sophisticated colours, The Oberoi’s macaroons have a bit of catching to do with international standards. For most other things, the cognoscenti of the city are in for a treat.
Dr Zakir Hussain Marg
Average cost of a meal for two: Rs 2,000
Credit cards accepted; alcohol served