Don’t go by the name, the food and flowery ambience make you feel at home.
The moment I heard the name Dirty Apron, I expected a yelling mom, a chaotic kitchen, children running around, flour on the floor. Alas! None of this matched the cool, flowery ambience of this fine dining restaurant. Located in Delhi’s plush SDA market, this is right above The Piano Man. In fact, there are four eating places in that building, all owned by Arjun Sagar Gupta—The Piano Man, Jazz Club, Dirty Apron and Cake Away.
And the menu for all has been crafted by a woman who dons many hats—journalist, writer, baker, recipe collector—Ruchira Hoon Phillip. But all the menus are different, elucidated Phillip.
Much as we would have liked to eat our lunch in the lovely terrace garden, we all sat down in the air-conditioned cosy and light interiors. Here, the menu has been crafted for those who like to experiment with their palate. It’s neither fusion nor Indian, nor do you find heavy spices and oil floating on top. Hoon Philip calls it an inspiration from many countries and many ingredients, as it is primarily European Asian cuisine.
We tried quite a few dishes, but what I liked best was the Hungarian Mushroom soup. With fragrant herbs, mushrooms served with dollops of sour cream, this made for a good beginning. It was smooth and well blended. None of the soups on the menu are common such as Seafood Chowder, Vietnamese Chicken Pho and there’s even a Pumpkin and Peanut Butter soup.
The Beetroot, Orange and Feta salad was another cool dish. I liked the fresh ingredients, the way it had been tossed and the orange left a distinct flavour. An innovative option is the Pesto Chicken and Sundried Tomato salad.
Among the appetizers, must try are the Korean nachos and Steamed Aubergine with Sesame and Spring Onion. The nachos include a khimchi salsa which is truly like the khimchi I ate in Korea. And the different way of cooking aubergine makes it an interesting dish, as normally most of us tend to shirk from this bland veggie. Another great option is the Stuffed Mushroom Nonya Sauce. These went very well with our exotic cocktails laden with herbs and chillies and oranges.
The mini bakes I enjoyed were Ratatouille, Eggplant and Zucchini Parmigiana and Keemaroni. And ended the meal with Orange and Chilli Chocolate Mousse.
Of course, there is option galore among the non-vegetarian dishes. But the Massaman Grilled Snapper would have tasted better if it had been a little softer. When planning a visit to the Dirty Apron, be prepared for food which will make your taste buds tingle, eat it slowly and enjoy the music and the ambience.
Meal for two: Rs 2,000 plus taxes
Address: B6-7/22, 2nd Floor, Opposite Deer Park, Safdarjung Enclave Market, Safdarjung, New Delhi, Ph: 91-011-33107861