Kala Ghoda Fort
Meal for 2: Rs 1,300
Here’s a quick quiz for restaurant-hoppers. Which new dishes are almost mandatory on the menus of new cafes these days? What objects are favourites when it comes to restaurant decor? If you order a drink, in what container is it likely to be served? Those unsure should head to 145—a hip, popular cafe at Kala Ghoda that seems to encapsulate all the trends du jour. The menu features the current favourites—from Nutella pancakes to kheema pao to teriyaki chicken bao. The decor involves a ceiling installation made from steel buckets, sponges, shuttlecocks, plastic ducks, kadhais and smiley balls. While the rather impractical tableware involves slabs of stone, jam jars, metal buckets and old milk bottles.
As we settle down on the already-scuffed sofas, we wonder if 145 will manage to stand out. We get our answer soon as the dishes start arriving.
The Pork Sliders (Rs 275)—pulled, barbecued pork in tiny brioche buns—are soft, saucy morsels. The Hummus Pita Spiced Chicken (Rs 225) is subtly flavoured. The Raan Bao (Rs 225) provides a wonderful contrast between fluffy bao and raan in rich red gravy. The Indonesian Nasi Goreng (Rs 350) is perfectly spiced fried rice, generously endowed with prawns and chicken. While the Butter Chicken Bunny Chow (Rs 375)—a South African street food where curry is served on a crusty bun—is a winner. In fact, the only disappointment is the Aam Aadmi Toast (Rs 175)—a slightly modified Kejriwal that lacks the punch of the original. The dessert is equally successful. The Blueberry Pancake (Rs 225) is topped with delicate blueberry compote. The Black Forest Waffle’s (Rs 225) cream and chocolate topping is spectacular. But the Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel Filling (Rs 195) is certainly the dessert of the day. Clearly, 145, with its large, airy rooms and smiling staff, has a great vibe.