Located in the bustling area of Nehru Place in New Delhi, SWAD breathes an air of colour and multiplicity, much like the city itself.
Wide, vibrant window panes welcome wandering hungry souls to its doorstep. I was a little unsure of what this all-new pure vegetarian multi-cuisine restaurant had in store for me. It was a delight when this tasting opportunity came to me, for my rather recent vegetarian lifestyle had become a tad bit dull. Accompanied by my vegetarian partner, the first thing that we noticed when we entered was the eclectic seating arrangement and pop of colours—the interiors at SWAD definitely suited my taste with its Irani cafe inspired decor, chequered floors, elevated private spaces and portraits beaming with vivid scenes from around India.
Some good Hindi music, good company and great coolers are an excellent way to be a recluse to the Dilli sun. Sweat and heaving aside, the pleasant summer coolers that the restaurant offered were Aam Panna and watermelon cooler. As much as the drinks did quench our thirst, they were also mediocre and could have done with lesser artificial flavours to exaggerate the flavours of the said drinks.
To feel overwhelmed is an understatement when I talk about the number of starters we were presented with. The quality of food is par excellence because you can taste the amount of thought that has been put into every bite of what you take in. Dahi Bhallas have perpetually been Dilli's favourite street food as well as its identifier. And rightly so! Refreshing, crunchy, crumbly and oozing out the goodness of yoghurt and chutneys, this starter was a tour down Dilli's chaat corners. The vegetarian momo platter had us confused with the colours, but, there's a hint: the colours are the biggest giveaways; the spinach momos in green, corn momos in yellows and your standard vegetable momos in translucent casings of flour, these were an explosion of different flavours in the mouth. The crunchy water chestnut spring rolls and mini jini dosas did not fail to impress either. However, the winner on the table was undoubtedly, the mock meat for vegetarians: the soya bean ki kebab with mint air. I never imagined liking any vegetable kebab as much but SWAD surprised us with these sticks of joy- tender, light and extremely flavourful. These soya kebabs are a starter that you must try!
I am grateful that we didn't stop at the starters because the main course was one of the biggest highlights of the dining experience. Dal makhani, paneer lababdar and soya chaap accompanied with tandoori rotis came with a twist—vegetable red Thai curry and fragrant rice. What a delicious combo!
I didn't even try to resist dessert? I heard our server mention moong dal halwa. Yes, he had me at halwa. What came to our table was pure dessert-fest—a white plate with kulfi placed on a pool of cold rabri, gulab jamun and moong dal halwa as its neighbours. This plate is enough to kill you with its homely, simple and sweet taste. All's well that ends well and I couldn't agree more.
SWAD's menu puts vegetables in the spotlight, featuring sourced and seasonal ingredients. The kitchen is purely vegetarian and absolutely no animal fat is used in the preparation of any dish. The restaurant specialises in gourmet street food with modern Indian flavours. While half the menu has Indian food, the other half has European, American, Asian, Mediterranean and Italian cuisines.
43, Ground Floor, Chiranjivi Tower, NehruPlace, New Delhi,110019, New Delhi, Delhi 110019