In an era dominated by the ostentatious, The Farmer’s Wheelbarrow is a breath of fresh air (quite literally fresh). In the current humdrum of having sashimi flown in from Japan and allegedly ‘fresh’ caviar brought in from the Caspian Sea, the quintessential essence of local produce and simple seasonality lost its way along the line somewhere. “I believe in seasonality” Chef Baron tells us (the owner and lone chef at The Farmer’s Wheelbarrow), explicitly defining the ideology along which this establishment is based.
The ever-changing menu is kept propped by Baron’s kitchen garden and what he cannot obtain from his own farm is outsourced from local farmers ensuring freshness to the utmost degree. Those of you who plan to visit, disclaimer, this is not your run-of-the-mill restaurant, you can expect a series of narrow winding roads and a bit of a drive inside the labyrinth that is called Sainik Farms to get there. But upon arrival, prepare to be mesmerized by the surroundings that are more like the countryside than the capital – a welcome change I must admit. Especially true of the winters as al fresco dining really comes into its own in the rustic and homespun setting of the Farmer’s Wheelbarrow.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Baron in-between the flurry of delectable courses that he had prepared and presented.
What was the thought behind The Farmers Wheelbarrow?
CB: Well, my inclination and skill set all pointed in the direction of a charcuterie and a smokehouse (by which I mean a conventional grill such as the one here and not an electronic one). During my hunt for suitable locations, I stumbled upon a friend’s mothers farm that she was willing to lease out, I seized the opportunity with both hands as I wanted riddance from the hustle and bustle of the city and sought to give my patrons a relaxing experience by coming here. One of my greatest endeavours is to try and keep this place as niche as possible as I personally make it a point to cook every dish myself (except nominal help from my support staff) and furthermore intermingle with each and every guest (to which I can personally vouch).
What does the menu look like?
CB: The menu comprises of three options of five course tasting meals (a vegetarian, non-vegetarian and a seafood option), with an à la carte menu soon to be floated. While I opted for the seafood option, my companion chose the vegetarian meal, thereby allowing us the prospect of sampling much more. We were started off with the decadently presented potato poppers that had a filling of parmesan, pickled beetroot and were accompanied by a burnt mango chutney and balsamic red wine reduction.
Another delight and an aesthetical masterpiece from Baron’s veg selection came in the form of zucchini bruschetta that consisted of cream cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini and radish. Nothing has ever tasted as fresh and light. Which was immediately followed up with a peach of a calamari burger – if put quite simply in one word - ‘wow’.
However, an absolute show stopper was the entrée of steak, flawlessly grilled to a pink from the inside, and accompanied with a creamy mushroom sauce, potato stuffed with cream cheese and butter and with broccoli to round it off.
Next in line came the prawn ricotta ravioli which was to die for, served alongside sun dried tomato pesto sauce, pumpkin crumbs and basil pesto to round it off nicely.
The finale came in the form of chocolate strawberry lemon tart, with strawberry coulis and a sorbet. A word of advice here, do not linger about when it comes to the sorbet as you run the risk of it becoming a runny mess on your plate (despite the winters) as it did for me.
Pocket Pinch: Rs 2,600 for two people (approx.)
Contact: +91 85880 74566 (Note: Please make advance bookings as Chef Baron does not entertain walk in patrons)
Location: W-17 South Avenue, Block N, South Sainik Farms, New Delhi