By Maitreyi Nandhakumar

“With great food comes great responsibility.” While Uncle Ben might not appreciate our twist on his Spiderman quote, the restaurants opening shop in town are surely living up to it. Here’s what’s new in town.

IVY & BEAN

With lanterns lighting up the path leading to the restaurant, Ivy and Bean, housed on the first floor of a building in Shahpur Jat, is a quaint, cozy establishment with oodles of charm. Named after an Australian series of children’s books about two dramatically different friends {each table has one book from the series under the glass top}, the food here is dramatically different – a play of contrasting ingredients that work together surprisingly well.

The restaurant menu announces modern Australian fare – though drawing heavily from European, South-Asian, American and Mediterranean influences – along with a strong inclination towards seafood. We skipped the inviting All Day Breakfast and dove straight into the mains. The Roast Pumpkin and Toasted Almond Soup kicked off our awesome meal, and we just couldn’t get enough of the Butter Garlic Prawns and Roast Garlic Lamb Chops. The milkshakes were too sweet and milky for our liking, but the Tiramisu hit all the right {sweet} spots.  Set in mason jars, it had a good dose of Kahlua, and turned out to be quite a ‘boozy ‘affair.

Dotted with glittering glass-jars-turned-lamps, the terrace evokes the kind of feeling that spreads a warm glow though your body. An entire wall is taken up by a gigantic bookshelf, with mostly books from the owner’s personal library; took us back to pre-flipkart days, where we’d spend hours sifting through books at stores. The restaurant owners’ idea is that of an “honesty library” – where you can read while you eat, borrow the book, and return it as you wish {as long as you replace it with another}. We’re seriously hoping the idea catches on!

Where | 119 Sishan House, Shahpur Jat

Must Try | Butter Garlic Prawns, Roast Garlic Lamb Chops and Tiramisu

Price {approx.} | INR 1,000 for two

Facebook Page | Click here

Note: They have free WiFi; so a book from the library, or an article off your phone, the terrace is the perfect space to sit and read.

HUNGRY MONKEY

Nestled in the somewhat forgotten market of Safdarjung is the chic-estnew place in town. Sprawled over two floors, Hungry Monkey, the newresto-bar, is fast gaining a fan following. The restaurant is done up with elegant wooden interiors, worn out white brick walls and wrought iron beams, and has beautiful typography of quotes on display. We were super impressed with the detailing – brass inlaid typography on our table, travel books showcased on shelves, strategically placed potted plants et al. But it was the food that had us ‘burgering ‘ for more.

With a short yet crisp menu {not too many options for vegetarians}, the food attempts to bring a Californian twist to European cuisine. We can’t really tell what that means, but we’re more than willing to spend a sunny day at a California beach with their “Bomb”{tenderloin burger}. Soft, succulent meat between perfectly toasted bread, served with crisp fries, the burger silenced the whole table; everyone was focused on their meal! As lovers of all things cheesy {food and movies}, we also recommend the truffle Mac and Cheese, for it’s flavourful rendition of a classic, tweaked just right.

With the minimalistic and clean layout, mood lighting, and alcohol license on its way, this is your go-to place for any kind of date. But try to refrain from any ‘monkey’ business, or not!

Where | B 6/6 DDA Market, Opposite Deer Park, Safdarjung Enclave,New Delhi

Must Try | Bomb Burger, Truffle oil Mac and Cheese

Price {approx.} | INR 2000 for two

Facebook Page | Click here

Note: Reserve a table; this place fills up pretty fast even on Weekdays.

Image Credits: https://www.facebook.com/ivyandbeanindia