If you’ve grown up in Delhi, there’s a chance that at some point, Essex Farms was a go-to place for you. Whether it’s New Year parties, picking up bakes along the way from Collections, or just dining in (there was even a bowling alley there in the early 2000s), it was one of South Delhi’s hotspots for quite a few years. While the spotlight had shifted from it for various reasons including the F&B scene in the Capital exploding, a series of revamps over the past four years have brought Essex Farms to the fore again.
One of these redesigns included the introduction of Cafe Tesu, which took over Collections in 2017. And, in these two years its artisanal coffee, global cuisine, and buzzing ambience has gained popularity. Now they’ve brought in a whole set of new additions to the table, and it’s the menu you’d want to try.
The Californian Salad is rather wholesome; none of that ‘two shards of each ingredient and we’ll call it a salad’. The greens interspersed with green apple, grapes, and feta make for a flavourful bowl, although the chicken ham didn’t impress as much, so I’d rather go for a vegetarian version of this. The Smoked Borya Chicken is their version of the chilli chicken, but expect an amped up sweet & chilli mix. The cubed chicken comes with a generous coating of the sweet sauce, tossed in bullet chillies—careful when biting into one of those Chinese chillies, it’s for those who can handle the heat.
The Sin Chao Corn is a dish that’s appearing across many tables in Delhi, and no one’s complaining. Corn kernels coated and fried in batter, tossed is Asian spices, and presented in an edible filo pastry-esque bowl. Great for snacking or a side order, this is comfort food 101. And if you’re a fan of dim sums, they’ve got a whole range to try. Literally melt in your mouth, the Spicy Chicken & Water chestnut, Cream Cheese & Spinach, and Shanghai Chicken Kothe are a must-try.
The perfect non-dessert round-up for the meal was their Chicken Steak. The steak is made with bacon bits, comes with a side of jacket potatoes, crispy asparagus, and one of the most tasteful rosemary jus. In one sentence, all the components on this plate have been done so nicely, you’d want to go back. Not new, but their Devi Coffee gave the meal good company—do give it a try the next time you’re at Cafe Tesu.
Where: Essex Farms, 4, Aurobindo Marg, near IIT Crossing
Contact: +9198737 04704
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 11:30 pm, all days
Recommended dishes: Smoked Borya Chicken, Sin Chao Corn, Chicken Steak
Price: Rs 1,500 for two, taxes extra
Noise levels: High