Miss fine-dining in Mumbai? Visit Elan at The Lodhi to experience a mouthful of Mumbai via a lavish global fare brought to you by The Table, Colaba, all this week.
The letters t i n g slowly crawled away from my mental dictionary, leaving me with only d i e out of the word ‘dieting’ as soon as The Table, Mumbai decided to bring their dynamic spread to Delhi’s The Lodhi. It’s because I’d rather die than not indulge in The Table’s exquisite menu, which for the first time, is seeing the light of day in the Capital city. In what is possibly the most unexpected but much-needed F&B crossover of 2021 so far, The Table’s first-ever pop-up in Delhi is a big deal for gourmands.
Started by Gauri Devidayal and Jay Yousuf, who used to work as a tax consultant and a computer engineer, respectively, before turning into restaurateurs in 2011, The Table remains at the forefront of Indian hospitality, winning several accolades over the years. Located behind Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, it has amassed a massive Bollywood following, too. Living and working in different countries helped the dynamic duo set a foundation for their dining choices, which is largely international — American, Italian, French, Cantonese, Thai, Japanese, and more. Their menu at The Table, however, is very San-Francisco-inspired. You can sense and taste it through ingredients, accents, nuances that offer a commitment to simplicity and purity of flavour. For this pop-up at Elan, Devidayal and Yousuf added their signature dishes such as the Australian Lamb Shank and Seafood Bisque, among others, to the menu.
The Lodhi, on the other hand, sits proudly at the heart of the city, summoning well-travelled patrons to its fine-dining restaurants. Amidst the pandemic, as the cases surge in the second wave once again, they ensure safety precautions such as social distancing and separate cutlery, along with mandatory masks for staff and sanitisation at every doorstep.
To beat the searing heat, I started my lunch with The Table Mary. It’s Bloody Mary made with Tito’s Vodka and their secret spice mix. Take it from someone who isn’t a fan of tomatoes in drinks — it was rather refreshing. And the other two recommended drinks are Christopher’s Discovery (a Jim Beam-infused cocktail with pineapple juice, ginger, lime, mango falernum, and fernet branca) and Citrus Highball (a gin-based cocktail with Yuzu, orange juice, lime, and tonic).
As much as I would have enjoyed the buzz sans food, I was looking forward to the palatable hedonism that began with a plate of Shitake-Asparagus Dumplings. Light and mild, The Table believes in making the ingredients stand out. The flavours of the mushroom broth and scallion oil were not undermined by the piquancy of the dumpling filling. Seafood is their speciality, so naturally, one can’t overlook the Tiger Prawns and the Pan Roasted Crab Cake, which melts in your mouth like butter.
The main course at The Table moves away from seafood, offering a multi-cuisine sensory explosion. Taglierini Pasta, a black truffle pasta, probably comes closest to how the Italians would make it. If you don’t believe it, ask a friend who’s been to Italy. Another in-house recommended item on the mains list is the Red Wine Risotto. Australian Lamb Shank is the pièce de résistance at The Table. In all honesty, if there’s one thing you must try here, it is this. Braised in red wine that is not overpowering, the deliciously tender lamb and the smooth texture of the potato puree complements the crispy onions. Absolutely wholesome and well-prepared!
The Table’s classic clientele is old money, well-travelled, and experimental, and in Mumbai, it is mainly South Bombay. This is what Gauri Devidayal tells me after a chance encounter at The Lodhi. Through a smörgåsbord of international flavours, The Table promotes an experiential delight that takes you across different tables at different places in the world. And it is why Delhiites need to reserve seating at Elan — for Mumbai’s plush fine-dining experience is more viable than a ticket to Mumbai at the moment.
When: April 9 – April 18, 2021
Price: Rs 4,000 for two (approx.)
Ambience: Sophisticated and well-informed
Timings: Lunch (12:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Dinner (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm); Brunch (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: The Lodhi, Lodhi Road, CGO Complex, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
All images: Courtesy The Table