Lights Camera Action- the Air Bar in Rajouri Garden, the latest baby of restauranters Varun Puri and Viveik Bhargav, opened around the end of May, and my good friend and guffing buddy, Sneha of The Kitchen Espion and I were invited to come try what was on offer. Now I'll be honest, the idea of going all the way from Gurgaon to Rajouri Garden in peak summer seemed a little too painful. But I had been hearing so many good things about LCA, and boy was I glad I did make it there!
Too often you to a bar and you think, 'Ok, decent drinks, interesting ambience and some ok food'. Not so with Lights Camera Action or LCR for short. This is not some average run-of-the-mill bar. It's a place for good food that's unabashedly Indian and very quirky. It's a fun place that has a real filmy Hollywood-Bollywood ambience that's quite trendy. But most importantly it's a place where the emphasis is very much on the FOOD! They are also doing some really interesting things with Molecular Gastronomy, to which I confess I know nothing about, but I was quite bowled over by what I saw and tasted.
So First things First... The Drinks
This was probably the only area where I was disappointed. Sneha & I both ordered margaritas and we both felt the lemon/lime used was not fresh as the drink had a very bitter aftertaste, even after we requested they make our drinks a little sweeter. That's it, my only criticism. The rest of our experience was great!
The large, Bollywood inspired menu has something for everyone, vegetarians and carnivores alike! First up, chef Aman, the young and talented head chef at LCA suggested we try the Dahi Puchka (Dahi Puri) shot. It's a deceptively simple name for what is essentially a sexed up version of a very popular Indian chaat that is sweet, salty, spicy & cooling all at once. The LCA Dahi Puckha is created using liquid nitrogen and is so refreshing, innovative and elegant to look at.
The oh-so-sexy looking Dahi Puckha shot
Next up we tried Rajnikanth chai, which was one of my favorites. Hot rasam is poured from an aluminium tea pot into a cutting glass having fried curry leaves and fresh coconut milk dehydrated using maltodextrin powder. It's really a wonderful take on a rasam and I loved this one, from its tongue-in-cheek name to its taste.
The Chammak Challo salad was next up and was a light and refreshing salad of orange segments, lettuce and red peppers. We also tried the Rara Gosht Quesadilla which was good and the Chicken Chameli which was basically really juicy tandoori chicken.
The Chammak Challo salad
Chicken Chameli served in a mini tandoor
The last savoury thing we tried was the show stopper as far as I was concerned. Simply called Dhokla Chaat, this dish had everything, drama, innovation and it tasted DIVINE! I couldn't stop eating it! This delicious dish is made right in front of you and consists of all the classic ingredients of dhokla chaat, but presented in a totally new way. Chef Aman uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the curd and I loved to contrast of the icey curd with the crispy fried spinach leaves and the nitrogen dhokla. This is a must try in my books!
Click here for more images on the dramatic process of creating this Dhokla Chaat
We were pretty stuffed by now, but we made room for a taste of the Jalebi Churros which can only be described as YUMMY!
We visited LCA in the afternoon, but it was still pretty crowded and had a good vibe, so I can only imagine how buzzing it must be at night. A definite must visit, if you like innovative takes on Indian food. I plan on taking the hubs there coz I'm sure he would love the veg fare on offer :)
[All images by Shalini Pereira. Please do not use without prior written permission]