The ongoing Seafood Fiesta at Lodi — The Garden Restaurant is a mixed platter of good and disappointing dishes

There are some restaurants in Delhi which are always on top of the list of couples because of their ambience rather than their food. One such place is Lodhi — The Garden Restaurant. Private gazebos, candlelight and pleasant greenery around makes the milieu quite romantic.

I am a regular at the restaurant, but this time I am here specifically to explore the ongoing Seafood Fiesta that features Chef Elam Singh’s selected dishes. However, I find the menu very selective and rather disappointing, as it hardly offers any seafood except five variants of fish. All my cravings for a bite of juicy crab or a tender lobster are fated to remain just cravings. Nevertheless, I gamely start with a bouillabaisse soup with seafood in a garlic broth. Though it is pretty decent, it didn’t come piping hot, which brings its taste down to just about average. The bread served along with it is crisp and perfect, which lifts the experience though. Following it up with fritto misto as the only option in starters makes sense — an assorted seafood basket with calamari, fish and prawns. The fish is fluffy and crisp but the prawns are overdone and chewy. The calamari goes well with the remoulade though.

Through with the platter quickly, I test out the six listed main course dishes one by one. The chef starts with a herb crusted cod fillet with potato gratin. The fillet is bland, hardly has any flavours. Surprisingly, the potato gratin tastes much better than the fish.

The roasted snapper in a herb emulsion competes with the cod in being bland. I am somewhat at a loss to understand how the chef is not able to serve fish that is well marinated. The reason might be the packed restaurant even on a Tuesday night, but still, when they are paying a good amount at a restaurant, the food should be good too.

After the two fish preparations come the char-grilled prawns in a North Indian style. Seasoned with Indian spices and served with the traditional mint and coriander chutney, the prawns are a relief. Tender and juicy, and grilled almost to perfection. But the one dish which is really good and makes my visit worth it is the chimichurri tuna steak. Nice subtle flavours and good influence of chimichurri sauce make every bite a delight.

Sadly, though I go there after reserving a table and also the dishes to be served, the chef tells me that salmon is sold out for the day.

Seafood Fiesta festival

On till March 31

Meal for two


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