EATING OUT Rara Avis at GK-II offers a good illustration of why French food is increasingly popular in the Capital

When we talk about international cuisines in Delhi, Italian has always enjoyed immense popularity. But with evolving palates, the visibility of French cuisine is also increasing. We now have almost half a dozen hardcore French restaurants, and one of them is doing pretty good business.

Rara Avis at GK 2 M block market, run by its French owners Jerome and Laurent, is located on the second floor and has a very homely feel with a beautiful terrace. I went there on a Friday night, when it was full of people enjoying good food with good wine after a hectic day at work. I started with a thick and intense onion soup, one of their signature preparations. I liked it to its core as it was full on flavours and perfectly seasoned.

The warm goat cheese salad followed the soup and was fresh, as it should be. As a light appetiser, prawn and fish dumplings were nice though I was expecting the dumplings to be stuffed with the seafood. But at Rara Avis, the chef mixes them with the batter and deep fries them into soft and fluffy balls.

A friend had recommended their snails in garlic butter. Escargots/snails are very popular in France, and I remember many of my French friends’ craving for it on every outing. Rightly so, snails were tasty and dipping them in butter gave a nice flavour.

Reading sur le grill on the menu tempted me to order a mixed meat grilled platter. Tenderloin done to medium was nice and flavourful, as were the lamb chops. Size of the chops was small and had only a bite of meat attached on the bone. The prawn in the platter was chewy and dry. I am sure they can do better prawns, as I have tasted them on my earlier visits.

Breast of chicken with morel mushroom sauce was good but a slight change could have elevated the dish by unlocking its suppressed flavours. Fillet of basa was as flavourless as it can be. Trout in lemon butter was a visual delight, as I prefer eating whole fish. Done to perfection, the fish went well with the sauce.

A word of advice for potential visitors: visit Rara Avis only if you have ample time, as the service is really slow.

Meal for two: Rs.2500

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