Middle Eastern-meets-Latin American-meets-Lebanese multi-cultural fare... that's what you get at News Café, the new leisure destination in Delhi and Hyderabad.
Apart from its warm hospitality and vibrancy during the FIFA 2010 World Cup, the other significant aspect about South Africa that exploded on the global arena was food: red meat delicacies, cooked just about bland and served with some robust spirit.
Food, essentially in South Africa, is a Middle Eastern-meets-Latin American-meets-Lebanese multi-cultural fare, what with people from across the world working and making it a home there. Pasta, sushi and hummus aside, eating out in South Africa is about a complete dining experience. And a South African lifestyle-café-cum-cocktail restaurant chain sums it all up. With footprints in major South African cities, Lagos in Nigeria, Gaborone in Botswana and now in New Delhi and Hyderabad in India, News Café is the new leisure destination for people who like their meals with a generous dollop of ambience.
Hot food and news
A hot Italian coffee with potato roast, toast, egg, bacon and sausages... all this with news floating on the overhead LCD. There is also thin-crust pizza from the wood-fired oven and lasagne, if you want more for breakfast. Welcome to the new avatar of a bistro that offers hot food with your morning news, a filling international lunch and a cocktail with dinner combo with some progressive house by the night. What makes News Café stand out in the ever-burgeoning food business, cocktail lounges and designer restaurants is its choice of plush locations and crafted-for-the-connoisseur recipes. If the cocktails are to die for, the on-the-go options from the menu, complete with desserts, has families coming in for more.
“The concept is of a coffee shop on a high street, a business centre by the day and lounge by the night that offers affordable and quality food. Today dining is about not just food. There is conversation, art, music and of course food,” says Arun Gunda, director operations Numbersonly Hospitality, the franchise for News Café, sitting amid the muted notes of marble and walnut wood in the lounge at Madhapur, Hyderabad .
Bay windows of the two-floor restaurant offer a picturesque view of the Deccan rock formation from the Inorbit Mall where News Café, Hyderabad, is located.
The USP is an international spread made with just the right sauces and ingredients. “They are made fresh,” says Akshay Shastry, Executive Chef, News Café, Hyderabad. “People love the all-day breakfast options. They come at 7.00 p.m. and ask for a traditional Continental breakfast of waffles with ice cream, potato roast, toast, bacon, sausages eggs to order and toast.”
From a very English “Bunny Chow” (a generous loaf stuffed with meat) to wraps, pastas, salads and soups, the breakfast options are many, so is the a la carte fare for lunch. The cuisine is a mix of Italian, French and Asian (Indo-Malay, Lebanese and select dishes from the Middle East), says Chef Akshay who has worked in Seattle, California, and Canada, and now lines up a wholesome global menu here. And of course there is red meat and sea food; popular choices in South Africa.
So, at News Café, start with an Italian soup and follow it up with a Greek salad. For the main course, a Latin American rice with tequila chicken. On the huge list on the menu, one finds Middle Eastern and other kind of finger food: “Chicken kibbe'; Johannesburg-style triple deck sandwich with mince lamb; Lobster macaroni topped with cheese spaghetti meat ball; a Mezze platter of ‘Hummus, Tabbouleh, Baba Ganoush, Falafel and Gambousek; and the popular Chicken and prawn laksa or meat stir fried in South East Asian style served with noodles. Also try liqueur coffee, Irish Kahlua and hazelnut liqueur.
News Café's shot of imported Italian coffee and excellent cocktails from master mixer Bar Manager Martin Strobose from South Africa brings in plenty of footfalls. Brandy and coke, South Africa's unofficial national drink, might not have many takers as yet here but there are many opting for Martin's “African Sunset” a FIFA World Cup concoction of white rum, raspberry and orange. Also from the “Waka Waka” season are shooters; those with peppermint and cream liqueur and the flaming kinds. Classic cocktails with vodka, tequila, bourbon whiskey, rum and more...are also on offer. For the ladies, there are delectable margarita and martini variants. “The cocktail should not be too sour, nor too sweet; you have to see that the flavours of the ingredients come out,” says Martin as he whips up a honey and watermelon laced concoction.
From private dining rooms, vibrant purple and red upholstery and jade-topped tables to snazzy cane sofas by the lawn, News Café offers many dining space choices. If you are a nature buff, the monsoon drizzle off the bay window can do wonders to your meal and drink. And if you are a party animal, level two is the place to throw a bash. DJ Steve from New York is known for his club sets and he is joined by other international acts on weekends.
A new concept in the country, a cafeteria that turns into a hot spot by night, News Café plans to bring in greater global dining experience, as it plans to open more restaurants in India. For now raise a toast to this gem.
Where it is
2nd Floor, DLF Promenade
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
G-50 and F- 49, Inorbit Mall,
Tel: 040- 40101234/35/36
A table for two without liquor works to between Rs. 800 and Rs. 1000. With liquor, it will be Rs. 1500 onwards.