Head for Stomp for comfort food and comforting prices

It is a dark, sombre room with high ceilings, textured walls, spray painted metal chairs, stained glass windows and dim lights. Black and red with a soupcon of maybe brown and grey are the dominant colours. Goth rules supreme at Stomp and I almost expect the waiters to stride in with eerie white face paint and a black cape.

Thankfully, the waiter turns out to be a rather benign looking young man who smiles cheerfully and escorts me to a table. I settle down comfortably (slightly surprising because my chair distinctly resembles a wooden pew) and scrutinize the menu. The menu, which is shaped like a CD, is peppered with quotes from rock n roll royalty including Janis Joplin, The Beatles and Dylan. I first read those before proceeding to the food.

Stomp offers a mix of various types of cuisine — Indian, Chinese, Continental with a few rather strange sounding concoctions which the waiter explains are Stomp originals. I start with the stuffed bread rolls, a Stomp special which comes accompanied with a generous helping of salad. I bite into a roll and taste nirvana as its cheesy goodness coats my tongue. Remarkably simple — a slice of bread stuffed with a cheese based filling and deep fried— it works beautifully and I firmly tell my arteries to grin and bear it, while I chomp through my roll. The salad is an uninteresting mix of greens, drenched in some greasy sauce that I eschew after a bite.

Next is another house speciality —ghaati chicken sukka. Though a little on the spicy side, the chicken is delicious and I quite enjoy my helping of it. Next comes a helping of desi nachos — regular papadi topped with cheese accompanied by a regular salsa sauce. Nice enough, though the sauce wasn’t great. This was followed by batter-fried fish fingers with spicy coriander chutney.

I wash away the grease with a swallow of my drink — a marvellous mix of rose and cucumber that works brilliantly. Deciding to be adventurous I order another that sounds rather interesting, Purple Surprise—a blend of red cabbage, basil and vodka. I sip and grimace. The taste of cabbage is cloyingly apparent and I simply cannot stomach it. The only redeeming factor is its colour—a rather pretty shade of lilac.

I decide to try their USP, the Stomp Dabba Lunch (Rs 425 inclusive of taxes). A large tiffin carrier is brought to my table, unfastened and its little component dabbas are laid out. Once the aromatic steam clears, I see what has been served to me — paneer makhanwala, murgh saagwala, dal tadka and fish pulimunchi with a selection of rotis and delicately-flavoured pulao.

Though certainly not haute cuisine, the spicy, hearty curries are uncomplicated, gratifying and singularly good and I enjoy them thoroughly.

Satiated I lean back and enjoy the good old rock and roll being played in the restaurant. A large screen TV is turned on to the sports channel and I observe good-looking men in white flannels stride impatiently up and down a pitch. Eye-candy is wonderful, real candy is even better and I turn back to peruse the dessert options on the menu. I opt for shahi tukda, deep fried bread dipped in sugar syrup and soaked with thickened milk. It was decent enough, but I’ve eaten far better and I didn’t think it was worth the calories so I set down my spoon after a couple of mouthfuls.

The ambience is interesting, the food good and fairly well-priced. After a day of relentless shopping in Forum Value Mall, where it is located, Stomp is a great place to unwind- with its evergreen music, nice drinks and good food, that leaves both you and your wallet very happy.