Re-introducing the concept of face-to-face discussions in the age of digital communication, the Café at Hyatt Regency offers Stammtisch nights

It’s an e-world nowadays in which we are trapped. More specifically, it’s a facebook world which has become one of the most popular if not best ways to socialise and network with likeminded people. We all know the prime role facebook and various other social media played in rousing Delhi to elect a new Chief Minister, and before that, in bringing people out on the streets in popular uprisings against highhandedness of governments, not only in India’s capital but in different parts of the world.

But earlier when there was no internet and people had to discuss some serious issue or socialise with each other, countries such as Germany had a concept of Stammtisch — an informal group meeting held on a regular basis. Tables in bars, cafés and large conferences were reserved where people could sit if they wished to have conversations with strangers. Trying to revive the dying Stammtisch get-together is the Café at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, which has started organising Stammtisch nights every Friday. The fact that Executive Chef Marin Leuthard, a Swiss national, had an idea about the cuisine made the buffet look quite authentic and traditional.

A special seating arrangement was available where strangers could sit together, enjoy food and chit chat but I hardly found anybody using this. I started with a bowl of piping hot Polenta soup with dried cep mushrooms. The soup was a bit coarse in texture and had granules. Trying out three variants of salads, I found the poached lamb salad with gherkins, onions and mustard dressing to be the best. It was simple and classy. But the German cabbage salad with vinaigrette was also a delicacy to cherish.

The live cooking and barbeque section — something that has become a must in every restaurant during winter — had the famous cheese spaetzli, Swiss sausage, free range chicken rotisserie and lamb chops. The cheese spaetzli tasted delicious with apple puree and caramelised onions.

Sausage, one of my favourites, was a bit disappointing as it was too dry and hardly had any flavour. From the hot buffet, the braised lamb shanks were flavoursome. The chef created a saffron-based curry which made the dish aromatic. The Swiss Alpine macaroons again with an apple puree and caramelised onions and roasted meat loaf were delicacies to remember. There are all kinds of options for sausage lovers at the live station. But to me it seemed Chef Leuthard reserved the best till the end. The desserts just stood out. The nice moist carrot cake was tasty, but the most impressive one was a Toblerone mousse and chocolate.

Buffet price: Rs.1900 per person plus taxes

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