Lighthouse 13 rewards prudent selection, preferably Mediterranean
Lighthouses are beacons of direction. To direct seems to be the premise on which the new restaurant at MGF Metropolitan mall, Saket, has started. Their spread of mighty world cuisine at times hits bang on target, but on occasions are lost forever. Lighthouse 13, the two-level restaurant, is as restaurants at malls are these days. There is no luxurious space to sprawl on; even thin balconies are camouflaged to fine-dining stretches.
The menu touches upon cuisines from all over. The meal is flagged off with cepe porcini cappuccino and crispy mushroom cigars. The cappuccino, which also needs to be a soup, is creamy without being cloying. It shows no signs of burden and works miraculously with mushroom cigars. The cigars are a delight and crackling.
Hummus bi-Tahini is an innovative salad. Anything with pita bread assures lightness and hummus keeps up the promise. Scoops of pureed beans and spice, drizzled with olive oil, nestle within the pita well and its virtue is the salad-like airiness.
The menu also includes a tapas section, boasting some slick bites. Frito misto of calamari and prawns with harissa sauce don't quite meet expectations. The tempura batter coated calamari is yet to be sprightly. However, harissa tries valiantly to give the meat some spike. Panini, the Italian sandwich, is a pleasant find. Eggplants may be a dicey affair, yet it is quite the test of a chef's skill.
Among the Panini range, the choice fell on Palermo — made of grilled eggplant, mozzarella and tomatoes. The grilled bread and fleshy eggplant work in tandem and assures full bites. Palermo is surely a star.
Lobster risotto makes one climb down Mount Excitement that the Panini has taken you to. The risotto is smothered by cream and you yearn for a trifle feathery feel. The lobsters though have blended well with the rice. Tempura battered line-caught cod calls out for more attention and skilled care. The cod is cooked beyond what is necessary and comes slushy. Even the crispiness of the tempura doesn't help the fish much.
But, rather sadly, the disappointments on the menu belong to those in the Indian section. The murg malai kabab has rugged meat which refuses to be softened and the ‘malai' part remains a wish. Since every restaurant whips up their signature dal these days, Lighthouse surely doesn't want to be an anomaly. Dal Lighthouse 13 is shy and introverted, and never comes to grab the limelight.
The desserts, on the other hand, make for a soothing finish. A guest on it is the relatively unusual baba au rhum. Brioche, the French bread, is cajoled by currants, a dash of rum and accompanied by berries. Brioche keeps the dessert from being overtly sweet and also allows its tenderness to be pleasantly contradicted by the chirpy berries.
MGF Metropolitan Mall
Meal for two: Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,000, plus taxesP. ANIMA