Food spot Food

This place grows on you

Fare offered at Social

Fare offered at Social   | Photo Credit: 12dmc social2

With great food and reasonable prices, Social in Defence Colony Market seems like a good bet

I wonder if you ever went to the Defence Colony Market when it was a fairly quiet place with some florists and vegetable sellers, a few departmental stores and a handful of restaurants. That’s how it was when I used to go there, many years ago, to a restaurant called Faley, known as much for its food as for a witty waiter. But when I went back there earlier this week, I was actually stumped. It’s no longer a market – it’s a mammoth restaurant hub!

I had been invited to Social, a restaurant that I had heard good things about. The invites started coming in several months ago, but somehow I just couldn’t make time to go there for a meal. I finally landed up there on a Wednesday night. The restaurant is in the main market. If you walk right from Sagar, you’ll find a lane to the right after a few shops. Social is on the left (28A).

It’s a fairly large restaurant, with some 40 tables. If you think India is an ageing nation, you should stop by at Social’s –– it was full of young people, all having a good time.

I must tell you that I had a good time, too. I like the place and the décor (all those hanging bottles), the foot-tapping music and the way the food was served –– on small aluminium plates or on wooden boards. I enjoyed meeting the chef, the talented Akil Qureshi, and the culture manager, another enthusiastic and pleasant young man called Jai Dev Gupta. And the food was excellent.

Social has a new menu –– which includes various new dishes such as a pears, beetroot and chevre salad, sandwich sliders, street laksa curry, nam noodle bowls, curried vegetable pie, Sindhi kadhi and papaya salad. We had one of the new dishes –– Kerala coin parathas, a plate of small, coin-sized parathas with a thick topping of pulled chicken and lamb (there’s also paneer, but I urged the chef not to bother with that). Then we had a Japanese surf n turf –– consisting of a steak, prawns and mashed potatoes (Rs.490) and a dish of pork ribs called notorious P.I.G (Rs.490). The names of the dishes, incidentally, are most innovative (Don’t be Salli par edu – straw potatoes and eggs –– Andaas apna apna –– your choice of eggs and so on).

The tenderloin was tender, the sauce was nicely piquant, and the prawns in wasabi went wonderfully up my nose. I loved the pork, too. It was juicy and soft, and came drizzled with a delicious barbeque sauce. Both dishes had a side of creamy mashed potatoes (there was too much of that, I thought –– but I suppose the young like their carbs). We ended, at Jai Dev’s insistence, with a layered cake, a sinfully delicious combination of cake, ice cream and hot chocolate sauce.

The food at Social is great, and the prices are truly pocket-friendly. Jai Dev tells me that a meal for two (without alcohol) costs Rs.800 or so. They have a busy bar, too, and serve various kinds of alcoholic drinks, including the most popular 1000-ml Longest Long Island iced tea.

Most dishes are for Rs.200-250. The kori roti, Mangalorean chicken gassi served on rice crisps and unlimited gravy is for Rs.250. They have an excellent breakfast array (which is served till 7.30 p.m.). The new entrant, Dhingra’s Punjabi breakfast consists of stuffed parathas, chholey, samosa, dahi karare aloo, mango pickle, onion, lassi and chai (Rs.280).

This is a place that grows on you. I am planning to let it to grow on me quite a bit in the near future.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 8:48:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/this-place-grows-on-you/article7641793.ece

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