Review | Food

Ophelia at The Ashok: To go or not to go, that is the question

A view of Ophelia

A view of Ophelia   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ophelia at The Ashok is more noisy bar and lounge than relaxing restaurant

The annexe of the iconic The Ashok hotel in Chanakyapuri is perhaps the best spot in space-deprived South Delhi to open a restaurant. It’s a standalone, large and leafy spot, separate from the Government-owned hotel, where music is played until the wee hours of the morning. Till recently, the space boasted of Zerruco, a Mediterranean and Italian restaurant that never really took off, and now, restaurateur Akshay Anand of Toy Room fame has taken over and opened the opulent and pumping Ophelia. The cuisine, however, has not changed.

To paraphrase from Hamlet, to go, or not to go: that is the question. My answer: It’s an entertaining spot for some drinks and sheesha, but I would not go for the food alone.

The vibe: Ophelia, named after a character in Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, has a lovely deck area with white cloth swathed cabanas, open flames and perfect mood lighting. Indoors is a stark contrast. The interior designer really went to town – high ceilings, lots of velvet and suede, mahogany type wood everywhere, gilded paintings and crystal chandeliers — you feel like you’re in a illicit den. You will either love Ophelia or hate it. It is a perfect yuppie spot, and on the evening I visited, the deck area was loud and packed with people dressed to impress. Thumping music was a constant, indoors or out.

The food at Ophelia

The food at Ophelia   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Do try: From the Mediterranean menu, the Prawn Shish was grilled just right and the meat was plump and sweet. The Balloon Breads were also fluffy and light. On the Italian menu, the Pappardelle with Pulled Pork Ragout was the star of the evening. Full of flavour, the pasta was fresh and the ragout coated each strand pasta perfectly.

Skip: The mainstay of any Mediterranean/Turkish menu is hummus, falafel, shawarma and pide (flat bread). Unfortunately, all four were poor. The hummus was too liquidy, the falafel was too dry and over fried, the shawarmas were closer to desi wraps than the Ottoman original, and the pide was flat in terms of texture and flavour.

Go with: Over 25s (Delhi’s legal age to drink) and under 40s (you just wont fit in if you’re older).

Space bar: 8,000 sq. ft.; 180 covers indoors and out

How much: Unnecessarily expensive at ₹4,500 for two, sans alcohol

Getting there: There is valet parking as well as ample parking space. Hire a driver for the evening or cab it – just don’t drink and drive

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:52:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/ophelia-at-the-ashok-to-go-or-not-to-go-thats-the-question/article30740942.ece

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