6 August 2008

Saltz: Pan Asian fare spices up GK-I

Having opened at the start of a full-on Delhi summer, Saltz seems like it has tailored its aesthetic to the blazing heat outside. A smallish space in GK-I’s M Block Market, the restaurant has white floors, two all-white walls and two walls that are entirely glass. The tables are white too, and the unfussy chairs are a sort of space-agey silver. The effect is entirely pleasing – like sitting in an air-conditioned glass box that’s simultaneously sunny and cool. And there’s a gelato parlour just downstairs.

The menu is a manageable mix of Pan-Asian main courses and café-style fare that’s light on the calories and heavy on the veggies and whole grains, with things like a healthy club sandwich with ham, chicken, lettuce and egg white on whole wheat bread (Rs 160). We decided to steer clear of low-cholesterol options and sample some of the tempting South East Asian food.

The crispy fish and raw mango salad (Rs 170), which we began with, was absolutely glorious. The fish was not itsy-bitsy pieces, but a large hunk of flavourful red snapper, batter-fried, accompanied by a substantial mound of julienned cucumber, red peppers and raw mango in a tangy lemongrass and peanut dressing.

The siomai (described as Indonesian steamed dumplings) were delicious but, to our surprise, not dumplings. The meat did not come wrapped in anything at all. But that only meant there was more of the melt-in-your-mouth steamed chicken, so we were not complaining.

The lamb in Penang sauce (Rs 250) was less adventurous but quite good. Flavoured with the ubiquitous lemongrass and galangal (Thai ginger), it came with Thai flat noodles. The seafood laksa (Rs 325) – prawns and fish with rice vermicelli in a curry sauce – seemed like a wonderful one-dish meal, but it was just too spicy for us. For once, we weren’t glad when that fiery red turned out not to be food colouring. We ended with two scoops of gelato – melon and black forest. Both disappointed – but we enjoyed eating out of the elegant glass goblets.

Saltz has not quite been discovered yet. On the Sunday afternoon that we visited, the place was more or less empty. But the food is good, service smiling and efficient and there’s gelato to be had – so hopefully, it’ll soon be put on the map by the GK ladies-who-lunch. Trisha Gupta

Saltz M-69 Greater Kailash-I, M Block Market (4653-6281). Daily 11am-11pm. Alcohol not served. All major credit cards. Meal for two Rs 1,300.

Time Out Delhi 2007

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