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LA ROCA

The maxim "build it and they will come" certainly applies to La Roca Indulge. What I found remarkable about this all natural cocktail bar in Aerocity is the emphasis on quality and detailing right from the interiors, with its cave- like walls and domed roof, to the lounge music, the impressive bar and the world cuisine. Credit goes to the team. Spearheaded by Dinesh Arora acclaimed for the phenomenal success of Unplugged — with partner Varun Duggal who brings with him years of experience at Lite Bite Foods and Massive Restaurants — and Chef Arvind Bharti.

 

Taking a table we were acquainted with the restaurateur, chef and mixologist, and on observing a dialogue between them, we concluded that we were in for a treat! Handing us the bar menu, they explained that all the cocktails were au natural i.e. made with cold pressed juice or homemade infusion; sugar too had been replaced with honey. Interesting… studying the menu, my friend and I ordered 'The Blue Fashioned' — their signature cocktail with woodford reserve, basil bitters and homemade blueberry balsamic syrup, with blueberries and an orange peel. It was potent and delicious! Servd in a copper glass, the cocktail remained chilled through the meal.

 

We soon discovered Chef's intent was to create artistically compelling, global comfort food, and to tailor it to our preference, light and flavourful. So, my friend and I began luncheon with a selection of small plates from the cold kitchen — 'Spicy Tuna And Tobiko Sushi' and 'Salmon Carpaccio'. The sushi, which I liberally dabbed with fresh wasabi, was spine-tingling delicious. Though I've relished sushi several times, this fell into the category of "transported to culinary heaven"… I don't think it could've been better. That said, it paled in comparison to the dish that followed. If you like salmon, this off-the-hook fresh, thin- sliced Norwegian salmon, with chilli and lime marinade, is to die for. I loved its artistic presentation, garnished with edible exotic flowers, but what stood out the most was the flavour and texture. Way to go.

 

We then turned our attention to the Hot Kitchen and ordered 'Paneer Shaslik'. The skewered, grilled paneer crumbed with spiced tortilla, and served with Chipotle-infused garlic-olive oil sauce, was melt-in-the-mouth sumptuous and we couldn't help requesting for seconds. Must- have for vegetarians! 'Salmon Skewers was up next'. It was visually appealing, fresh flavoursome kasundi and chilli- marinated chargrilled salmon cubes. Now my friend and I are both hardcore sea-foodies and our euphoric expression said it all. Though we were content, Chef advised us to try one of the signatures — 'Himalayan Pepper-Garlic Chicken' and he sure had our curiosity tweaked when he mentioned it was ''butter chicken re-imagined''. Whoa! The roast chicken leg, marinated with Himalayan pepper and garlic, served with butter chicken gravy, was the perfect comfort food. Sounds simple, I do agree, but the perfectly roasted chicken leg and companying curry was satiating and stimulating. A must for tandoori-chicken and butter-chicken lovers!! To bring our meal to a satisfying coda, particularly for those of us who get puppy-dog eyes at the mention of sweets, the dessert menu has 'Peanut Butter And Jam.' A sinful peanut butter ice-cream with mixed berries jam that pushed the right buttons.

 

We finally left at 4 p.m. and driving home I reflected there's a reason why La Roca Indulge has established a loyal clientele in such a short span of time. The team know what they're doing and the growing number of guests is proving it. For a first class taste of world cuisine, priced at an economy fare, I do recommend this culinary jewel in Aerocity.

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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