Among the circle of food enthusiasts, Desi Deli is a well-known name; especially when it comes to hotdogs and burgers. I have always liked their food; the Wahwah Brekky is still my favourite. Situated at Bandra Reclamation, the element of Indian flavours in their fusion style food impeccably defines their name “Desi Deli” where the word Desi means local or more specifically, Indian.
However, my latest foray into a brand new Desi Deli – via invitation – was for a special occasion, and it gives me immense pleasure to mention that Desi Deli has expanded its roots and has opened another outlet in Andheri. The grand opening of the new outlet at Oshiwara was a ceremonial affair where a well-defined menu of food and drink pairings further added the charm. At the same time, it was wonderful to meet the uber-charming and gracious host of the evening Ms. Lolitha whose friendly demeanor always makes me feel welcome and elated.
The evening’s menu was a fusion-style melange of flavourful food and complementary drinks. In some of the dishes, the perfectly matched or paired drinks took the food to another level. The entire spread was a demonstration of various flavours with some twists to tingle our taste buds.
Appetizers: The rosemary and walnut pesto spread was delightful. Initially, I looked askance at this variation of pesto which was different from its original recipe, but the flavors hushed my doubts aside, and the dish was bang on. Sometimes a minor twist in a dish can open a door for new flavours, and this is exactly what I experienced. The rosemary flavor went well with the beautiful pesto, and this simple spread was one of the spectacular dishes I had that evening.
Mushroom sliders too did not disappoint at all. Beautifully flavored and sautéed, the mushrooms gave the perfect aroma on the palate, and the crispy texture of the toast completed this dish in a great way.
Entrees: Starting with Desi Dal balls, the experience was dampened with its almost bland taste and lack of flavors. Although I appreciate the concept of presenting a very basic dish on skewers, the presentation alone could not justify the overall dish. Good concept but it definitely needs more creativity.
Desi Thai was more of a fried rice with some pickled vegetables, caramelized onions, and full of spices. The dish was flavorsome; however, the overpowering facet of spices was bit of a concern. For instance, a small clove simply ruined my entire palate and I was unable to enjoy this dish further. Desi Thai had good ingredients, but the dish was inhibited by the strong intensity of spices. One suggestion would be to use essence of strong spices such as cloves instead of their raw form.
Kathal Sam: I love Jackfruit in both the forms – vegetable and the ripe fruit; however, the thought of Jackfruit in a Samosa was a tad elusive to me. But it did not disappoint at all and Kathal Sam was another example of how our Indian flavors can be showcased in a plethora of creative ways. I would have preferred more seasoning, but still I liked the flavors and concept along with the nice and crispy texture.
One aspect which I would like to highlight in the entire event was the paring of drinks with the food. I absolutely loved the paring of Desi Thai with Sula Reisling. Being a teetotaler, I never bothered about the fact that how different wines compliment different flavors in food, but this was an eye opening experience where the super spicy-ness of Desi Thai elevated the Reisling wine experience.
I have always appreciated Desi Deli for presenting Desi flavors in different variations. The food is presented with a twist, and that is how, this place is worthy of repeat visits. I wish the team all the best on this achievement; however, you will see me more often in Bandra only 🙂
N.B. Please note that this was a food review invitation; hence, the expenses were taken care by the restaurant. Cost for two: 1000-1200 INR