Situated in the heart of Lutyen’s Delhi, right next to the Lodhi Gardens, eternally surrounded by lush greenery and adjacent to some wonderful historical monuments from the middle ages, the Garden Restaurant undoubtedly prides itself in one of the best locations that you will find anywhere in the city. Add to it the delectable Middle Eastern cuisine that they have on menu.
I have had countless dinners here, alone, with friends and with clients. The food is even better than the location. The service is outstanding. The ambiance is superb. The décor is simple with lots of greenery evidently since it is called the “Garden Restaurant” right next to the Lodhi Gardens. Please note that they mostly play great rock or jazz music most of the time to add to this superb ambiance.
However here we are not going to review the restaurant since that has already been done in one of our earlier reviews. You can read about it here. Here we came to review their coffee. Yes it does qualify as a coffee only restaurant. It has a great coffee shop feel to it. So ace photographer Bobby Roy (Profile link) and I, both of us made our way to this place in search of our good coffee joint. This has become one of our favourite quests.
In our restaurant review, we made it clear about the price tag being mostly for the well-heeled. Just a reminder for new readers that if you are going to eat here and if you are not booked in advance by Maavalan Travels, then you run the risk of running up a bill north of INR2500 or more without drinks. Do not let this discourage you if you intend to just have coffee. The coffee menu prices are more in tune with the other coffee shops in the city. No I am not trying to earn brownie points either with the restaurant or with you by saying that the coffee is not expensive. If you want to have just coffee and enjoy the ambience, just walk in and order your coffee and finish your novel. The service is top notch and you will be well taken care of.
When we arrived at the Garden Restaurant, Bobby Roy ordered his customary Cappuccino and I the usual espresso. Bobby started enjoying his Cappuccino and the twinkle in his eye said it all. However, I was less impressed by the espresso. I would certainly not say that it was bad. It was a standard good coffee, strong, relatively bold in the body. But it lacked in crema and the taste. I personally consider the presence and taste of a good crema is primordial to the very existence of a coffee and that it is what distinguishes a good coffee from a great one.
Do not misunderstand me. I am not complaining. The Garden is a great restaurant. It has fantastic ambience. We have a lot of our business meetings here. I enjoy coming here just to spend a few hours and work. However, their baristas are not the most experienced that one encounters at other places. Because this was not a place meant for baristas. That aside, the coffee is certainly palatable to the extent of being called rather good. The cappuccino is even better. Bobby Roy, a total cappuccino addict liked his portion. And when you consume that over an hour sitting in a great ambiance, life is generally great. We had a wonderful time at the Garden Restaurant. But their espresso is not the best in the business of coffee. Hence this does not end our quest for great coffee or great coffee shops. As a coffee shop, we would rate his as one that has outstanding ambience and great food. This is a restaurant. But you can go there to enjoy it as a coffee shop as well. The coffee is good. But you can have better in lesser places where the baristas serving you, have better knowledge even though they may appear less suave. At the end of it all, we would like to give a note to our readers that when we are talking about coffee shops, we are making a clear distinction between a good coffee shop and a restaurant.
The quest continues.
Text and photos: Krishnendu. For any queries, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org