There are few restaurants in Delhi that play live music most nights of the week. With a promise to offer Original Music and Inspired Food, the new kid on the GK1 N-Block, Depot48, recently bagged the prestigious LivingFoodz Epicurean Guild Award 2017 for the Best Newcomer.
When we walk in on Thursday night, it’s not our first visit to the restaurant. But it is the first time we’re catching a gig here. The resident band, 4AF, does fabulous cover versions of popular English songs and even sneaks in a few Bollywood numbers. Now this is impressive because the four-member band is not Indian; they hail from the heart of Africa – the Congo!
Almost as soon as we’re seated, Bhaskar, the efficient assistant restaurant manager is already suggesting some refreshing gin-based cocktails. He remembers from our previous visits that gin is our favoured choice of tipple. And it is this detail to service, combined with great food, super cocktails and a chilled vibe that has us coming back repeatedly. While we take a table in the far corner, Vikas Narula, co-owner points out a lady sitting right in front saying that she comes here almost everyday! She could be working on her laptop in the day or enjoying live performances in the evening as she is today. Music varies from jazz to contemporary Bollywood and blues to qawwali. Various Indie bands perform here and soon a popular Sufi troupe is coming on board as well. Good acoustics are the cornerstone of any space that features live music and Depot48 is well taken care of in that aspect. Girjashanker Vohra, co-owner Depot48, who also happens to be a professional sound engineer, has installed soundproof material on the walls making it look aesthetic enough to pass off as cool installations.
Offering a mix of Mexican and American fare, the food menu and beverage list is as extensive as the choice of music. Although we start sinfully with a round each of Parmesan truffle fries and sweet potato fries with garlic and paprika aioli, we’d urge you to try the salads. They are fabulous! The quinoa salad has two variations, one with roasted pumpkin, pomegranate, almond slivers and feta in a honey lemon dressing and the other with chicken, pomegranate, mint and pine nuts - both are great. There are more salads, as there are quesadillas, tacos, burgers, and ‘everything else’ that includes creamy Sriracha pasta bake with chicken, polenta crusted halibut with pan-tossed asparagus in an orange and lemon sauce and coffee marinated mutton chops with balsamic reduction. Having tried most of these on previous visits, this time we stick to our favourites that include pan grilled habanero marinated prawns wrapped in bacon; pulled pork, refried beans and Jack cheese quesadilla and Banh mi style chicken taco with Sriracha mayonnaise.
Drinks go seasonal with options like jamun black salt, chilli guava and kaffir lime basil. The bartender does a super job with cocktails like the Gingranate that is muddled with fresh pomegranate, lemon wedges and brown sugar, served in a celery salt rimmed glass or the Gin Craze with a mix of ginger, lemongrass and passionfruit. The Tippler’s Dream gets even sweeter if you go between 12-6pm, Monday-Friday; there is a select list of beer, wines, spirits and signature cocktails for which you get two for the price of one.
As if all this was not enough to make Depot48 the fab space that it already is, they have just launched a breakfast menu as well. And this brings me to the delicious waffles that are also available through the day. Take your pick from the classic waffles with butter and maple syrup to banana and toffee, Gianduja chocolate with caramelized nuts and wild berry compote with mascarpone cheese. The batter is light and airy and the fillings and sauces rich. The only of word of advice we’d leave you with is that the portions are rather large so order wisely.
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