On a dusty, dusky Saturday we slip into stilettos, silver and satin with a hint of fringe. They’re gloriously impractical and something that Daisy Buchanan would wear to bed, but after all, it’s a jazz club we’re visiting tonight.
A jazz club without live music or alcohol, it turns out: we arrive at The Bar Cat, new in South Ex, to learn that their liquor license hasn’t arrived yet, and gigs will only begin at the end of the month. Before we can bolt, we find ourselves sitting at an upstairs table, tucking into a basket of warm focaccia and sweetened brioche, served with an elegant pat of whipped butter.
Fine, we’ll stay for a bit.
Orbs of light hang from the ceiling, dripping over a pretty bar and large, empty stage, but we can’t help but wince at the obvious La La Land reference. There are wide windows and waiters in waistcoats, who bring us a prettily-plated dish of prawns made delicious with rocket and a drizzle of chilli oil. Pork and chorizo flatbread are a bit too messily real-life for our dreamy mood, but otherwise perfectly cooked. We abandon all pretense and dig in.
It takes us a few minutes to absorb just how accomplished the kitchen here is, a happy fact that sinks in with the arrival of ravioli with creamy asparagus, amongst the best we’ve had in Delhi. They come in massive disks, which lifted off, reveal a mass of blanched spinach. We can’t help but think of our grandmothers trying to trick us into eating our greens, and defiantly, abandon them in favour of dessert.
Our last course ends on a high note, with a trio of coffee, berry and orange brûlée; these are charmingly original and meant to share, best washed down with coffee, a blend of Colombian and South Indian special to The Bar Cat - or a dirty martini, which is what we’ll be having the next time we visit.
Getting there: E17, Third Floor, Block E, South Extention II, call 49841617.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This story was contributed by Urvashi Bahuguna, a writer based in New Delhi.
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