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Wine & Dine

Budget bites

Delhi | Peaches n Cream Fashion Cafê

The newly opened Peaches n Cream "Fashion Cafê" is a boutique-cum-cafê - more cafê than boutique - where the design element is extended to the dêcor and menu as well. It has an Alice in Wonderland kind-of appeal and it's easy to lose oneself in the Victorian parlour replete with flower hangings, murals and a Venetian mirror. Breaking the mould is a blow-up of Marilyn Monroe on the wall flanking the cafê, adding to the feminine feel the place exudes.

One look at the menu, and one is pleasantly surprised with the gourmet selection that wouldn't be out of place at a five-star property but thankfully the prices are pocket-friendly. Says owner Varun Kumar Chadha, "Since my corner of men's bespoke clothing caters to high-end individuals I decided to keep the highest standard of offering in terms of food too, so anyone who comes in goes back with a unique experience. " The attention to detail is impressive;be it the ingredients, colours or textures of the dishes.

There is a wide choice of salads with seasonal delights such as the mango and apple salad with fresh mint, honey and mustard sprinkled with arab black salt which could easily be mistaken for pepper unless you realise it tastes nothing like it. It may sound easy and simple but one bite and the perfect combination of tanginess and sweetness has you swooning. The organically grown mustard gives the whole salad a unique character. The Insalata Caprese is another salad that's made to seduce and much of it is because of the special ingredients used. The spongy buffalo cheese Bocconcini used along with fresh tomatoes and basil pesto just melts in the mouth. The Smoked Chicken Salad, with fresh garden leaves, cheddar, smoked chicken breast, tomatoes and fennel stems, is tasty and the faint aniseed flavor adds zing to the creation.

The sushi selection is in keeping with the theme of taste with passion. The Peaches n Cream special roll sushi consists of crab stick, cucumber and avocado topped with red caviar lumpfish accompanied with not just soya sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger but a Japanese radish that is hard to procure in our local markets. The asymmetric size of the sushi allows one to dip it all in the soya sauce bowl and pop it in the mouth allowing the flavours to take over the tongue.
To add to the pleasure trip, one could opt for a Lindt chocolate shake which is thankfully not as sweet as its made at most places and has more than just a hint of the Swiss mint chocolate. The Sri Lankan Tea leaves you with a sense of well-being.

Fashion Cafê, 12 Hauz Khas Village, 3rd floor,
meal for two-Rs 500, Phone number: 9811604824,
Open from 11am-8 pm

Delhi | Chocolate Beetle

Afriendly staff member opens the door as you step into Delhi's Chocolate Beetle and your senses are immediately assailed by the delightful whiff of warm chocolate. Besides, this cosy new cafê has an appealing pink and brown theme, which also mirrors the company's logo. Gurjeev Gulati, the store's owner, tells me they were looking for a flashy, appealing colour to accompany the chocolate brown they had chosen for the logo. Pink was chosen on account of the fact that 70 per cent of their client?le is female. "Pink's for the girls and brown is for the guys. It balances out, " says Gulati. I asked for the Beetle Brownie Sandwich and got two layers of brownie filled with a delicious hot Belgian chocolate truffle sauce, topped by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It didn't disappoint. The Brownie Sandwich is available until 20 September, as a trial sampling.
If, like me, you are a chocolate lover then this is the place for you. The Chocolate Beetle designs cakes for weddings, birthday parties and religious holidays, and also delivers them to your doorstep. Their kitchen is located just four kilometres away from the store and guarantees you the highest quality and fresh products. The cafê also offers a wide range of gifting options for various occasions: their tagline goes "Any reason you have, we have the chocolate. " Patrons can also choose from a large selection of leading European and American chocolate tablets.

From Rs 60 to Rs 200
Open seven days a week, from 11am-11 pm
C201, M Block Market (behind the iStore
and the Bodyshop), Greater Kailash - I, New Delhi

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