Address: Dhan Mill Compound, 100 Feet Road, SSN Marg, Chhattarpur, New Delhi India
Time: 10 AM to 10 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,500
Cuisines: Cafe, European
Facilities: No Alcohol Available, Smoking Area, Outdoor Seating, Wifi
Cafe Dori, Chhattarpur, New Delhi: DECOR
On the main Chhattarpur Road, an enormous grey-blue sliding gate with absolutely no signage, is the entrance to a spacious complex housing, among other things, the Nappa Dori showroom whose cafe I visited after hearing glowing reports. The Dhan Mill complex has become an interesting alternative culture space for the performing arts, though cheek by jowl with bridal makeup studios and hair-dressers. Cafe Dori is large and spacious and does not have fussy interiors. There is a small open courtyard that is used as a smokers’ corner. It is one of the rare eateries in the capital that welcomes pets and provides bowls for doggie meals that are served in select areas of the cafe. Because Dhan Mill is so far from anywhere, the mood is relaxed and casual and you tend not to wolf down your food and hurry on to your next port of call.
Cafe Dori, Chhattarpur, New Delhi: FOOD
The couple behind the food – Rahul and Kainaz – also manage the cafe at Blue Tokai and Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu, so there is a certain flair to the food. Though it is European all right, there are no cliches on the menu. The all-day breakfast consists of croissants and scrambled eggs, among other things: perfect at any time of the day. Fries (Rs. 275) are skin-on, crisp-fried, accompanied with a dip of your choice. I picked green pea ketchup, tart with cider vinegar and could have demolished two plates of them, accompanied with a cold drink. Gambas al ajillo (Rs. 375) consist of small prawns cooked just right in olive oil with minced garlic and topped with a sliced red chilli. Chicken pierogi (Rs. 350) is a soupedup version of the Central European, rather homely, stodgy favorite. Fine chicken mince and thin wrappers are more Asian than Polish, but they are tasty enough with a dash of sour cream. What is called flat breads are actually rather like pizzas, tomato concasse and all. “All the cheese in our kitchen, tomato ragout and fried capers” (Rs. 425) was outstanding value for money and a great choice to nibble on, sharp with a hint of blue cheese. Sole and shrimp meuniere (Rs. 495) was pleasant and well worth the price.
Cafe Dori, Chhattarpur, New Delhi: PLUS AND MINUS
The smiling, affable service staff is clueless, sadly.