The view from the rooftop
IT'S not every evening that a stranger offers to buy you drinks as you blow smoke rings at the moon. You politely turn down the offer, of course, but he insists, says he is splitting with his woman of many years (a rather beautiful woman, we find as we quickly eye the stunner sitting next to him) and that he wants to share the evening with us! That's too much information we don't need but what the heck we thought. It's a damn good evening and a damn good restaurant with a damn good view of the Haus Khas village below and the zillion stars above.
We were at the Amour. There was something about that name that gave us a premonition that it was going to be an interesting evening. We had been promised a languid experience that would recreate the warmth of a rustic Tuscany restaurant. A venture of Ambrosia Hospitality, it has been pegged as one of the latest fine dining experiences in town.
The outdoor patio wooden deck offers one of the best views of the national capital overlooking the lake and the Hauz Khas village monument, while the restaurant inside has a glass wall that overlooks a wide expanse of the greenery. Perfect pick of a table for a leisurely lunch or candle lit dinner! Thankfully, we had opted for the latter as the evening ahead would make evident.
You can take your picks from the outdoor live grill with a coal fed brick oven tossing up fresh pizzas, while the aroma of freshly basked breads and delightful desserts from the bakery counter fills your senses. Chef Rociola's kitchen mostly uses herbs and spices that have all been organically grown to keep the highest standards and the poultry used is bio organic, farm grown and corn fed.
The d �cor adds to the experience. The Mediterranean feel is highlighted with the use of wooden panelling, earthy tones and floral printed upholstery and even hand painted murals on the ceiling of the restroom. But it's the food that's obviously the main draw and will get the crowds every evening. The mains boast of such delicacies as Roasted French Quail and Duo of Lobster tails with Jumbo Lump Crab cake with an equally exotic vegetarian selection like Chef's Crepes (with a blend of mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese and asparagus) and Roasted Portobello and Buffalo Mozzarella. Meat lovers can also opt for Shin of Tenderloin or Cognac New Zealand Lamb Shank.
Then there are the Wood fired oven pizzas from the live patio kitchen. They are topped with the freshest ingredients to ensure a balance between healthy eating and indulgence. Selection includes Tuscany (Tomato, Mozzarella and mushroom) onto Amour (Mozzarella, blue cheese, brie and Parmesan) a Seafood Experience and a Calzone amongst others. You can also walk up to the Pizza oven and create your own signature style
of pizza. All pastas in different variants are freshly made in house at Amour at the specialised bakery. These include the exotic vegetarian selection like Spinach Potato Gnocchi; Scandinavian smoked (Tagliatelle with Norwegian smoke salmon in an almond cream sauce and Amour Signature (Risotto with courgette and a carpaccio of scampi and caviar oscietra).
A fine selection of grilled vegetables, meats and sea food are prepared on the live grills at the Patio. Guests can choose from a choice of marinations ranging from Harissa (Tunisian hot chilli sauce) onto Chimichuri (origins in Argentina, this is parsley based marinate); Charmoula (A popular mixed herb North African marinate), Espetada (A Portugese favourite commonly used for skewered meats) and Shawarma (a Middle Eastern Favourite). The Amour Grills also offers burgers with interesting selections such as Soy or Beef burger with foccacia. There's also a good selection of desserts, but we were too full, too high and too immersed in conversation with the well-meaning stranger's ex to humour our taste buds any further. "I want to fly to the moon," she sighed. We nodded. Who were we to end a dream!
At: Amour - The patio restaurant, cafe & bar, Hauz Khas Village
Timings: 12:30 pm to 1am
Meal for two: Rs 1200 plus taxes
Ring: 9654126687, 9212126687