Fuel for the Shopper


Life Caffe offers a pleasant dining experience, even if the napkins are wrinkled and the glasses don't sparkle

Nestled in the cacophonous environs of Connaught Place is a quiet sun-dappled courtyard Life Caffe, the new avatar of the Bonsai restaurant. It is reminiscent of old-world European restaurants that were hidden from the main street and accessible only through labyrinthine staircases and passages. Encompassing an outdoor and indoor seating area, decorated in shades of white and pastel blue, with comfortable couches and wicker furniture, the restaurant provides an interlude from the chaos of retail shopping.

The menu is multi-cuisine without becoming trite, with dishes as varied as poori bhaji, sushi, kebabs, steaks and Oriental fare. We begin with Thai Chicken Wings and the Ghongura Mushroom, a spicy South Indian preparation. We're in a hurry and ask for the order to be expedited and, within minutes, the dishes are set before us.

The wings are fleshy and well marinated, and served with the standard red chilli and honey sauce. While there are no complaints about the flavour, the chicken is slightly underdone clearly the price we pay for rushing the cook. While we believe in the adage "the bloodier, the better", you might want to ask for the wings to be cooked to well done. The mushrooms are sour on the outside, with a distinctly face-flushing character when we sink our teeth into them. We decide that the appetisers have given our meal a good start.

For mains, we order Honey and Mustard Glazed Pork Chops with Apple Cider Sauce. The pork, like the preceding protein, is generously proportioned, a real prima donna cut of meat. Richly flavoured, it makes for quite a mouthful, especially when combined with apple sauce, which, mercifully, is not too sweet. The accompanying mashed potato is particularly good, a homogenous harmony of spuds, garlic and nutmeg, nicely rounded off with slightly more than a hint of Parmesan.

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