One Night at Nehru Place
Walking into Chatter House, you can be excused for doing a double-take. With its green leather and wood furnishings, floorboards and brick-tiled walls you could easily believe you've wandered into McLaren's pub from How I Met Your Mother. Or, if of an older vintage, Cheers from Cheers. There is a pool and foosball table in the corner and vintage posters and signs arranged around the brick-decorated bar. There is also an al fresco dining area with a wood-fired oven. Clearly the restaurant takes its tag of a gastro-pub quite seriously.
The menu is a colourful poster, with a medley of comfort foods, pub grub and Indian fare, all reasonably priced. Several dishes come with the option of adding on a soft drink for Rs 49, or an alcoholic beverage for Rs 99. The management promises the menus will change every few days. The alcohol menu is a mix of classic cocktails, beers, liquors and several house specials ranging from Bubblegum Martinis to Jello Shots to Indian fusion drinks. We order the Amrud Chat, sans alcohol, as Chatter House will get its liquor license in October. A heady mixture of guava juice, tobacco and lemonade, the spicy drink, in Ali's words, floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee, and delivers a punch worthy of the man himself.
The first round is the Chatter House Special Non-Veg Platter with Fish Fingers, Boti Kebab, Shish Touk and Chicken Wings all coming into the ring together, ably supported by mint chutney, hummus and tartare sauce. The melting, skewered shish touk is easily the best thing on the platter, closely followed by the crispy fish fingers.
The main event is a Beef Burger. A huge ensorcelled beef patty studded with caramelised onions and tucked into a soft bun, the burger is beguilingly simple with an undulating flavour composition of these three ingredients. An extremely elemental and delicious dish, this. For dessert, we pick the Dessert Nachos, at which Hermione Granger's dentist parents would probably look askance. A toothsome coming together of cookies, brownies, Smarties, marshmallows and vanilla ice cream bound together with decadent whipped cream, dessert is pretty as a picture.