REVIEW – “TAKSIM”, @ ANSAL PLAZA, NEW DELHI

Taksim is cool and chic enough for coffee, cosy conversations under the stars and intimate dining in the restaurant indoors. Spread across 4,200 square feet, it has the perfect location in south Delhi’s Ansal Plaza, the capital’s original mall, which after nearly a decade, is ready for its second innings, helped by the fact that its parking capacity is over 1,500.

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Find the world on your plate, with the diverse menu serving Grilled Jumbo Prawns, Roasted Red Snapper, Mezze platters and their signature Arabian Sushi, besides Pakistani Balti Gosht. If you’re looking for authentic Turkish, you’ll find it here, with melt-in-the-mouth Chello Kebab, served with saffron rice or the Mansaf, a rich, fragrant biryani-style preparation. If you’re craving a burger, you can create your own, with customised toppings, dressings and the patty of your choice.

Its name, translated from Turkish as sections or partitions, is used to conceptualise a menu that explores varied cuisines. Chef Sanjay has ingeniously created a menu that gives the people what they crave, which is, tangy, spicy flavours, with a touch of the exotic. So, you have the uniquely crunchy Broccoli Almond or homegrown Tandoori Chicken Dimsums; classic Margherita pizzas (or Pides) and pastas alongside Indian fusions.

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If you’ve decided to spend a sunny afternoon on the spacious patio, enjoy a serving of piping hot burgers and coffee. Or step inside the spacious resto-bar inside, where the DJ plays house and hip-hop music and the volume is just right for conversation. You can also move the party upstairs to an intimate chic lounge, ideal for 18 people, where you can sit back and dig into some classic desserts (think cheesecakes and chocolate decadence. Guests can expect live entertainment from an aerial stage that pops up from the second level, overlooking the main area. Soon, there will be designated musical theme nights, such as Retro Thursdays, in the able hands of 18-year-old Saksham Goklaney (or DJ Cue!).

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Taksim is awaiting its liquor licence, but if the fresh, fruity, spicy mocktails are anything to go by, they promise to be interesting. Check out the Summer Cyclist, which is a blend of orange and litchi or the minty Sporty Lemoned. Kids will love the Kit-Kat, Oreo and Peanut Butter Banana shakes. The resto-bar offers extremely affordable packages for parties too.

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Sahil Madan, who owns the India rights for Taksim, with branches in China, plans to introduce the brand in Tier Two cities like Ludhiana and Indore. A marine engineer, he spent a year in the Merchant Navy before moving onto his true calling, with Ministry of Sound. The warehouse look is a tribute to his days on the sea. The quirky wall installations are all his idea as well as the wall art in the lounge on the second level. The eye-catching wall installation of pots and pans (he’s used real ones), all painted in white, is the first thing that strikes you once you settle down on the plush seats. The mirror, a Vastu element, that extends across the wall has the effect of doubling the space. The quirky chandeliers of broken pieces of crockery are also bespoke pieces. The wall art on the second level is by Delhi’s graffiti artists.

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Come to Taksim for great food, lively ambience and a mix of world cuisine, from European to Arabic and a smattering of Indian. It’s comfort food, with an experimental twist, served alongside classics!

REVIEW CREDIT: SAGAR

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