Zorawar Kalra’s latest restaurant—Swan—is whipping up a storm in the national capital with its delectable range of Italian and Japanese fare coupled with hand-crafted cocktails. And, if you are a sucker for alfresco dining, this bistro offers the most bewildering views of Mehrauli. Text and food pictures by Priyanka Chakrabarti
After staying indoors for weeks, battling the cold in Delhi, I finally decided to step out for lunch. I am at Swan, right opposite the mighty Qutub Minar. Perched on a rooftop, this latest eatery by Massive Restaurants is surrounded by lush green foliage—what a sight of respite for sore eyes.
I take a quick tour of the space; they have a chic indoor section that exudes warmth, courtesy a classic melange of beige and crimson décor aesthetic coupled with wooden floor and sudden outbursts of greenery in every corner. I step outside to check out the alfresco setup. The whole patio rests under a canopy of thicket and almost every table has a tall warmer standing next to it, ensuring your dining experience is warm and cosy. I choose a table in the serenading outdoors.
There’s nothing more riveting than indulging in artisanal blends on a sunny winter afternoon. I start with one of their signature cocktails—Jasmine JuJitsu Hiball; this whiskey-based drink infused with Lacto-fermented peaches and jasmine tea instantly set the mood for the rest of the meal. The next cocktail has a very interesting name—Selfies Started in Japan; this brightly-toned gin-based cocktail may look delicate at first glance but believe you me, it is as sturdy as a martini.
To dial down the flavours, I order the non-alcoholic version of their Litchi J-Pop; this graceful looking daiquiri style drink has very delicate notes, and the underlying sweetness makes the affair even more enjoyable.
Moving on to the epicurean offerings, I start my meal with a piping hot serving of Mushroom Cappuccino; this thick and creamy textured mushroom soup doused in aromas of truffle oil come with a sugar-dusted toast stick—a perfect potpourri of sweet and savoury flavours. Next, I try their Herb-Marinated Chargrilled Prawns; the succulent prawns layered in a spicy garlic-mayo sauce arive on miniature crispies. This is a total winner! Then, I indulge in some freshly-made Avocado Crostinis; thin slices of ciabatta bread comes loaded with avocado mash, sundried tomatoes and tiny dollops of feta cheese.
After a short banter with the restaurant staff, I find a drool-worthy, mushroom-loaded pizza laid out on my table. Named as Pizza del Duca—this wood-fried deliciousness comes laden with mozzarella, parmesan, porcini mushroom and a generous drizzle of white truffle oil. This is a soulful creation.
Next dish is a Maki Roll called Veggie Roll that comes stuffed with crunchy asparagus, avocadoes, carrots and hints of ginger. From a fairly vegetarian fare, I dive straight into a meaty affair—Pork Belly Skewers, to be precise; brushed with a generous amount of fennel tartar teriyaki sauce and cooked to perfection, every bite packs a punch.
For the main course, I devour a humble portion of Grilled Lamb Chops with Spinach Pepper Jus that has roasted potatoes and some tossed greens on the side—a complete meal with an outburst of decadent flavours.
To end the delightful lunch on a sweeter note, I get myself their signature Messy Cheesecake. Full marks to the chef for the presentation; the dessert looks messy but the elements are laid out in an orchestral manner. And, it tastes scrumptious too!
Amidst the picturesque terrace setting and the appetizing menu, what stands out the most is the modest hospitality of the staff.
We say, head here this weekend with your loved ones, enjoy a pleasant meal with an unparalleled view and be assured of wellbeing because Swan has implemented all COVID-19 safety protocols.
Address: Kharsra 1501, 1st Floor, Kalka Das Marg, Ward 1, Mehrauli, New Delhi
Operational Hours: 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM for lunch | 6:30 PM to 1:00 AM for dinner. On weekends: 12: 30 PM to 1:00 AM
Reservations: 011-71565190 Related: We Got Our Fill Of Winter Treats At Colocal – Delhi’s Brand-New Chocolate Factory