If you’re in the mood for an evening of pure indulgence but with new experiences, you can try the newly-opened Red – a plush dining lounge in Delhi that promises to be as hot as its name. From the moment you step inside, you are enveloped in an atmosphere of sheer luxury. The interiors are contemporary, with warm red hues that make the space feel intimate and inviting. Roof-to-floor red curtains drape the walls, and the stained pine wood floors along with colour-block table tops warms up your heart with the deep red hue.
The bar at Red is a work of art. The sleek, glossy counter is illuminated from the wall of bottles behind the bar that truly steals the show. Almost every spirit you can imagine is represented, from rare Japanese whiskies to boutique gin labels that you won’t find just everywhere. And if you’re not sure of what to order, the bartenders are happy to guide you through their menu of customised classic drinks and cocktails flavoured with seasonal ingredients. The Negroni is a must-try if you have a palate for the bitter drink but want a toned down version of it. I found my favourite in ‘Moh-Maya‘, a tequila-based cocktail infused with fruity flavours of strawberry.
But it’s the menu at Red that truly sets it apart from the rest. The cuisine is inspired by fire and employs the technique of Robatayaki (fireside cooking) – a method of cooking over hot charcoal. It lends a smoky depth to every dish. The menu features a range of exotic cuisines that take you on a culinary journey around the world. When I visited Red to try the menu, I was quite blown away with the flavours and presentation.
I started my meal on a light ‘not much of a fire‘ note. Crisp Affair – a delicious platter of crisps and dips kept me company as I waited for my drinks and food. Beet and Avocado Tartare with chilli and leeks was just the appetiser I needed to curb my hunger. The sweet flavours of beetroot and the creaminess of avocado came together in a taut harmony.
Then I was ready for ‘all flames‘. And I was served flaming hot skewers of Chicken & Mushroom, Prawns and Lamb & Aubergine. While Prawns seasoned with wakame butter and pickled cabbage were succulent, flavoursome and oh-so delicious, I found Chicken and Lamb lagging behind. I just wished they were juicier.
Moving on ‘light reds‘, I tried the Mutton Bao and it was incredible. Soft, fluffy bao stuffed with full-of-flavours mutton mice – it made to the top of my recommendation list. Not too far behind was Charred Corn Ribs – a play of sweet caramel and salty corn puree on the corns was quite enjoyable. Another dish that I really liked was Sea Bass ‘Vruval’. The delicate fish was perfectly seasoned and served atop a bed of curry leaf and garlic butter.
Brulee Brie – another must-try dish served chopped pumpkins as a pie paired with multigrain crackers, creating a refreshing bite that was perfect for a warm summer evening.
Then it was time for ‘the last heat’. The Robata Grilled Chicken was tender and succulent, with a hint of smokiness that was perfectly balanced by the tangy chimichurri sauce. Forestier Pancake Roll was all about mushrooms with a deep, savoury flavour and creamy sauce. It wasn’t extraordinary but tasted good.
But I did find the extraordinary – in a dessert. Basque Cheesecake was unlike any other cheesecake I had before. The crust-less cheesecake, adorned with passion fruit and berries gave a perfect ending to my evening.
Where: 24 Basant Lok market, Vasant Vihar, Delhi
When: 6pm – 1am
Cost for two: INR 2,500 (approx.)