Located in the posh & youthful PVR Priya, Basant Lok Market which has a history associated with it of ‘the first everything’; This place got Delhi’s first McDonald’s, PVR Cinema, TGIF, Vodka served in Golgappa at Punjabi by Nature amongst others, Cafe Torque is right at the end of the complex. The cafe is like a feather in the hat as the complex has a nice mix of chain restaurants, coffee shops, family restaurants, retail stores selling premium food products, etc.
Cafe Torque is a Biker’s Cafe that is built by the bikers, for the bikers. The concept of a Biker’s Cafe is relatively new in India and is still being experimented with. Delhi too has just two of these, with Cafe Torque being one of them.
Cafe Torque is co-owned by Abhishek Sharma who himself is a biker and it was his need for an exclusive bikers cafe that gave birth to this awesome place. The passion is reflected in every intrinsic detail gone in the designing of the cafe. It’s interiors are quirky yet tasteful. The masterpiece being the world map made of chains, nuts & bolts. Fuel dispenser nozzles are used as door knobs and taps. The walls have guitars made up of heavy metals and wacky quotations. There are three super-bikes parked inside the cafe which act as constant eye catchers. What is little known about Torque is that they also sell these second hand bikes. The dress of the servers and the menu too is in sync with the theme and uses the bikers jargon like ‘First Gear’ for the starters section, ‘Tool Box’ for its platters, ‘Citrus Wheelie’ and ‘Fresh Fuel’ for its drinks, etc.
The menu is curated by chef Arun Chandra of Mint Hospitality Consultants and is a balanced mix of American, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican and Continental Cuisines. The dishes and drinks have been given some nice twists and they have come out really well, like the Paan Mojito, it was a refreshing drink with some fresh paan muddled in the classic mojito. The Cumin Orange Coolant too was a sheer pleasure to have. What I did not personally like was the Ride on Red drink. It was a different version of a bloody mary and not a successful experiment to say the least. It was overloaded with flavours of tomato and chilly. The Green Apple Lemonade was very average and had immense scope of innovation and taste.
The star dish of the day was Chicken and Bacon Shockers, which were Chicken tenders laced with green chilli & arugula pesto wrapped in bacon. It was a well presented dish and one could taste all the ingredients. The Creamy Garlic Rolling Stones wherein Shitake and fresh field mushrooms were tossed in garlic cream and were served on a bed of wild rocket with parmesan lavash, was very flavourful. Outrageous Potato Skins with both veg and chicken filling were not much appreciated owing to the thick skinned potatoes. I did not find the ball bearings (penne, parmesan, corn dumplings) that well made. They tasted like a lump of food put together without much flavour.
The Harissa Tiger Prawns gave stiff competition to the chicken and bacon shockers. The Harissa dip was very spicy and extremely well made. This gave the dish its edge. The prawns were well marinated and hence carried all the flavours. Next to seek appreciation was Fish Yakitori; it was basa fish in yakitori sauce which is a honey based sauce. It was served with Asian greens and jasmine rice which complimented the dish well, though I did feel that some extra sauce on the fish would have done wonders to the dish. The Laksa Chicken Skewers and Twisted Lamb Kebabs were both very average dishes. Though they were flavourful but the chewy state of the meat took away the beauty of the dish. The Zucchini rolls filled with peppers and ricotta and grilled to perfection (Named Let it Roll, in the menu) were very light and good to taste. They can make excellent finger foods.
If you like chilly then definitely try the Boom Boom Chilly Cheese Poppers. They tasted well with the ricotta filled insides and sour cream on top. And post this shift on the Fifth Gear and taste some heart warming deserts. The Bailey’s Banana Trifle which has caramelised bananas, brownie crumble, double cream, Bailey’s Irish cream, toffee sauce & grated chocolate is one of the most amazing deserts I’ve ever tasted and shouldn’t be missed at all. I also tried the Tuxedo Cake which was a layered sponge cake with some chocolate mouse and ganache, which turned out to be very hard, as if moisture was sucked out of the bread layers.
All in all, Torque is a very inviting place and a much needed break from the oh so similar cafe culture mushrooming in Delhi.
Cafe Torque,Vasant Vihar
Phone: 011 43115401
Meal for two – 1500 Plus taxes(Without Alcohol )