Firstly, that setting foot in a predominantly Punjabi locality where brilliant food is cooked even in household kitchens, whether a new establishment will survive which is not promoting food as its USP. Secondly, how much scope is there for experimental cuisine in an area where people still stick to the basics and swear by their butter chicken and Dal Makhani. How my apprehensions were met, you will find out later.
Lights Camera Action is located on third floor. They are true to their name and it proves when you take a lift from ground floor where Iron man is waiting to give u a hint of what lies ahead. As you enter the place you get a feel of a movie studio, with inventive movie posters on one side and ‘Lights Camera Action’ written on the other which give a very dramatic feel to the place. The terrace is really huge and I could actually imagine an evening party coming alive in front of me. The indoor seating area was quite spacious too and there was enough distance between tables to ensure privacy of guests. The seating largely consisted of comfortable sofas while there were some high chairs with tripod style tables. Menu was really interesting and the names of the dishes were based on bollywood dialogues. I must admit it is the most entertainment packed menu I have ever seen. Some of the dishes are prepared using Molecular Gastronomy which is a fairly new concept in India, but surely adds up to a fun filled and unique dining experience.
We started with Mathura style Kesar Pista Lassi Spheres which are served to the guests as welcome dish. They were small balls having an upper lair of malai and as I took it into my mouth it burst, oozing out smooth flavourful sweet lassi. The temperature was just perfect and the taste was divine.
Coming to the most interesting part i.e. food, we started with ‘Chammak Chhallo’, an orange based salad which also consisted of lettuce, capsicum, shredded carrots and onions topped with mayo and sesame seeds. It had just the right taste being neither too salty nor too sour. After that we had Rajnikant Morning Tea, which was basically Rasam prepared in front of our eyes just like tea using curry leaves and powdered coconut oil, as if being ‘reel’ versions of the ‘real’ tea leaves and sugar. The taste was really good and surprisingly the hotness of chillies did not dominate the actual taste, which generally happens with Rasam.
Best part of the lunch was the deconstruction of the Papri Chat. This molecular gastronomy version of our very own desi chaat consisted of yoghurt & pieces of dhokla frozen at -176 degrees using liquid nitrogen, further mixed with papdi, fried palak patta, various chutneys and spices made it an experience worth remembering. Now I know what it’s like having a chilled papdi chaat. The frozen yoghurt and Dhokla regained their perfect texture once they were in the mouth and the combination of the flavours took the taste to another level.
A concept like this is not only aimed at serving great food but is also aimed at being an entertaining and fun filled experience for the people dining in. The food, though innovative, has been designed keeping in view the taste-buds of Delhi people. I can safely say that this place is here to stay.