How does one feel when he enters a restaurant to have good food and gets much more than that? When I got to know that a Bollywood theme restaurant is opening up in a place like Rajouri Garden, two things came to my mind.
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 the third floor. They are true to their name and it proves when you take a lift from the 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 the privacy of guests. The seating largely consisted of comfortable sofas while there were some high chairs with tripod style tables. The 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 layer 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.
Then we were offered two types of flavored popcorn, one mild spicy and the other one a bit spicier. They serve it complimentary to their guests because they believe that popcorns are an inseparable part of a movie-going experience, to which I agree.
After that, we tried cocktails. I was served a vodka-based Mixed Fruit Cocktail. Though the fruits added to the punch, it was a bit strong for my liking. I believe a cocktail, especially fruit based, should be a bit mild as compared to hard liquor. I liked the coasters as they were filled with images of yesteryears movies like Deewar and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi. Every article in the restaurant seemed to be hand-picked. Even the T-shirts the servers were wearing had words written on it like ‘Dabangg’ & ‘Tofa kabool karo’.
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 chilies did not dominate the actual taste, which generally happens with Rasam.
The best part of the lunch was the deconstruction of the Papri Chat. This molecular gastronomy version of our very own desi chaat consisted of yogurt & 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 yogurt and Dhokla regained their perfect texture once they were in the mouth and the combination of the flavors took the taste to another level.
We also tried Cheesy Murg Malai Tikka and Vegetarian Chicken Tikka, which was basically Soya Chaap grilled in Tandoor. Both the dishes melted in the mouth and tasty. An extra point to the Soya dish for making a carnivore like me prefer it over the chicken dish.
Then we had the Lebanese Platter which consisted of fried lamb dumplings, grilled fish, and grilled chicken. The sides consisted of Pita Bread, pickled veggies and four kinds of sauces. I liked the taste of the chicken and the sauces. Rest of the things were just about okay. The next dish was Kolhapuri Veg Quesadilla. I liked the fusion of Mexican Quesadilla with Kolhapuri spices, and it tasted really good.
Nachos and Corn Chaat was made with mayo and had the right amount of spices. It is a very easy but innovative dish which I’m amazed has never come to any other restaurateur’s mind before. Butter Chicken Naanza is a desi take on Pizza and is already being served in a few establishments. However, everyone cannot successfully retain the flavor of butter chicken. At Lights Camera Action they have nailed it. The dish had the full flavor of Butter Chicken and the crust had the right amount of crispness.
We ended our meal with Tiramisu deconstruction. The Italian dessert was prepared using molecular gastronomy. As all the ingredients were not evenly mixed, some of the bites were tasty while some of the bites had the extremely strong flavor of coffee.
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.
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.
Lights Camera Action – Air Bar
J2/6 B, 3rd Floor,
BK Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden,
Meal for two 1800(approx) with Alcohol