Quick Lunch @ Lights Camera Action- Air Bar, Rajouri Garden

Now that the sailor boy is back in town, so is my social life. I kind of stopped visiting new places in Delhi because honestly even though I love food, I hate driving, I get full in a matter of minutes and well it doesn’t feel right feeding on good food while the boy is away eating almost the same thing for months. Anyhow, we planned a movie date last Sunday to celebrate our 9 years anniversary of sorts and post the trauma of bearing with a not so shaandaar movie “Shandaar” we decided we needed good food to ease the pain of all the lost time and money so we headed to this small hub in Rajouri that houses some of the really watering holes and eateries in that area. The only place that we hadn’t tried so far in the area was Lights Camera Action so that is where we headed.

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Picture Credit: Here

The place greets with you a mix of high chairs and comfy couches surrounded with Hollywood movie posters with a desi twist. You can see that they take their Bollywood inspired theme pretty seriously because everything from the menu to the t-shirts that the servers are wearing have a filmy touch to it. I had a gala time reading all the famous dialogues on the servers t-shirts and reading all those carefully crafted witty dish names on the menu….they definitely got some extra points for being this quirky and creative 🙂

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Picture Credit: Here

Once I got over the quirky dish names, we finally placed our order with them. My golden rule when I visit a new place is to take suggestions from the server however the servers here were a little confused and his first response was that everything on the menu was good ** face palm **. Anyhow, we decided to order some drinks first and ordered some Long Island Ice Tea with their Summer Cooler which was a cranberry based mocktail. The LIIT was super disappointing and even after I sent it back twice, what I got back was not worth drinking so I ordered a Corona and till the time the beer got to our table, I gulped down the summer cooler which turned about to be a pretty amazing combination of cranberry juice, loads of mint and a dash of lemon.

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The LIITs

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With the drinks came complimentary mango lassi shots and a bowl of popcorn served in bright red loudspeaker. The lassi shots were an attempt to introduce molecular gastronomy element in the meal but honestly having tried dishes based on molecular gastronomy is some of the best restaurants in the city, I wasn’t too impressed. My friends on the other hand who novices to this very interesting cuisine had no complains. The popcorn had a bit of chaat masala added to it which I must say completely blew me off and I am totally hooked to this combination.

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To start our meal we ordered Baby Doll Salad, Chicken-e-Chameli and Nawabi Shauk. Baby Doll Salad was basically ceasars salad with chicken tikka. I absolutely loved the salad and the twist that the flavour of chicken tikka added to it.The dressing was just enough to cover the elements the salad without overpowering anything. Chicken-e-Chameli was marinated chicken, grilled and served in a big handi sort of container. I loved the presentation and the dish on its own was the highlight of out meal in LCA. The chicken was cooked to perfection and the marinade was this great combination of Indian spices with a little bit of sweetness

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Nawabi Shauk which was grilled seekh kabab was alright. I found two things weird about it…first…they served papad with it which left us a little confused and it had this really thick sauce on it which is supposedly the Chef special sauce but completely overpowered the flavour of the meat and the smoky flavour that grilling leaves behind.

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For mains, we decided to try the Nanzaas which was their Indian rendition of a pizza and instead of a traditional pizza base, they used naan bread. We ordered Gangs Of Wasseypur Nanzaa which had chicken salami, grilled chicken, onions and black olives as toppings. I am really fond of thin crust pizza and I was definitely a happy camper after eating the first bite of the nanzaa. My only concern when I ordered the nanzaa was to end with a doughy crust but the chef at LCA knows what he is doing and I did not miss the normal crust even for a second. I would say I kind of prefer the naan base to the pizza base because the texture and  the flavour of the naan goes really well with the slightly Indianised toppings we have in most restaurants.

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Next on the mains was pasta with Indian twist which was choice of pasta in makhni sauce. I was pretty skeptical to try this and only gave in because sailor boy insisted I atleast taste it and well it was another on of those instances which reminded that I shouldn’t dismiss something without trying it atleast once because it was definitely worth going for a second serving. The makhni sauce was mostly white sauce with a little bit of the typical makhni flavors in it…it was definitely more creamy than the usual white sauce and had that hint of garlic and ginger to it. I loved the fact that the dish did not feel like I had mixed a bowl of spaghetti with a white makhni gravy, instead they had added the notes of a good makhni gravy without destroying the essence of a white sauce pasta.

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For desserts, we ordered the Bole Toh? which was described a Oreo rabri cake. I was instantly drawn to order this dish because the description had two of my favorite desserts – oreos and rabri but unfortunately the dessert turned out to be a complete disaster. The rabri was runny and icy, the crumbs of Oreos just did not add anything into the dish and tt was definitely a bad end to a good meal 🙁

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In terms of service, I had no complains apart from the fact that they need to train their a staff a little more on the interaction with the diners front. For someone like me a “everything on the menu is good” answers clearly serves as an indication that the server has no clue about the dishes and is just serving stuff from the kitchen.

Overall it was a decent meal and I love how they have added an Indian twist to some of the classics. The ambience is pretty interesting, the servers are courteous, the service is good, portions are decent and it is definitely a good place to catch a quick bite with friends. They obviously need train their staff a little bit more and I personally feel that if they are looking into venturing into the molecular gastronomy side of things, they need more research on that and definitely a little more practice but if I was asked for advice, I would suggest that their niche is the quirky element in their decor, menu and food so they should work maintaining that quality, adding some more surprises and maybe work on improving the existing ideas.

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