Now who would think of starting up a Continental cafe in the heart of Punjabi Dilli – Rajouri Garden?
But hotel management graduate from Salzburg University, quintessentially Punjabi chef Dheeraj Mangothra has done that, and successfully so!
Rajouri, infamous for its obscene love for Butter Chicken and Dal Makhni, seems to be taking to his Continental food and the same is evident in ‘ladies’ kitty parties’ on in full swing at ‘Cafe Blue Tomato’ on weekdays.
Enter Blue Tomato, in the busy bylanes of Patel Market, and there is instantly the feeling of ‘being at home.’
The small cafe with hip posters of music legends, miniature and antique items, wooden table-chairs and high-back sofas make you really comfortable.
Add to it the chef’s informal and chatty conduct with his guests, and you hit it
The chef informs us he was previously working in Salzburg but had to return to Delhi following an accident in the family.
Continental food is his speciality and that is what he decided to provide Dilliwalas as well.
He claims, “It’s not just Hauz Khas, but residents of areas like Rajouri are also now developing a taste for Continental food.”
“I am constantly told by my visitors, especially women, that they want health food. In fact, so many of them encourage me to do authentic Continental cuisine and even taste it for me,” he smiles.
We start off with three drinks – Cafe Blue Tomato Refresher, Spicy Tempt and a mango-mint combination – and love all of them.
The last one, especially, is a delight for the innovative mix of mango and coconut milk.
Starters are equally good, notable among them being Chilli Potato Cigarolls With Sweet Cabbage Salad, Basil Paneer Tikka and Juicy Honey Chicken Wings. The chicken wings came with four varieties of chutney, all very appetising.
In Pizzeria, their Garden Pizza and Tandoori Chicken Pizza are good with ultra-thin crust which he informs us “is made of a special variety of wheat with minimum gluten.”
The Funghi Risotto we had “had been altered to suit Indian tastes” the chef informed us but we felt it neither belonged to Italy nor Delhi.
It tasted a tad too spicy which didn’t make it very pleasant.
The pastas, though, were good and in remarkably good portions.
Do try their desserts, our personal favourites being Bloody Muddy Cake and Tiramisu.
The chef pointed out, “All our desserts are eggless as a lot of our clientele prefer eggless desserts.”
Notwithstanding the deletion of eggs, they are absolutely yum.
Also priced comfortable, as compared to other continental Cafes, Cafe Blue Tomato is a sure try whenever you visit this part of Delhi.