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Comfort food crazy cocktails

Dance, drink and be merry—Aerocity has a new 24X7 café cum nightclub called Imperfecto Shor Café. With many popular dishes on the menu, this caters to all age groups and all travellers

The moment Chef Manager Akanksha Dean says the interiors have been inspired by the Gothic era, my fingers want to hit the search button on the phone. No, Gothic is not Batman’s Gotham city.

Gothic is a 14th century era, originating from the north of France. Churches and buildings of that time dot the European landscape. The signature elements are high roofs, spirals, arches, stained glass windows. This explains the stone walls, the arches and the many paintings that can be seen at Shor, designed by Nuria Rodríguez Parra. She dons multiple hats as culinary director, interior designer and Director, Creative Projects.

But there’s more than Gothic in this interior. Look up and about, there are the quintessentially Indian elements such as the charpoy ceiling—yes, the ropes and all have been all done by hand—vintage furniture from Jodhpur, carved doors and subtle lighting.

“Imperfecto means imperfection,” smiles the young Chef, who’s been surrounded by foodies since birth, “it is a place to chill out over good food and good drinks.” Her father, Bakshish Dean is a well-known chef in the country and mother Rupali is a consultant and food writer.

Shor isn’t about a single cuisine. Different elements, different continents and different names of dishes—some fiction and some fantasy—the young chef says that the menu has been designed to keep everyone happy. From dal and butter chicken to American burgers, European calzones and Asian sushi and teriyaki, it’s all on the menu. Right in the centre is the Cool Island bar with innovative cocktails crafted by young mixologist Mohit Chopra.

We are here for lunch and begin with a welcome drink called El Mango, matching the summer mood. This has vodka, mango juice, kafir lime and more. A juicy blend served in a brass glass, it turns out be a prelude to more exotic shakers and stirrers.

“The USP lies in using seasonal and fresh ingredients,” explains Dean, as we take a bite of Helen Charlotte’s Heavenly Spirit. Yes, the juicy and fresh watermelon is heavenly in this heat, and arugula, feta cheese and raspberry dressing make it a light delicious beginning. The veg Philadelphia Roll is fresh and sumptuous. Clement’s Japanese Affair is an artfully plated chicken teriyaki, asparagus and sticky rice. It’s the perfect meal for a hot afternoon—nothing heavy or oily about it.

Chopra treats us with infused tea cocktails. My favourite is Intoxicating Powers — a perfect bittersweet blend. Served in a glass which looks like marble, this has Earl Grey infused gin, caramel syrup, egg white, citrus and caramel popcorns.

Bourbon lovers would like Aesthetic Iglesia. The way it’s served is even more interesting than the way it’s made — in a papier-mâché rabbit case. The ginger barrelled bourbon with home-made spices syrup and spices bitter is the drink to choose during long conversations.

The last of the mains is King Leopold’s Succession — a burger with fish patty. The fresh buns are made in-house. Plated on brown paper, this reminds me of eating fish and chips by the sea in Goa. The sumptuous meal ends with quinoa fruit pudding, something like a fruit kheer, but lighter.

With three shifts, the kitchen also has pictures of the dishes, so no one forgets how to plate and serve them. Come out of the café to enter the nightclub which is open on weekends only. This has a private soundproof dining space which can be pre-booked. The menu remains the same.

In all, Shor is a good fit for Aerocity, which caters to all kinds of travellers. The café offers a chance to drink, dance, eat and then catch your flight or crash out in your hotel room.

Price: Rs 1,500 exclusive of taxes (for two people)

Address: Hotel Pride Plaza, Hospitality District 5A Asset, Aerocity, New Delhi