Republic of Chicken: SouthEx, New Delhi [Closed]

We visited ROC for dinner with Ashwin a few days back. Located in the very first building in SouthEx (coming from AIIMS), ROC is on the third floor of the same building that houses Mango and MAAC.The interiors are clean and inviting, a pure fast food ambience, open kitchens and polite waiters. They also have a cold cuts / deli counter in the same place, where you can pick up nearly all the items on their menu for cooking at home. Nice. With about 100 covers and solid air conditioning, the place is geared to handle all the traffic it can get. I understand they have their own chicken farm in Chandigarh where all their products are processed from live hen to nugget (that’s an easy one – what came first, the chicken or the nugget?). Did I mention the woody ambience, funny slogans and quite well done collateral all over the place?

Republic of Chicken

Lets wrap up the bad stuff first – the service is awful. Awful as in, uninformed and inept – like clearing away plates of people who’re still eating (Cherie went to the loo and found her plate was replaced in the meantime), clearing the plates and leaving used cutlery on the table and so on, asking for large plates twice and getting little ones both times, and so on. Also, the cushions are so soft, that when anyone of average height sits on them, he/she winds up being at chin level with the table, which, as you will agree, isn’t very comfortable.

Having said that, nothing took more than 6 – 10 minutes to reach us, which is quite good.

We ordered Chicken Nuggets, Punjabi Chicken Sticks, Chicken Potstickers, Chicken Gyros, a whole Spit Roasted Chicken, Mr. Prime Minister (dessert) and a Honey Apple Pita (dessert). The nuggets (baked) were crisp on the outside and tender on the inside though some were a little damp (probably baked from frozen or something). They were served with a spiced mayo sauce. The potstickers were quite different from what was shown on the menu, dry on the inside and not at all juicy as they’re meant to be – more like dried, fried street momos… bad ones at that. The chicken gyros were average but nice – shredded, dressed chicken and vegetables in pita wraps, served with arabic style pickles and hummus. The spit roasted chicken was dry and quite chewy. It came with a basket of pita, pickles and hummus. The Honey Apple Pita comprised pita topped with slices of stewed apple, cinnamon and honey served with vanilla ice cream. Too sweet for me, but innovative nonetheless.

The stars of the evening were the Punjabi Chicken Sticks and the Mr. Prime Minister – The sticks were just like satay with north Indian spices, served with raw onion rings, lemon and mint sauce. The sauce was a disaster (too little mint, too much yoghurt – fresh nonetheless); the sticks, with a little lemon, were absolutely delicious. The Mr. Prime minister was vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, crumbled cookies, nuts, and a chocolate flower sticking out the top.

And oh, they have this thing with cokes and other aerated drinks – 35 bucks per person gets you unlimited refills. Nice!

The prices are quite alright – we ended up paying 1295 before taxes, which I believe is good value for money.

– Sid

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.