Lighthouse 13, MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket, New Delhi

[singlepic id=1726 w=80 h=92 float=left]When Amit of Kingfisher Explocity called and asked if I’d like to do dinner at Lighthouse 13 in MGF Metropolitan Mall at Saket, I quickly accepted. The opportunity to visit a new restaurant (bloggers *love* content) and catch up with a fellow food writer was temptation personified. A 48 cover restaurant (indoor + outdoor) with a very interesting menu, Lighthouse 13 has typical low-light interiors and nice al-fresco seating on the roof.

Things started out quite well. We made our selections from starters and main courses, I asked for a glass of wine (Malambo Chenin Chardonnay 1900/385) and sat back awaiting the food. A few short minutes later, my Salade de Chevre (255) arrived. A medley of vegetables, lettuce with goat cheese, topped with three stalks of asparagus. Quite nice, if the main feature of the dish hadn’t been goat cheese, which happened to be by Flander’s. I’ve seen a proliferation of dishes using goat cheese, all using a Flanders product… which isn’t very good. I do appreciate their sales team though. You would do well to avoid this dish if you like goat cheese.

Having said that, the salad was served a little cooler than cool and fairly below chilled (can’t get any more precise than that). The vegetables were fresh and crunchy; the salad on the whole refreshing and quite delicious… if you ignore the cheese. Amit ordered a smoked chicken salad that was quite good; the chicken nice and smoky and fresh, crisp vegetables. Lovely!

My second course was Jack Daniels Chicken Wings. The phrase ‘burnt to a crisp’ wouldn’t quite fit though ‘fried to a crisp’ would certainly do so. The exteriors were quite crisp… and so were the interiors. A perfectly good, usually moist and tender cut of chicken ruined.

Little did I know, the chicken was but a harbinger of things to come.

To cut a long story short:

  • Crispy Cheese Wrappers (250), mentioned as the French answer to spring rolls – stuffed with a nondescript, cheesy, vegetable mixture. Crunchy and well executed, but fairly insipid.
  • Hang Curd Tikki (295) was quite like Srikhand (that’s the spelling on the menu BTW. Think of papsi, patato and ptrol-u); not a quality I want in my savory tikkis.
  • Sole Meuniere was seasoned with red chili powder, appeared to be batter fried, had little or no butter or lemon, served with red chili flavored local potato chips and sauteed vegetables… and garnished with red chili powder too. Wasn’t close to any rendition of the real dish that I’m aware of.
  • The olive oil on the table wasn’t extra virgin.

Service, usually excellent during invited reviews, was fine initially, but quickly became muddled as guests began walking in. A couple of dishes went missing and some requests unfulfilled. Dessert comprised a baked cheesecake and a portion of Tiramisu, both of which were good though Amit won’t agree with me on the Tiramisu.

Lighthouse 13, like many others of it’s ilk, has fallen prey to the ambitious vagaries of a disconnected menu writer who couldn’t be bothered to spell check. That, combined with poor/incorrect recipes, avoidable ingredients and iffy service makes it a place to avoid until improvements happen across the board.

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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.