The Mafia Lounge lounge bar and restaurant entrance
Delhi has always been a place, that has acquired an affinity over time, for lounges, restro-bars, especially if they are thematic in their setup. The latest place making a mark on the clubbing scene is the Mafia Restro-bar based out of West Punjabi Bagh in the capital city. Like their name, the Mafia is actually based on the theme of the mafia, which seems to have a high association of rebellion and anti-establishment, which the youth connect to easily. Spot on with the theme, the place is actually quiet the adventure by 20-year old Umang Garg, who brings his family genes of being in business, and creating something new.
The dining area
As the team at Mafia says, this place does bring out the mafia in you, or part rebel that wants a break from the established rules and norms. With modern decor, subdued lighting lighting, and the decor to match, the Mafia restro-bar is not doing so bad on the creating the ambiance needed to be in the frame of mind. And going by what the youth is like these days, the 3-storeyed restro-bar has 3 areas, with the 1st floor being the dining area, as shown above.
The bar and clubbing area
Next comes the bar and clubbing area on the 2nd floor. With the lounge like sitting area, and the bar, is where the people do chill, and dance their feet of with the music. The tempo of their music was decent, but definitely needed a bit of brushing for a more cool and inventive playlist to pull the crowd in. Bass-wise, totally into the groove though. Since this was their curtain raiser, there weren't too many people around, and also the fact that it was an afternoon luncheon time, when people are wrapping up their professional week, but there is every bit the chance that it gets pretty full with the young, and club-hopping.
Smoked chicken and orange salad
The food quality at Mafia is fair, but needs to go a few steps further to become top notch. Beginning with the smoked chicken and orange salad, the flavor of the chicken pieces easily become the memorable part of the dish. Texture wise, the pieces were a bit dry, but the flavor of the dices overcame all of that. Plenty of greens add to the nutrient value including some healthy fiber, but what seemed missing was the orange flavor. For namesake, it was certainly there, and there was a nice sour dressing, but orange was hardly felt on the tongue. The chicken's flavor notes hit the tongue later as one chewed on it, and the thinly-sliced apples were good for complementing the dish overall.
Mint tandoori chicken
A guy handling the chicken at Mafia, knows what he is doing; that's the remark when you try and gauge the flavor of all the smoked chicken dishes on the menu, or for that matter even the paneer. Medium consistency of the chicken, and the taste of the pudina (mint) sauce towards the end actually make it nice on the tongue.
Veg. Naanzaa with Paneer Tikka and Veg. Spring roll
Like the previous trials of the dishes, the paneer tikka stood out. The smoking process with the bell peppers (pictured right), gave the flavor exactly needed for a good tikka. The size was mentionably good, and the extra flavor on one of the sides (perhaps due to marination procedure) can actually worked well. Coming to the spring roll, it had plenty of cabbage, and managed to dominate the taste, other than the slightly excess greasing. It doesn't really hit the tongue, but comes more as an after taste. The specialty, as we were all told, is the Naanzza, more on the lines of a thin crust pizza. The bell pepper topping went well, and the light sprinkling of spices did was it was meant to do. However, the base of the Naanzza seemed extra chewy and harder to bite of, or cut with a dinner knife.
Long island Ice tea
Long island Ice tea, the near dangerous combo of 5 spirits (Cointreau, Vodka, White Rum, Tequila, and Gin) was a strong try-out during the earlier stages of the meal, whereas it definitely should have been kept for the later. However, the blending of the spirits are often subject to the perfect blending technique, and also the quantity used in the blend, which in this case, needed some work. Also, the lemon slices mandatory, but lesser in number, or even just as a garnish on the rim of the glass. However, one still enjoys the power punched drink.
Cooled off with the Virgin Blue Lagoon
The blue lagoon was as classic and simple, and nice on the tongue. Hopefully no blending errors here with the mocktail, as the Blue Curacao, Sprite, and lemon juice were exactly in proportion as they were meant to be. classic and refreshing on the taste palette, on an otherwise hot day outside.
Jack Daniels with coke sign-off
How can there be American bourbon on the menu, and not tasted for? This was the sign-off drink, considering a full stomach, and the fact that there is the lure of tasting bourbon, and seeing how it feels, albeit with coke mixed in it. 2 things intricately American actually don't hit the palette very
hard, and blend off smoothly. A few ice-cubes add to the experience.
Mafia and guns kinda go together, don't they?
Guns and mafia manage to find each other, and was definitely to be found around the corner. This collection had some of the classics used during the earlier half of the 20th century mobsters. Coming to overall experience; definitely a place for clubbing on weekends and Friday nights too. The terrace area, based on the Middle eastern theme, where one would love the summer nights and open-air celebrations. Food was good and left one satisfied, but needs work in terms of quality, and quicker service time. Small refinements leave a larger impact, which needs to come, and hopefully should come.
The terrace sitting area
Umang Garg, having being the younger starter, needs more than a pat on the back for his setup, with his friend. "The idea came randomly," was his remark when quizzed about why he chose the name and theme for the lounge restro-bar. But he did mention, this place is for the youth and not always meant for family gatherings, and has hit the right spot as far as building something for the target audience in the age group of 18-30.
Leaving with a few more shots of Mafia:
Custom made tables for the terrace lounge
Middle-East inspired artwork
The city skyline from the terrace area
Cult of the Godfather Part II on the menu booklet
Some bright attention grabbing cushions
The 'Selfie' Wall on the way to the 3rd floor terrace
Some more artwork on the terrace walls