Call us Ishmael, but ever since we first heard about the Rose B&B in Hauz Khas Village opening their own café, we’ve been chasing that great white whale. It finally beached on Delhi shores last week, when we were told that we could make a lunch reservation.
A boutique bed and breakfast run by two French gentlemen, The Rose is best known for its pretty interiors, featuring white walls and massive windows that let in lots of light and air. The café is located in a particularly appealing nook of the building, with straw mattresses pulled up around low coffee tables, a large multi-piece abstract installation dominating one wall and a picture window that runs across the corridor offering views of park and monument.
The café has a fixed menu that rotates every day, so call ahead to find out what it is; on the day we visited, we weren’t even asked if we’re vegetarian or not. You can also pick from three Indian wines – red, white and rose – or beer.
With our glasses of red came enormous bowls of green salad, snowed in under a layer of Parmesan. Little green olives lurked under, and as we dug deeper, bits of crisp bell pepper flirted with rocket. After peering out to make sure our salad was done – that was great, thanks – the sole waiter also brought out a crisp vegetable crepe, served with grilled chicken as well as smears of pesto and salsa. Brittle-topped and soft on the inside, stuffed with what seemed like every variety of vegetable the chef could find and creamy cheese, this made us close our eyes in bliss. The chicken was only a small breast portion, but browned perfectly and best eaten with salsa.
For dessert, we had mango mousse with slice of pound cake. The mousse came in a little steel sippy cup with a bell at the bottom, tart and melting, fresh and not too rich. We broke off the pound cake and dipped it in the mousse, the bread’s sweetness combining well with the fruit in a fun, non-fussy, innovative dish.
Let it Linger
The Rose Café has several limitations: a tiny, fairly inflexible menu, spotty service, drawn out meals. It might not be the best place for a working lunch, but if you’re looking for a stress-free, non-hipster, non-walk-up option in Hauz Khas Village – or like us, hate having to look through long menus – you should definitely stop by.
Getting there: T-40, Hauz Khas Village, call 64500001, meal for two including wine Rs 2300.
bpb conducts reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.