Nestling in the Famous Studio lane, off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi, Auriga Restaurant and Lounge, is the go-to place for office-goers of the area. Though also frequented by residents and people from across the city, Auriga seems to be tailored keeping this specific clientele in mind. It houses an outdoor café, where you can enjoy light snacks; a lounge where one can enjoy high energy music, shake a leg and chill with pre or post-dinner drinks; and a restaurant that offers sumptuous Pan Asian fare.
Artistically designed with layered fluidity in thin strips of wood, the restaurant is situated on the 2nd level. Kritika Nagpal, owner of Auriga, says, “Pan Asian food is extremely popular in the city and we offer food from over ten South Asian countries under one roof. Also, given the demographics of this location, with its large vegetarian population, we have an extensive vegetarian menu that has been ‘glo-calised’ to cater to these audience and provide them with authentic flavours and a great dining experience.”
The vegetarian dishes at Auriga are indeed fit to woo even die-hard non-vegetarians. The Cigarillo with water chestnut and broccoli, which is a unique combination of flavours and textures, is crisp and subtle, while both the Veg har gao and the grilled potatoes with vegetable were above par in terms of flavours and presentation.
The Thai spiced chicken is very reminiscent of its origins and worth more than a helping. Khao suey, which is one of their signature dishes, was relatively more authentic than the usual fare offered at such plush diners. We were of course taken in more by the quaint presentation that was bursting with colours and did loads to whet the appetite.
For desserts, the passion fruit cheesecake, with the slight sour and sweet hints of the passion fruit puree complimenting the smooth cheese cake, is one of the best options. The chocolate sauce offered with the vanilla ice cream was a no-go for us as it was too viscous and not ‘chocolaty’ enough.
Chef Vaibhav Mahajan also recommends, “Crisp shitake, Sliced eggplant with peanut and coriander, The traditional hot pot, Balinese curry with roast duck, Roast lamb and Moong bean Murtabak and our delicately-crafted dimsums.” Indeed the translucent dimsums with their rice flour coverings (which make them light and do not leave a starchy after taste) are great starters to set the mood for the meal.
—Inputs from Amrita Ganguly-Salian