‘Tourist – the street food bar’, a newly opened travel themed restaurant and bar is yet another addition to the popular food hub centering around Connaught Place in Delhi. Located on the Janpath road bang opposite the popular Janpath market, Tourist offers around 200 seatings spaced generously across its three levels and also include a seesha lounge. The terrace seating offers the perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner date and likewise serves as a hangout place for the young crowd. The décor is rustic and unconventional and pretty much reflects the story of every traveller. The bunker bed seats, the library galleries adorned with heap loads of books, world maps, posters describing backpacking preparation tips are all in accordance with the theme of the restaurant and provides an interesting backdrop to the dining experience.
The global menu that the place offers is both vast and intriguing. Their innovative and creative cutleries immediately set the place apart from the rest. From the Italian counters we were served Aranccini-fried cheese risotto and dumplings followed by Lemon grass chicken from the Asian counter. Aranccini was crispy from the outside and gooey inside from the melting cheese but was bland for my taste though the lemon grass chicken had the authentic Thai flavours rightly infused into the juicy chicken and was my favourite dish of the day. The other starter that caught my attention was Patiala chicken tikkas (P.T.C) from the Indian counter. The chicken tikkas were fiery hot accompanied by achaari onions (onions mixed with mango pickle). The mains consisted of Coq Au Vin from the French counter, Kosha Mangsho and Butter Naan from the Indian counters. Coq Au Vin, an essential chicken dish made up of chicken breasts cooked in red wine sauce, mushrooms and onions with a buttery potato mash in the side was subtle in taste. However, the Kosha mangsho (Mutton cooked in a rich thick tomato gravy) though was pleasing to the taste buds was no near to the real Kosha mangsho. It lacked both the punch and the richness of the gravy. For desserts, the death by éclairs (chocolate éclairs with hazelnut and praline mousse) from the French counter had the right balance of sweetness from the mousse and bitterness from the dark chocolate. Overall, the food at Tourist was both diverse and sumptuous but lacked authenticity. They have tried and incorporated the popular street foods from all over the world which is commendable but have not been able to render the authentic flavours to each of them. Maybe it would be better if they cut down on their menu (almost 10 pages long) and work on to improve their flavours.
Nevertheless, dining at Tourist is an experience not to be missed. It gives a global experience to one’s taste buds. It is like travelling through different countries as one tastes food from all over the world. The décor, the ambiance and the hospitality are impeccable. Had the menu been more compact and true to its details, the place would have hit the bullseye.