Junkyards are always a tad challenging to find; taking a cue from its inspiration, the recently opened Junkyard Cafe has a slight head scratcher as an entrance. Once you figure out its second floor location in Connaught Place though, nothing could be more open, from the stone-flanged entrance to the cavernous interiors, the entire restaurant breathes in wide spaces. The décor is inspired, and we don’t mean from just the name. Rusty wrenches and sprockets welded into object d arts, irregular furniture, servers dressed in dungarees and sporting hard hats, and even a life size World War I plane model, done up entirely in wood and decoratively peeling — it’s hard to tear our eyes from our surroundings and focus on the menu.
In direct juxtaposition to the junk all around, one section of the menu is all about health. Each dish is carefully caloried, with every nutritive value noted. We just wish the management would have quantified each dish per portion as 190 calories for a steak just doesn’t sound right. Or rather, too good to be true. The other section is sans scripture and a medley of comfort foods from around the world.
Deciding not to play favourites, we pick our starters from both — Sausage Mushroom Caps from the former, and Curried Chicken Wontons from the latter. The caps turn up first and are everything their name suggests: large caps stuffed with crumbled sausage and gratinated with cheese, all making for a toothsome mouthful. We dispense of it post haste, specially since our wontons are crying for attention. Well-stuffed with the aforementioned curried chicken, we still wish the chefs had done something to advance the plot; there’s nothing wrong with it apart from a certain staidness.
For our mains, we dive into the sea with a Prawn Risotto, again from the health menu. We also frolic with a Laal Maas from the other side, following our strategy from before. The risotto is a gentle melange of arborio rice and prawns, spiked with fennel and textured with garden fresh rocket leaves, a dish with soul, if you will. In contrast, the Laal Maas is as hot as the desert state it comes from, a fiery furnace of tender meat simmered in a delicious red chilli gravy. Winter has never been warmer.
Meal for two: Rs 1,800 (including taxes, excluding alcohol)
Address: N-91, Connaught Place.