Like a true food lover I keep exploring different food hubs. In the last few months I have been to some reasonably good places and I will talk about them in a different post.
This post is specially about Vintage 31, Bistro & Café By Navya. I visited the café in June this year. I was out on a food hunt and was craving for something continental which was good and reasonably priced. My son suggested we visit Vintage 31 in Meharchand Market.
Two important things that pleased me about the place – availability of parking space right outside it and the quiet calm that greeted me when I entered.
Most of the dining experiences are ruined by the lack of these two. I won’t call it homely because for me it seemed like a place where I could get away from home. But, It certainly has a warmth one seeks in a home. The first thing I said was, “what a pretty place.”
Vintage style wooden furniture, pastel floral motifs on walls, a wooden staircase, a nice terrace with plants all around, a big bay window and comfortable statement chairs.. the place seemed perfect to relax with a cup of coffee or tea or to simply enjoy a quiet meal. No loud music, no noisy people. The ambiance and the decor makes the café brim with warmth. I noticed a display rack with books and wondered if one could come and do some peaceful writing here. Spread on two floors the outlet has just 45+ covers. The staff is alert, soft-spoken and hospitable without being intrusive so you get personalized service too.
Vintage 31 has a fairly versatile menu which is not extensive but caters to all age groups. It is an interesting mix of European, American and Mediterranean cuisine. Vintage Stuffed Chicken, Fiery Chicken and Fish in Mustard Sauce are a few of their classic signature dishes and they also serve a range of desserts and beverages including Virgin Mojitos and Virgin Sangrias. We settled for Mezze Platter, Grilled Chicken in Tangy Sauce, Virgin Mojito and Blueberry Cheesecake.
Portioning is another issue with restaurants. You seldom get something worth the amount you shell out. The portions here were good and the dishes were good value for money. Hummus was smooth and paired well with the pita, the falafel was just fine.
The perfectly grilled chicken tasted good with the tangy sauce.
The Mojitos were refreshing but the dessert was the best part of the meal.
It was overall a good first time lunch experience and we promptly did a check in on FB as we do with all the good places we go to. We decided to come back some other time and try more things.
On the second visit I had their Couscous Salad, Vegetarian Wrap and Caramel Custard which made a nice meal.
A few days later, a common friend who had seen our Facebook check in, introduced me to Vimi Singh, the owner of Vintage 31. The connect was instant and after a couple of interactions we decided to meet in person.
The opportunity came when I visited the café for a book launch in September. It was there I met Vimi for the first time. She told me how she and her husband K.D. Singh, a retired fighter pilot from the Indian air force, combined her expertise as an interior designer and his love for food to create the café. We talked more about their dream of making Vintage 31 a hub for creative events etc. I asked her why she chose an English Theme and she said they wanted it to be a cozy and quiet place where people could come and relax, enjoy the country music and have delicious meals or just a cup of their splendid tea and cookies.
Since then I have been to the café twice and enjoyed the warmth of their hospitality. Let me tell you this is not an empty praise. You must go there to experience it yourself.
The café also recently completed a year and was responsible for some of the best delicacies served at the Kumaun Literature Festival as they came together as restaurant partners for the event. While I might have missed this opportunity, many I know raved about the perfectly cooked and delicious food.
In September the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride by Delhi Biker group Royal Mavericks was flagged off from Vintage café, the coolest of 400 bikers from the Royal Enfield Rider’s community graced Vintage 31.
The café doesn’t serve alcohol as of now but who knows they may soon have some fabulous cocktails and finest beers along with Sheesha. I just hope the place retains its quiet charm. The terrace will be open for a meal under the sunny winter sky. They are just one year old and rearing to go. I love the single-minded passion with which the couple works around even the minutest of details.
I found a few more interesting facets of Vimi on our next meeting. Her passion for driving ( she is a rally driver) and her ability of mentoring youngsters. I know I am supposed to review the café but it is the person behind the place that gives the place a soul.
She also has a beautiful home accessory store called Navya next to the café. It too has an English Theme and looks like an extension of the café itself. They have an eclectic collection of accessories from all over the world. Many of which have been handpicked on personal travels.
So, if you are looking for a quaint place far from the madding crowd which is easy on your pocket, serves good meals and is centrally located then do pay a visit to Vintage 31 Bistro & Café. The café offers free WiFi too. Just ask the staff for the password.
The place is open for book readings, poetry sessions and other events. If you have any interesting event ideas/ feedback to share with Vimi, connect on Vintage 31 Bistro & Cafe FB Page.
Cuisine – European ,Mediterranean, American
Food Rating 4/5 | Ambiance – 5/5 | Service – 4/5 | Overall 4/5
Meal for two – 1,500 Approximately
Alcohol – No | Credit Card – Yes
Address – 31, Meharchand Market,Lodhi Colony, New Delhi.
Timing – 11 AM to 11 PM
Disclaimer – This is not a paid review and I wasn’t offered free meals for reviewing. I will be putting up more restaurant reviews as we explore new places. Stay Tuned.