Status symbols

I suppose that has to be the theme of at least one post while I’m in Delhi! Well, here goes.

The market where I live has two vegetable shops. One’s a Safal vegetable shop, where there are usually only two kinds of vegetables per day, and the other, located in the main part of the market, has ‘imported’ veggies. So we usually do our vegetable shopping at a much more downmarket market, and stock up for the week.

Yesterday, however, was one of those days when there was nothing in the fridge and no time to spend at a subzi mandi. So off I went, to pick up something for MM to cook. Since there was nothing at the Safal shop as usual, down I trotted to the upmarket ‘mart’, feeling terribly underdressed among the pretty fireflies who come out with the Delhi dusk.

I found a couple of cook-able veggies and paid for them, and on my way out, saw three fireflies examining some trying-to-look-perky asparagus. Long straight hair, two inch heels, a woolen shawl over bare shoulders. “You can put this celery in a salad, it tastes so good, you know?” “Uss-pay-rug-uss hai madam, celery wahaan hai”

I smirked into the hood of my authentic-foreign-university-sweatshirt, as I carried my bhindi  and baigan out of the door with my head held high.

Waterfront

Finally ate at the Waterfront yesterday. It’s that fancy place on Necklace Road that I’ve ogled at from the outside and been wanting to try out for a while.

It’s on Necklace Road, as I said, overlooking the lake. All glass, discreetly covered with curtains on three sides (not on the lake side, obviously!) There’s also a terrace, smartly positioned a little lower than the indoor area, so the view is unobstructed. We ate on the terrace – lighted with little hanging bulbs, a barbecue (a tandoor, actually!) at one end. It’s a beautiful view – the lights of the city reflecting in the water, far enough away to keep the sense of peace and quiet.

Nice large tables, comfortably big chairs, not too high, with armrests and all. Enough space between tables to be able to have a conversation without being interrupted by other peoples’ cell phones. What surprised me, though was the absence of tables for two or three – they were all four-six tops.

We walked in early – before they started serving, but a hostess received us, and explained the cover charge to us. She actually explained it, and apparently there was even a board explaining it! Made me laugh at the time, but I suppose it makes sense in Hyderabad! One thing I do wonder about is why she didn’t see us to our seats when we said we’d prefer to dine al fresco. Especially given the fact that you have to leave through the front door and go round to reach the terrace – there’s no direct entry from the restaurant.

But the food was excellent, the service was superb (we were in a hurry, and they managed to be quick, efficient and still attentive!). The ambience – a beautiful setting, good taste in furniture (though the indoor area had some ghastly artificial trees), cutlery and linen – definitely good.

A cover charge of Rs.350 a head is definitely not too bad, and around Rs. 1800 for a dinner for three (two non-vegetarians and a vegetarian), including drinks and starters may be expensive by Hyderabad standards, but not excessively so. All in all, a very enjoyable meal, and a fine restaurant.