The ‘lounge’ has gained sudden popularity in recent years, with every other restaurant opting for typical dimly-lit interiors and sometimes uncomfortable sofa seating... and then foreign chains brought with them the concept of hanging up quirky memorabilia on the walls.
|Pics: Nikhil Ghorpade
Incognito has that instant feel of a calm ‘pub’ atmosphere. Beatles posters, Muhammad Ali’s victorious knockout frame, baseballs, footballs, old typewriters, a decent collection of books, maps of the globe, etc construct the décor for the diner. The option of ordering beer adds to the chilled-out atmosphere.
The menu lists out Indian, Oriental, Continental and American food. I opted for their Veg Antipasti (Rs 185), which gives one the option three out of roasted peppers, pickled feta, marinated mushrooms, garlicky roasted eggplant, stuffed jumbo olives, dolmas, hummus and marinated sundried tomatoes.
I chose the dolmas (vegetables or meat stuffed in grape leaves), hummus and pickled feta. It was unusual to have cold dolmas, as these are rarely served as antipasti. With some flavourful rice stuffed in wine leaves the size of small dumplings, they had a pleasant strong leafy flavour, served dipped in olive oil.
The pickled feta was soft and tender, drenched in olive oil spiked with red chillies, though a little too salty, because the cheese itself is saline.
The hummus was fresh, nutty and with just the right balance of garlic and sesame seeds. Here too, there was a healthy drizzle of olive oil on top, and was more enjoyable than the feta or dolmas.
Other starters included interesting descriptions like Pecan Nut-stuffed Mushrooms, Charmoula Grilled Prawns and Bacon and Water Chestnut Wraps. Popular preparations like Thai curries, Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Tikka Masala, etc.
There is a decent list of grills which includes the Wiener Schnitzel (herb marinated, beaten prime fillet of beef crumbed and pan-fried) and Wiener Braten (traditional German roast pork served in an interesting apple and raisin jus).
I tried their Swedish Chicken Kotbullar (Rs 275), which were baked chicken balls in a creamy red wine sauce.
The chicken was delicate, juicy and full of the flavour of pepper and herbs. The red wine sauce was strong and heady. Vegetarians could opt for their Eggplant Parmigiana, layered with tomatoes, mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese, or their Asparagus and Corn Ragout, which is stewed in butter and white wine.
As something a little more filling, their Mushroom Rosti Deckers (Rs 245) came served with fresh greens and loaded with melted cheese and some cheese sauce too.
Three crispy potato deckers came sandwiched between diced mushroom cooked in cream and flavoured with garlic, all gratinated with cheese. The yellowish, rich cheese sauce was served separately and is simple, pure cheese, unmixed with béchamel sauce.
The desserts were diverse, but with a definite chocolate bias. The Chocolate Crème Brulee (Rs 135) was rich chocolate combined with custard flavoured with Kahlua, and a typical burnt sugar layer.
The bittersweet swirls of caramel went down very well with the gooey sweetness of custard. Located in a mall, Incognito is relief for those who aren’t really heavy shoppers. and would not mind relaxing with some chilled drinks and value-for-money fare.
An added advantage? There’s no heavy music playing, which definitely lets one slip into some tranquility, by yourself or with friends!
F-66, Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar Road, 02030950592/3