Address: A/2A, Aurobindo Marg, Hauz Khas, New Delhi
T: (011) 3310 7930
Meal for two: Rs 2,500 (with alcohol) plus taxes
You know those Instagrammed top shots of beautifully-laid artisanal tables, with colourful anti-pasti platters arranged around with scattered wildflowers, have really caught people's fancy when an entire restaurant is themed around them. Backyard is the new hipster bar in town, with fairy lights, above-mentioned tables and dreamy bay windows with a view of the roads outside, cleverly filtered by halogen yellow lights. "You know, this place gives me the Rome vibe," my fellow hipster friend says. Score one for Backyard. The drinks, when they come, are on the edge of familiar, tweaked a little to fit into their fusion theme. The green apple mojito and the Thai Mai Tai are served with the Vada Pao slider (Rs 269), a vada pao/chaat open sandwich concept served on a wooden oblong platter, with tamarind mint sauce and sev. The Mai Tai is crowded with ice in a tumbler glass, but it's a pleasant drink to hold over the evening, with its punch-packed coconut milk and citrus combination. The Chicken 65 skewers (Rs 269), served in shot glasses (with strawberry chilli sauce at the bottom), are similarly familiar yet unusual at the same time — a cross between chicken satay and chicken seekh. Give the silly little Frilly Prawns (Rs 399) a miss, with the only memorable things about them being the name and size. They're unimaginatively prepared, with bits of fried vermicelli floating around on top rather vaguely. When it comes to the main course, Backyard has the usual mix of Mediterranean, modern American and European main plates. They have a vast section of well-done pizzas, but those were sampled over a different, drunken night, so take my advice here with caution. I particularly remember the Almost Gourmet pizza
(Rs 489), the water chestnuts and goat cheese hitting it off very well on that one. The dish that really stood out for us was a special preparation — a generous portion of flaky salmon served on a bed of mash with a crunchy side of vegetables, with a lovely aroma of lemon everywhere on the warm plate.
Backyard has a terrace portion as well, for smokers and lovers of terraces, arranged beautifully in a lovely rustic wooden structure, round pebbles strewn on the floor romantically. The décor is in good taste, the pricing is likely to make you happy and, while the food isn't out of the world or avant garde, it is comfort food to sustain you through those woozy boozy nights. The background music does just that — stays in the background. The best part of it all is that we have an alternative to Summer House now (for the time being at least), when we want to avoid the vast crowd that goes to Hauz Khas Village from Tuesday to Sunday.