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    A new delicatessen keeps it simple,with a blackboard menu  and Indian wines

    Promoting the appreciation of wines, showcasing some of the best Indian vintages, and pairing food with the perfect drink are just some of the aims of Delicatessen by Madhuloka, which was inaugurated last week. Perched above Tesco in Kundalahalli Gate, the mezzanine layout is relaxed, and you can tell much attention has gone into creating the quintessential ‘deli’ vibe. Custom-made wooden cabinets to display wine bottles and glassware complement quirky touches that come in the form of food-related antiques – a vintage coffee grinder here, a series of glass pitchers there. Add in the pen and ink sketches – commissioned specifically for the space – and the stage is set for elegant food and wine pairings.
    In vino veritas0201Food8Lead1
    Madhuloka has stuck to what it knows best, keeping the focus largely on the wines, with the menu designed to complement the drinks on offer. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, then we’d recommend the Fratelli Gran Cuvee Brut, a sparkling wine with excellent bubbling, citrus notes and a clean finish. Moet & Chandon – the only international label currently on their list – provides another option if you want to push the boat out. For a get-together with friends, try the SDU Reserva Chardonnay (which was recently highly commended in Mumbai Wine Club’s all-Indian competition), or you could opt for the understated Charossa Tempranillo to accompany a pizza. Those that are still unsure can consult the waiting staff – all of whom are trained in wine appreciation. You could even plan to attend one of the sommelier-led wine tasting events, which will be held regularly at the space.
    Beyond the bottle
    While we were initially disappointed by the limited menu (for the moment the deli is sticking to sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and salads) we were mollified by the sheer quality of the food. Starting with a serving of garlic bread and salad, we loved both the authentic ciabatta and the homemade salad dressing, which combined lemon, olive oil and freshly-ground Italian spices, perfectly offsetting the crunchy lettuce, lightly sauteed capsicum and plum tomatoes. For something more substantial, the chicken burger is a good choice. The meat is marinated in a honey mustard dressing, before being lightly grilled in olive oil, and served up in your choice of bread. We’d recommend the garlic loaf, for its flavour, with undertones of chili and rosemary. The vegetarian chickpea and avacado sandwich was also spot on, served with fresh veggies for a healthy note. Do consult the blackboard for the daily specials, though, as the menu is not fixed and will vary according to the season and available ingredients.

    `600 for two. At Star Extra
    Mall, Kundalahalli Gate.
    Details: 9900088996

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