Of course, I had heard of the new restaurant Magique, the name itself is intriguing and enchanting, stirring faint memories of elaborate circus acts in the Cirque du Soleil. The brainchild of food impresario Marut Sikka, Magique opened its doors just over two years ago in August 2007 and people have been raving about its ambience and its food ever since. Its location as part of the capital’s relatively unexplored Garden of the Five Senses is somewhat off the beaten track and falls in the noman’s land between Delhi and Gurgaon. But as the glowing reports continued to roll in, I decided to conquer my inertia and take my wife out to celebrate her birthday.
It turned out to be one of our more memorable birthday celebrations. Traversing the havoc created by the Metro construction was like passing through hell before arriving at the gates of heaven. Once we alighted from the car, we were instantly charmed by the muted outdoor lighting, the sound of water rushing through hidden channels and the elegant architecture which lured us in. The only jarring note was the ongoing IPL match in another corner of the garden. For the life of me, I cannot imagine why people would want to go to a fine dining restaurant to watch ‘fast food’ cricket! Fortunately, it did not intrude too much and the manager ushered us to a quieter area. One of the selling points of Magique is definitely the al fresco dining experience it affords which cannot be said to be true of many restaurants in the capital.
The cuisine at Magique is nouvelle and international, with an eclectic selection of European, Asian, Japanese and local flavours, and enough variety to please every palate. Being a Piscean, my choice of the Batter Prawns in Thai Basil followed by an excellent grilled Rawas in Dill Sauce was inevitable. My Taurean wife, being more in harmony with the earth than water, found her Mushroom Stuffed Chicken in Sage and Gorgonzola Sauce to be equally delicious. Magique has a nice wine list with wines from all the major producers including Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Argentina. We settled on the Vina Tarapaca’s La Isla Sauvignon Blanc from Chile which proved to be a delightfully crisp and flavourful accompaniment to our meal.
Later in the year, I had the chance to go back. Since it was August and quite humid, after the initial mingling over the first wine, we got a chance to sit down to dinner in the air-conditioned indoor restaurant which was very tastefully decorated and had comfortable saloon-type seating. The set menu consisted of Prawn with Tomato, Wasabi and Jalapeno Sauce, Crab Ravioli in Black Truffle Sauce followed by a choice of Corn-fed Chicken or Lamb Chops. The courses were paired with Italian wines from the Ceretto vineyards which were being showcased by Federico, an affable and engaging member of the family. Particularly memorable was the Moscato d’Asti 2007, a unique dessert wine with a great balance between sweetness and acidity which proved to be very pleasing to the guests.
GETTING THERE: Magique
Garden Village, Gate No. 3, Garden of 5 Senses, Westend Marg, Said ul Ajaib, New Delhi 110030. Tel: +91 11 46008333 / 29536767