Delhi is a city that’s starved for bars that remain open till late into the night, nay early morning. Save for a few that are part of hotels and a handful independent spaces, for most Delhiites, bars shutting down at 12:30 / 1:00 at night means taking the party home. Well, not if the new Bo-Tai Switch has anything to do with it.
The latest offering from restaurateur Zorawar Kalra’s Massive Restaurants is a cosy space that’s nestled right next to Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel (it is, in fact, on hotel grounds) and has a 24-hour alcohol license. Bo-Tai Switch has been created as a conceptual space — dining through day, turning into a high octane bar by night. There’s the 60-ft long bar as proof.
The space in itself has an easy-going vibe, much needed after the sequestering most Delhiites subjected themselves to in 2020. Choose the alfresco area to dine outdoors and enjoy a nice brunch, or there is the social-distanced seating indoors; there is even a private lounge area for those who’d prefer to only head out for intimate soirees. Either way, what’s guaranteed is that you’ll enjoy the drinks and plates that are put in front of you. Because both make a strong case for heading here.
The drinks menu is the brainchild of Dino Koletsas, the bar consultant at Massive Restaurants (he has worked on all of the brand’s offerings, including Farzi Cafe London), who has honed his skills at the prestigious Artesian and The Wigmore at The Langham Hotel, London. While, of course, signature classics and crowd pleasers (hello, the gin-and-edible-flowers-rich Full Moon Festival and the pineapple-and-Jaeger Meister blend Cool Heart) make up the drinks menu, Koletsas has ensured that the beverage menu be churned out easily and swiftly for guests. But more importantly, “we have consciously made an effort to incorporate locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in our beverage recipes and we believe in sustainable procurement.” From the new menu, he recommends the Espresso Martini (featuring Bo-Tai Switch’s version of a cold brew coffee liqueur) and Take Your Shoes Off Always, for its spicy and fruity twist.
If you have been to the Bo-Tai outpost in Mehrauli, you’ll know the food is top-notch pan Asian, with a bit of Italian in the mix. At Bo-Tai Switch kitchen helmed by Chef Vikas Rana, the same steadfastness is extended to the dishes. The Betel Leaf, Pomelo, Green Papaya, Raw Mango and Avocado Salad is an explosion of flavours and textures; every bite is like the sort of surprise you feel when two people you didn’t think would have anything in common, get along. Lovers of Thai food will enjoy the Seafood Tom Yum, just the right amount of spice and tartness. The extremely ‘grammable (read purple) Chicken Dimsum has the perfect kick in its chilli oil, while the Grilled Tofu Steak with Kaffir Lime Relish will have even the most hard-core of meat eaters returning for seconds.
I highly recommend the Battered Avocado Tacos (crispy avocado with spicy mayo) that uplifts the original flavour of avo by giving it a fusion twist, while the Caramelised Crispy Prawns comes in a close second with its bountiful helping. There is the Baby Pork Ribs with Apple Betel Tartare that many would love as well, though I confess I struggled with getting the meat off the bone. Given all the aforementioned experimentation with flavours, for main course, I chose the Minced Chicken with Basil and Birds Eye Chilies, perfect in its subtleness. The dessert menu is small but well-appointed — though there is the much-talked about Coconut Creme Brulee (served in coconut, yes!), I opted for the Belgian Chocolate Tart with Coffee Mousse — soft, rich, sliding down the gullet and leaving euphoria in its wake. Is there any better way to end a meal?
Where: Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, 19, Ashoka Rd, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Opening hours: 12:00 noon onwards
Recommended drinks: Betel Leaf, Pomelo, Green Papaya, Raw Mango and Avocado Salad; Grilled Tofu Steak; with Kaffir Lime Relish; Battered Avocado Tacos
Price: Rs 2,500 plus taxes, for two
Noise levels: Medium
Images: Courtesy brand