Terminus 1, Ambiance Mall, Vasant Kunj – A Traveller’s Junction

 Food and Travel are inseparable, especially in today’s time when people have started traveling more. Terminus 1 brings both Food & Travel together. The décor of a travel lounge + cafe which one finds at Bus Stations, Railway Stations or an Airport; Terminus 1 takes you on a gastronomical journey. Quirky props, country flags, comfortable seating, give a very lively and edgy feel to this place.  It is the brain child of Vikrant Batra of the famed Batra Banquets andCafé Delhi Heights.
Not only the decor, but the menu is also an interesting amalgamation of European, American, Asian, Continental and Indian cuisines, both in classic and fusion form. And the artist behind this menu is Chef Ashish Singh, who can be easily seen talking around with guests, explaining the food philosophy of Terminus 1 and giving recommendations. He told us that he has implemented the concept of Molecular Gastronomy and also uses Sous-vide method of cooking, especially for the meat dishes. Sous-vide is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment. It helps in cooking evenly from edge to edge while keeping the juices and flavors intact.

The meal at Terminus 1 starts with a customary offer from the server to choose the bread from the huge bread basket. The breads are home baked were fresh and were served along with interesting tubes of flavored butter. There could not be a brilliant way to start the afternoon than the Thai Curry Mousse. Thai Curry in the form of foam with all the flavors intact in it. Since the place opened recently, they are yet to get Bar license, we ordered Nimbu Anar Shikanji and Passion Fruit Shikanji. An interesting amalgamation of flavors, both the drinks were very refreshing and tasted brilliant. The appetizers were Beet & Lobster Salad and Maftoul Salad. Maftoul salad had a scrumptious mix of Maftoul (Palestine Couscous which is very different from Moroccan one), dry fruits, tomatoes, olive, spring onions, pomegranate seeds tossed in a pomegranate dressing. The Beet & Lobster salad had diced Lobster, roasted beet-root, nuts with fresh & crisp lettuce leaves. Post the appetizers, we moved to the starters section which was very long. We started with Bacon & Cheese Potato Skins, bacon cubes filled in a potato skin, baked with cheese on top. I liked the bacon, which was crunchy yet juicy.

There is a vegetarian version of Potato Skin with Corn & Cheddar filling. Thai Chilli Chicken was served with strawberry dip to balance out the spices. Clotted Curd Croquettes was an interesting take on Dahi Ke Kebab and it was served with spicy Mango Relish Dip. Railway Cutlet, two heart shaped cutlets in a train style foil box with boiled peas, carrots & beans at sides, reminded muse of the typical pack we get in trains courtesy IRCTC. But this one tasted much better, crunchy outer layer and soft from inside. Even the veggies were fresh. Butter Toast, huge bread slice toasted with lots of butter, sprinkled with cinnamon powder. A typical snack we generally have at our homes with tea. By the time we were having toast, it was already 4.30 pm, so we asked for the tea. Tea came in a sophisticated ‘kulhad’ along with  sugar sachets packed in typical train style. We thoroughly enjoyed the tea & toast combination.

The main course began with Steak Au Poivre, a classic French recipe of steak cooked with peppercorn coating. The steak was done medium rare to perfection with pungent flavors of peppercorns complementing the richness of the steak. It was served with sweet potato mash, buttered peas and crisp veggies. Next was Grilled Sole sitting on a bed of ‘Begun Bhaja’ (batter fried eggplant). The Sole was cooked well and the crumbled peanuts coating on top of it was giving it a  nice texture and rich flavor, only the batter fried eggplants were a disappointment. The layer of batter was a bit thick and eggplant slices were also thick and with too many seeds. It was served with wild rice, potato fries and veggies. Next one was Mutton Kosa, served with Pao, a Kolkata meets Mumbai combination. The mutton was cooked to perfection, the spicy gravy was balanced with Pao. From India, we moved to Italy as our next main course dishes were Orecchietteand Cauliflower & Hazelnut Risotto. Orecchiette, a kind of homemade pasta popular in Apulia (Italian: Puglia) region in Southern Italy, was made with chorizo, tomatoes, arugula leaves and Parmesan cheese.The Cauliflower & Hazelnut Risotto was creamy and the hazelnut bits were adding a crunchy contrasting flavor to it.
The dessert section has some very interesting options. We began with Blueberry Thyme Soup, chilled mix of blueberries and cream with a topping of honey & vanilla infused mascarpone cheese. It was a surprisingly brilliantly done. Next one was Karachi Halwa Brownie Cake, soft brownie sandwiched with Karachi Halwa topped with Vanilla Crème Anglaise (vanilla custard sauce), pistachio and rosewater. It was a delectable combination of US meets France meets India. Khurchan Mille Fueille was another East meets West recipe. Generally, Mille Feuille is made up of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of pastry cream. Here they have used filo pastry and the alternate layer are of Khurchan.
We ended our gastronomical journey with Banana Pecan Nut Shake and Terminus Mango Smoothie. We loved the consistency of both the drinks, but I love Banana Pecan Nut Shake for its rich, nutty flavors.
Terminus 1 is a sojourn in one’s gastronomical journey where he gets to delight his taste buds. From décor to food,  you are on a roller-coaster ride where you are smoothly transmitted to one country to another.
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I am an adventurer, dreamer, marketer, musically inclined, traveler and foodie to the core. I believe food is one of the greatest gift from GOD. I have always believed in that theory and have been trying to improve my dining experience. I am learning to appreciate various tastes, and expanding my horizon. For me, a great dining experience will be something where the serving challenges the conventional taste and stamps its authority. Be it a lavish spread of a five star hotel or a plate from a road-side shanty, my taste buds should be able to experience every single ingredient in the serving and the heart should always allure for it.

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