Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Sakleys The Mountain Cafe #sikandalouscuisine
Sakleys the mountain cafe in GK -1 is something you have to experience for yourself , though I will prod you along ! Named after a bakery in Nainital , this superb space is on two levels , the top floor where we sat is known as the Secret Garden which could be a stately country cottage library , a bit retro perhaps , all coming together to engulf you with a warm happy feeling . It is this space I write about.
Amit Rekhi the owner is passionate about the outdoors and all things nature - evident all around you from the names on the menu to the decor. Amit's enthusiasm is so infectious , you know you are in good hands. Farm to Fork is a concept close to his heart and thankfully they work wth local ingredients helping them keep prices pocket friendly and portions over generously.
Then you have Parul , not just the prettiest lady chef I know but someone I do count amongst the very best too. Her passion pours into the fabulous food she plates - She is a trained chef from ITC with fine tuned French- Italian home style cooking techniques . When you get to speak with her , you know what ' cooking with love ' is all about !
Lets talk food ! Melt in the mouth Minced Lamb Skewers with a pomegranate ' ketchup ' told me I was in good hands.Next came Louisiana Chicken Wings in a home made BBQ Sauce , again excellent stuff - sticky fingers and all ! An excellent Mozzarella and Pomelo Bruschetta - deep fried basil giving that defining texture and flavour , was followed by a Maple Bacon Salad - Bacon cooked in maple syrup and put together with a homemade Dijon Dressing , bacon remained tender and that stood out beautifully . Duck Salad in Buttermilk with a second layer of favouring from Beet and Pickled Onions was outstanding again . I would head back for these two salads alone .
While on salads - they have 8 different ones , and no dressings are similar - all dressings /sauces made fresh daily. Grilled Summer Vegetables in home made Basil Pesto and Parmesan - Trust me seriously great stuff , I asked for the dish to be left on the table as space was made for the mains .
Lamb Shanks slow cooked with a lot of patience and process in the old fashion way - no sous vide and other gizmos in this kitchen , just patience and process , two golden words that describe the mantra of their kitchen . Honey Glazed Pork Chops were my favourite with sage lending its earthy peppery flavours. Another winner was Pekin Duck , again slow cooked 6 hours in Chicken Jus , finished in cream - irresistible !
A lot of attention to detail goes into what they serve, which may even go unnoticed , but the two perfectionists would have it no other way . Their fries for example are made with lady rosetta potatoes and none other ! Hand churned ice creams - a cheese cake flavour - a delicious twist , and the other with a perfect Salted Caramel topping.
My meal at Sakleys was one of the finest Continental meals I have eaten in a long time . Full focus was on serving you beautifully cooked and perfectly flavoured dishes - no over plating , no drama just a lot of deliciousness served up with love ! Parul is very generous , she shares recipes and techniques as we discuss what we eat , in her words- if you don't give it away , you don't make space for new things ....
I must add , while yes I sat with the big bosses and service was exceptional , I noticed how attentively others were being served around us and the genuine happy the staff appeared too - which tells you a lot ... Well done Amit and Parul - a perfect 10 from me and I hope I have prodded and poked you enough to head to Saklys too , you will love it !