Spread across a sprawling lawn and variegated indoor seating arrangement, Chapter 9 is an impressive spot with snug couches and a laidback atmosphere. I took an instant liking to the manner in which they have done the interiors – the dining area is preceded by the counter, a gradual and comforting setting that allows guests some time to acclimatize. Set on the ground floor, the indoor dining features segregated dining areas and a bar.


Even as I start with the menu for the third time in one week, I am kind of confused as to how I should construct my meal. Pick-and-mix-and-match is one practice I seldom follow for I am not quite educated in doing this across cuisines. Hence, I end up ordering Indian the third time too.


I start with two rows of chicken drumsticks arranged opposite to each – something they they call Chicken Ajubaju (adjacent chicken). Of course, I least expected drumsticks to be served up but that’s something I wouldn’t regret a bit. Slightly crunchy on the outside with all the juiciness preserved, this is the thing to go for with beer – Nepali style. The heady mix of spices, dominated by ginger-garlic and the like is a treat to the tongue, especially because of the lingering nature of cumin that’s used generously in the marinade. They say it’s spicy – I say it’s the right balance of spices. Couple this with the raita; my favorite is the one with fresh mint leaves. The raita cleanses the palate and readies you for another bite into the spicy deal.

 

5 Ws

Where’s it located?
Damkal Lane, Jawalakhe
What to wear?
Formals go well too
Why drop in?
The spicy Indian fares
When to visit?
Evening hangouts
How much to carry?
A belly full for two should cost around 3 grands

The Macchi Amritsari is unlike the usually expected stuff – tasting part like fish fingers and part like fried chicken bits – the fish doesn’t smell (like fish). Squeeze fresh lemon juice and dip the fish in the medium hot chili sauce – brilliant is the taste.

 


I always favor boneless meat over with-bone and if you do too, don’t miss out on chicken Lazzeej and mutton ragdamasala. Both come topped with generous grates of cottage cheese. The aromatic curry for the chicken abounds in chopped red onions offering a luscious accompaniment – with a hint of sweetness – for rice. Go for plain rice to accompany the curry – this brings out the best of the curry. With the ragdamasala, I love the fact that I don’t actually need to chew on any substance although I’m still devouring mutton. The lavish curry brings out the inherent flavors of red meat blended with spices – brilliant for the taste buds.


Verdict
For someone who religiously loves food, the first impression derives from the menu. And menu is a very tricky thing to do because a lot of people can’t tell whether it’s a good menu or a bad menu outright although this is something really easy to figure out. If someone studies the menu for more than five minutes and goes through it again, something’s wrong with it.

I would call the menu at Chapter 9 mediocre although I love the creative manner they have played the menu with. While they should retain the recommendations they have, they could do away with tidbits of a diversity of cuisine and focus on a few – I strongly recommend Indian. The bottom line is: whatever cuisine you have, give your guests ample options to construct a full course from the same cuisine. I wouldn’t prefer designing my meal with lentil soup, chicken tandoori and pasta. One more suggestion: with a lawn as big, I would personally make a lot out of it rather than just use it a free space. Add some nice chairs, garden umbrellas, and warm lights for the evenings, and try and grow some plants inside the lawn – they will have a property they can boast of. !

Furnishings   great indoors, a lot needs to be done to improve outdoors
Ambiencee   calm and soothing; the playlist is usually impressive
Cutlery   regular yet ergonomic
Service   casual with the touch of professionalism
Restroom   clean and nice smelling but looks like it’s out of a hospital
My rating   will go back for the food and the ambience