[Food Review] Lights Camera Action: Excellent Food, Poor Infrastructure

There is something about Delhi's food that never ceases to amaze me. I rarely turn down an offer to review food in the national capital of India.



A few days back I received an invite from Varun Puri, co-owner of a newly opened fine dining and fusion restaurant in Rajouri Garden, Delhi, called Lights Camera Action (LCA).


Instead of delaying the food review till the weekend, I decided to go there after work on a busy Monday evening. My mantra: never say no to good food.

As quirky as its name, LCA draws a heavy dose of inspiration from what else but cinema.

LCA

The restaurant is located on the third level of the same building that also houses Cafe Dolce Amante and Hadippa - Punjabi Khana Shana.

Two Heads Are Better Than One


For this food review, I further extended the invitation to Jyotika M., who happens to be my bestie besides being a foodie and a blogger herself.

We were welcomed by The Iron Man at the entrance, right adjacent to the elevator.

The Iron Man - LCA

Both me and Jyotika preferred taking the stairs instead of the elevator, since we were cautioned by the LCA staff at the ground level about electricity failure.

Colorful Staircase - LCA

As soon as we entered their premises, the electricity went off. Strange as it may sound, there was no power backup provision inside their restaurant. The LCA staff frantically tried to fix some issue with the generator. 


[Apparently they ran out of diesel that night.]

Smoking Area - LCA

It took them nearly three hours to get the house in order. Even then, some ACs weren't working as intended. It wasn't particularly a pleasant sight to watch.

40 degrees Celsius and errant customers all over, some of whom had turned in large numbers to celebrate a birthday bash.



Mural - LCA Indoors

Tanya, Guest Relations Executive at LCA, went totally blank when the generator conked in the attic. Thankfully, we were attended and looked after by Shruti Pawar, Sales and Marketing Manager. She also takes care of Parties and Events.

After awhile it got extremely dark and suffocating inside, so we moved outdoors i.e. at the LCA rooftop (also called the Air Bar).

Sitting Area - Air Bar

Such a shame that Varun didn't turn up that evening. Why on earth would you invite someone to review your restaurant and then not show up? Beats me completely!



Selfie Wall - LCA

The Air Bar on the rooftop can accommodate up to 180 odd people, whereas the third floor can only accommodate up to 48. At the LCA launch event on May 8, 2015, the restaurant had a footfall of around 650.

If you're someone who likes to throw rooftop parties, Air Bar is the place to be. Don't fret too much over heat, as two water sprinklers installed in close proximity tend to keep the temperature down.

Water Sprinklers - Air Bar

The other thing I liked about the Air Bar was the presence of an in-house DJ and a mural with the entire star cast of Friends on it.


DJ Enclosure - Air Bar
Mural - Air Bar
Dancing Glasses - LCA
Cutlery - LCA
Dancing Glasses & Cutlery - LCA
Sofa with Cushions - LCA
Staff at LCA - Wearing Filmy T-Shirt
Another Filmy T-Shirt Wore by LCA Staff


Bollywood Inspired Menu


It was reassuring to meet Chef Aman Puri in person, who served us some of his best signature dishes that evening. We were also given a detailed explanation about each dish by Vikram, Assistant Restaurant Manager at LCA.

Soup, Salad, & Chaat's Menu - LCA
Starters Menu - LCA
Burgers Menu - LCA
Main Course Menu - LCA
Desserts Menu - LCA
[Confession: I had no clue about Molecular Gastronomy up until Aman demonstrated his new scientific approach to cooking which is a combination of social, artistic, and technical.]

Rajnikanth's Early Morning Tea
Rating: 4 out 5

It's not tea per se but a South Indian soup made using rasam, tampered curry leaves, and coconut milk powder. To create excitement and drama in front of patrons, the chef uses maltodextrin to prepare this tea.

When any fatty substance in powder form comes in contact with a hot liquid substance, it regains its original form. Here we saw the coconut milk powder transform into virgin coconut oil after hot rasam was poured on it.

The preparation was truly unique, and something I'd never seen before.

Rajnikanth's Early Morning Tea

Rajnikanth's Early Morning Tea (Served)

Rangeela Corns
Rating: 3 out 5

Imagine a new flavored popcorn served every day in a megaphone styled utensil. At LCA, creativity has a newfound address with Jaljeera and Perry Perry popcorns.

Rangeela Corns

Amuse-bouche
Rating: 5 out 5

Amuse-bouche is French for "mouth amuser". The appetizer is mostly served to prepare you for meal. We tasted an Amuse-bouche influenced by Indian Kesar Pista Lassi. One shot and it literally bursts into your mouth. The deconstruction is simply awesome.

Amuse-bouche

Chammak Chalo
Rating: 3 out 5

Every salad in LCA is named after a Bollywood item girl. This unique salad combines the richness of oranges, lettuce, and three different types of dressing.

Chammak Chalo

Hollywood Nitrogen Papdi - Dhokla Chaat
Rating: 5 out 5

This delicious chaat was cooked right in front of our eyes using liquid nitrogen. It was fun to mix wholemeal Papdi with crystalized curd, dates, mint, coriander, spinach leaves, frozen Dhokla, and different chutneys.

Hollywood Nitrogen Papdi - Dhokla Chaat (Ingredients)
Hollywood Nitrogen Papdi - Dhokla Chaat (Served)

Bhiku Matre Vada Pav
Rating: 3 out 5

If you're looking for authentic Maharashtrian Vada Pav, this is the dish you should be ordering in the first place. Yummy potato fritters placed inside unsweetened bread buns. Make sure you have them with green pudina chutney and chili peppers. Even the masalas are imported from the state of Maharashtra.

Bhiku Matre Vada Pav

Pyaar Tune Quesadilla
Rating: 3 out 5

I am not such a huge fan of Mexican food but the Quesadillas served at LCA are probably the best I've had in ages. Dip them in salsa and aioli and you have a potential winner at hand.

Pyaar Tune Quesadilla
Pyaar Tune Quesadilla (Another View)

Jhakaas Maska Bhaji Paav
Rating: 4 out 5

Ever tried a Bhaji fondue with butter toasted paavs? All it takes is a few cubes of paavs, hot bhaji, lemon, and finely chopped onions. Crazy, out-of-the-box thinking from Chef Aman!

Jhakaas Maska Bhaji Paav

3 Idiots Naanzaa
Rating: 2 out 5

Not the best Pizza in town. The bread (Naan) was a soggy mess. However, the presentation was alluring with bell peppers, olives, and onions.

3 Idiots Naanzaa

Vegetarian Murg Tikka/Chicken Chameli
Rating: 5 out 5

Tandoori soy chaap/roasted chicken served with green pudina (mint) chutney. If you are fond of grilled food, this one is not to be missed.

Vegetarian Murg Tikka

Makkhan Singh
Rating: 5 out 5

A combination of butter chicken/kadhai chicken, chicken curry, signature dal, breads, and salad Indian dip.

Makkhan Singh

Sheesha
Rating: 5 out 5

In the mood for some Hookah? Then don't forget to try out the sheesha at LCA, in which the vapor or smoke is passed through a colored, glass-based water basin before inhalation.

[It is 100% safe to inhale, since flavored tobacco is replaced with fresh fruits like oranges.]

Sheesha - Blue
Sheesha - Purple
Sheesha - Red

Bole To
Rating: 5 out 5

Your dessert couldn't get any better than this Oreo Rabri Cake. I kid you not!

[Icing on the cake - it is 100% sugar free.]


Bole To

There are plenty of exciting reasons to visit Lights Camera Action. Tripod tables, dancing glasses, selfie wall, etc.

Studio Lights & Hollywood-Bollywood Murals
Truck Toy - LCA
Moi at LCA

LCA definitely has its heart in the right place but need to improve their infrastructure drastically in order to get things going for them.

Lights Camera Action - Air Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato