And not just for its dark interiors and walls strewn with quotes from the epic Marlon Brando-starrer American crime thriller but also for its interesting food offerings that are interestingly named ‘Bite the bullet’, ‘Sam sings in the night’ and the like. You’re intrigued from the first look at the place.
Mafia stands out with a huge glow sign on the Club Road in Punjabi Bagh here. Once you enter, you know that the restaurant has been divided into rooms and floors. One room is named ‘The Godfather’, then there is the ‘Underworld Lounge’ and then a ‘Moroccan Mafia’ terrace.
Umang Garg, a 20-year-old, is the brainchild behind Mafia.
Talking about why he named a restaurant Mafia, he said: “Secrets are often revealed in the dark. So, the concept of defining the place as Mafia came from the personality of ‘The Godfather’, highlighting the liveliness and enthusiasm in the dark ambiance.
“Mafia is all about exploring the mystery… and the movies (‘The Godfather’) turn out to be the inspiration for naming the dishes uniquely.”
The menu is a mix of various cuisines – and it impresses with its taste and presentation.
The fish tikka, for example, stood out for the way it was served: on a hammered brass bucket, while the aroma of the surmai fish tikkas, which were placed on skewers, filled the air. With ample portions, this was a melt in the mouth dish.
So was the chicken malai tikka, which much like its middle name, was truly as smooth as ‘malai’ on the palate.
There’s innovation in the menu too – for instance, the chicken nanzaa. Nanzaa here is like a pizza, but the base is the Indian naan! Must try this one.
The non-vegetarians usually tend to avoid a paneer (cottage cheese) dish, but give a shot to the paneer bruschetta served here. You won’t regret it. And then the tried-and-tested crispy honey chilly potatoes can be recommended with the refreshing virgin mojito.
Even though the tummy was full, chef Lokesh insisted on my tasting the dessert. Phirni, a sweet dish made from rice and milk, was a beautiful ending to the meal and outing. It was chilled, and not over-the-top sweet.
Of course, the brownie and vanilla ice-cream option was there, apart from blueberry cheesecake, banoffee pie and red velvet cake, but phirni is a sureshot winner.
Mafia also believes in no wastage.
“Wasting food is a big no in Mafia. The leftover food which can be consumed is especially given to the (needy) people on streets… After winding up, we make it a point that nothing is left in the kitchen that goes stale,” Garg said, adding that expansion plans for Mafia are on his mind.
“Presently, we are looking for places to open chains of Mafia in and outside Delhi. The aim is to have multiple chains of Mafia in the metropolitan cities all over India,” he added.
* Where: 1st floor, Shanti Store Market, Club Road, West Punjabi Bagh
* Price for two: Rs.1,300 (with alcohol).
* Timings: 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.