RESTAURANT REVIEW: FLYING SAUCER CAFE, NEHRU PLACE

For masochists
The Flying Saucer Café reminded me how naïve I am, bumbling about in the big, bad blogosphere writing honest restaurant reviews. My colleagues and I rather trustingly relied on Zomato’s superlative score and headed over for an office lunch only to come away wondering whether the gushing praise on the site was meant to be biting sarcasm. Just to give you context for the rest of my review, as on 12 December 2013, the Flying Saucer Café was ranked the #1 restaurant in Delhi NCR with a rating of 3.9 on the basis of 284 votes.

Looks Like

Occupying a ginormous hall in Epicuria Mall, the Flying Saucer Café has a lot of space at its disposal which it doesn’t use to any interesting effect. While it’s pleasant enough, it seemed not quite complete. Also, I can’t figure out what the name has to do with anything at all.

The wooden furniture and floral upholstery, the cutesy branding and the How I Met Your Mother references on the coasters are all sweet enough on their own but incomprehensible put together. Considering the incredible aesthetics even mid-range restaurants in Delhi display these days, the Flying Saucer Café’s efforts are, in comparison, quite unimpressive.

Tastes Like

If you don’t have much time, my review in short is, avoid this place like you would a swarm of dengue transmitting mosquitoes. For more details continue to read below:

I want to make it really clear that this place isn’t mediocre and overpriced or suffering through a couple of teething issues. No, this place is truly terrible and nothing short of razing it down and starting over will help.

The menu reads like an encyclopedia of world cuisine with a leaning towards generic continental and Italian. The Non Vegetarian Mezze Platter was standard but the kebabs cold and the portion of each dip tiny. The Assorted Bruschetta Mini Platter was imminently instagrammable but the beginning of the long, sharp drop downhill. It was meant to be topped with tomatoes and mushrooms and other lovely things but the result was a picture perfect mess. The Spicy Prawn Pasta was just a middling arrabiatta with a little bit of shrimp thrown in.

The crowning disgrace though was the Chicken Cacciatore (Chargrilled Chicken with Tomato Risotto, served with Bacon and Mushroom Sauce) which came highly recommended by the waiters. The chicken was still raw (which the waiters explained was because Italians eat their chicken al dente), languishing on a pile of risotto with the consistency of congealed pus.

 
After that debacle nobody had the appetite for dessert.

Feels Like

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, of course it did. The service which has been slow and shoddy through the entire meal finally collapsed under the strain of having to process our bill. Chaos ensued while trying to calculate the price of the number of dishes consumed and deducting the sum of the number of dishes returned and the number of dishes that never showed up and finally dividing the amount equally between multiple cards. The manager had to be called in and he promptly decided this breakdown was our fault.

The Flying Saucer Café was a shockingly bad experience. What I can’t get over is all the reviews and publicity this place has managed to buy. If I was a tourist relying on the usual round up of food blogs, magazines and newspapers I would have no idea of knowing what a waste of time the restaurant was! And that’s pretty scary – that I don’t actually have a single resource for restaurants that I can really trust, not for a dearth of publications or writing but because they’re clearly all on sale.