Restaurant Review: Delhi Gets Its Own Silly With A View Of The Qutub Minar

The popular Mumbai-based resto-bar has opened its second outlet in the capital with a variety of global and regional fare

Published On Dec 28, 2023 | Updated On Mar 06, 2024


Ever since Silly opened its doors in Mumbai in 2021, it has gained a reputation for being a fuss-free, easy-going space with a relaxed setting and comfort food. Very often, when friends or family members drop by from Delhi to Mumbai and ask for lunch or dinner recommendations, or even just a place to hang out and have a drink or two, this writer finds herself asking them to drop in at the resto-bar in Khar. 

However, that has got to change because Delhi has its own Silly now! Spread across two spacious floors and 14,000 square feet of space, the Mehrauli-based Silly is perhaps one of the largest resto-bars in the capital. What’s more, it offers a splendid view of the iconic Qutub Minar in the distance, whether you opt to dine on the lower floor or the terrace. Karan Nohria, the young entrepreneur behind the resto-bar informs us that apart from the brand name, Silly Delhi is absolutely different from its Mumbai counterpart. Nothing better than finding out ourselves… 

Pan Seared Fish

From our countless visits to their outlet in Khar, we have become used to sitting under the shade of the 60-year-old mango tree that presides over the al fresco area or the cosy but elegant seating options indoors, but the Delhi outlet’s interiors are so unique that you would be forgiven for thinking it is an entirely different restaurant altogether. Designed by Pantone Collective, the resto bar offers a signature cocktail bar with rough textures and oxblood accents on the lower floor while the upper floor showcases a wave floor pattern and soft latte tiles, connected by a vibrant staircase which is sure to make become a ‘gram favourite. 

There’s a character-changing digital installation and a hidden powder room – which might remind you of something similar at the Khar outlet – which adds to the charm. There’s another bar on the terrace which serves high-end and classic cocktails. We opt for the upper floor for its panoramic view of the Qutub Minar, the foliage and an elegant yellow and terracotta palette. The December chills have us requesting the server to bring the patio heater closer to our table.

The menu created by corporate chef Gaurav Gidwani along with the head chef Tej Wardhan Saini offers global plates with a special emphasis on hyper local ingredients and long forgotten recipes from different regions of India. “We have changed most of the menu keeping Delhiites’ palate in mind. There are a couple of dishes from South India as well as Maharashtra too,” Saini tells us. Case in point Kodi Vepdu, the Andhra-style fried chicken which comes with a tomato chutney. The crispy-from-outside, soft-from-inside chicken is paired well with the spicy dip. Slightly apprehensive about the Avant Garde Dhokla, we go for it expecting a ‘Silly’ twist and we are right. Layered with cream cheese, tempura jalapenos and garlic chutney, this is strictly for those who can’t do without their regional fare. 

Kodi Vepdu with tomato chutney

On the other hand, the Shrimp Koliwada, Ubud Street Satay and Russian Cutlet are unanimous favourites on the table. The spicy and slightly tangy shrimps make for the perfect bar snack while the Russian Cutlets are creamy chicken tikkis with a crunchy exterior. Unlike other satay dishes we have tasted in the past, the chicken skewers here are masaledaar and juicy and complement the sweet chilli mayo served with it. 

Royalla Iguru

For the mains, we go for the Dak Bangla Mutton Curry and Royalla Iguru, an Andhra-style prawn curry served with ghee rice. The Bengali style mutton curry cooked with whole spices has a spicy gravy which we lap up with the accompanying lachcha paratha. The latter is a comfort dish with succulent prawns but on the spicier side, so go easy on the gravy. 

The Delhi crowd loves their tipple and so, we are looking forward to trying the beverage menu by Latesh Kotian, beverage head of Silly. Happy to share that they met our expectations with flair. Our Vertical Horizon is a heady concoction of vodka with orange liqueur infused with chamomile and oolong tea. Flowery notes of elderflower liqueur topped off with sparkling wine make for perfect company on a chilly Delhi night. The tequila-based Sante is a take on the classic Picante with woody notes of kaffir lime and pickled jalapenos while The Stalk of Bay, a Martini-style cocktail has a slight sweetness from the bayleaf syrup and a dash of celery bitters. 

Banarasi Cheese Cake

If the small plates and mains score high on flavours and variety, the desserts are a disappointment. Indian fusion desserts can be tricky to create and need a balance of flavours and textures. Both our Motichoor Parfait and Thandai Tres Leches are over sweet, the saving grace offered by the Banarasi Cheese Cake, a betelnut-flavoured cheese cake in the shape of a paan. However, we suggest you stick to the tried and tested Tiramisu or the Nutella Cheese Cake with Hazelnut Praline

Address: Silly Delhi, Level 3-4. Crescent Building, Mehrauli, Delhi

Timing: 6 pm onwards

Meal for two: INR 2,000 plus taxes (without alcohol)

Photo: Featured brand