Lip-smacking food, cocktails, music & social distancing: Delhi eateries prep for New Year Eve but people wary
New Delhi, Dec 30: Another day and this miserable year will finally be done. Revellers, restricted to indoor celebrations mostly, are planning to head out to say "good riddance, 2020" and "bonjour, 2021" in a place "half-full", plates brimming with good food and a floor thumping to the beats of music and dancing.
The urge to make merry for the last time -- "first and last" for some -- in this rather forgetful year, has led to eateries, small and big, leave no stone unturned for this much-awaited year-end bash. Lavish buffets, plush staycation packages, live bands, DJ nights and celebratory offers, but zero discount on safety and social distancing, this New Year's eve promises to beat the COVID blues of the year that was. Social, the all-day cafe and bar chain, for instance is hosting "NYE 2021: The Party You Deserve" in its four outlets in Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region). The chain's festive menu, aptly titled "A Jolly Good Menu", lists unique flavours from across India, including savoury dishes like 'Lucknowee Chicken Biryani', 'Paharganj Shakarkandi Chaat', 'The Lebanese Tikka' and 'Oh My Gosht Nihari with Sheermaal'.
The icing on the cake: its celebratory cocktail menu, which features drinks like 'Majnu Ka Toddy' (made from Bacardi Gold, maple syrup, apple juice, triple sec, orange zest, cinnamon, star anise), 'Bitter Romance' (made of aperol, sparkling wine, strawberry puree, peach liqueur and ginger ale), 'Jager Egg Nog' (made of Jägermeister, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel Fire, egg white). RYU, an Asian-themed bar and diner, and Ardor 2.1 are also not far behind and have raised the bar -- as well as their food menus -- for the occasion. While RYU is organising a DJ night with special packages for food and drinks, including free flow of imported and Indian-made foreign liquor, Ardor 2.1, which will be serving the best of European, Chinese, Continental and Indian cuisine, is also hosting a DJ battle between DJ Mirage and DJ Shabz.
"Celebrity illusionist Mr A Magic and magician Poshak Dua will be performing in the event. There will be special fire shots and champagne celebrations at 12 am. Also, for kids we have designed a special 3D interactive dance floor in our restaurant," said a spokesperson from Ardor 2.1. But what if one is looking for a quiet dinner with loved ones to ring in the New Year? Look no further as Kiyan and Chi Ni, the two restaurants of The Roseate, offers an outdoor cabana dining experience where you can relish a delicious buffet in a stunning alfresco setting.
The specially curated buffet boasts of exquisite dishes like herb roast leg of lamb, orange and cajun spiced rubbed whole chicken, gravlax (a Scandinavian dish of dry-cured salmon marinated in herbs) with fennel salad and wellington (an english puff pastry stuffed with chicken and corn or spinach and mushroom).
In addition to scrumptious starters, lip smacking main courses and 'Instagrammable' cocktails, many five-stars in the national capital are offering the much-in demand staycation packages also. Why? Because after the long fun and tipsy night of New Year's eve, waking up to an elaborate breakfast spread on the first day of 2021 is too tempting an offer to miss.
So while The Taj, New Delhi, is providing luxurious accommodation with a complimentary breakfast for Rs 8,000, the Hilton Garden Inn, Saket is offering staycation, along with a full-fledged festive treat, at a price of Rs 12,500. The ITC Maurya, New Delhi, beside giving a bouquet of offers for the festive meal, including the special 'mid-night buffet' from 12:30 AM-3:00 AM, is laying out mouth-watering brunches at its signature restaurants on January 1.
Discounts are pouring in too. For example, Fabcafe, the dining arm of Fabindia, is offering upto 30 per cent off on deliveries via food platforms Swiggy and Zomato till January 3. And Momo King, the well-known Himalayan momo chain, is offering a flat 30 per cent off on momos, noodles and rice on the New Year's Eve.
Famous fast-food giant Pizza Hut too is giving an array of discounted offers on the occasion, including a "one plus one" for medium pizzas and a "super saver" meal combo starting at Rs 599 and Rs 699, respectively. But the fears of COVID-19 playing fresh in the minds of the people, many are wary of taking the gamble of being in a crowded place -- even if it is their last chance of partying out this year.
"Yes, I understand that the cases of infection have come down. But it is still too risky to go out and party in a place filled with people. It makes no sense to risk it all for momentary pleasure. Me and my family won't. Not till the time we are at least vaccinated," said Palak Thappa, 17, a Delhi-based student. Thappa family is not alone.
According to a survey done by Public App, one of India's largest location-based social network, "78.82 per cent" of the over one lakh Delhi residents surveyed said they would prefer celebrating New Year at home over any hotel or restaurant. Home deliveries for food will indeed come across as a saviour for those celebrating the occasion at home.
But to ensure that people at home remain in high spirits too, Swizzle, a cocktail startup, is delivering six Sangria cocktail kits, two wine glasses, a plum cake along with a customised note at a discounted price of Rs 1,499. Many states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, have imposed renewed restrictions ahead of the New Year celebrations to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.