SDA market in Delhi for a long time meant only two things for me – Chicken Shawarma from Spicy Aangan with dollops of mayonnaise on the side and piping hot Chicken Momos from the small cart next to it. Whenever I had a tough day at work or was in a not-so-good mood, these little treats worked wonders to chase the blues. Being centrally located, the market has been a preferred choice for students and working professionals to hangout or schedule meetings. It has housed few cafes and restaurants to cater to the needs of the people in the past but nothing to rave home about. It often made me wonder why, when there never was a day when the market saw less footfall.
Well, seems like that question was lurking in the minds of other people too because now, SDA market is suddenly the new hotspot with a plethora of quirky cafes, bars, restaurants, pizza and burger places, as well as ice cream and dessert shops to go to and indulge. For an old-timer the sudden transformation is overwhelming, making the place almost unrecognisable. But the good part is that you have many options to grab a meal or catch up on some work with a free WIFI access.
A newbie to set shop at the market recently is The Brew Room, which boosts of its range of artisan coffee. The cafe is almost hidden, occupying the first floor of the building complex amidst numerous ground floor F&B options. It’s missable if not for the signage at the entrance. Once you take the lift and head up, it leads you to a charming cafe, taking you quite by surprise. A minimalist decor with pretty lights is guaranteed to impress, and to it there are fresh flowers at the tables and some cool coffee brewing equipments at the counter to catch your attention. We settle ourselves at a table close to the counter and get down to our work, but not without going through the menu and placing our orders.
The Menu at The Brew Room
There’s a common belief that Delhi folks do not head out for breakfast. For a long while the cafe-style breakfast options in the city were limited, and we would find ourselves heading back to the same place again and again for lack of choice, such as The All American Diner. This too has changed now and one can notice the inclusion of breakfast menus in various cafes. The Brew Room offers breakfast starting at 8 AM with a range of platters that include omelette, hash browns, sausages, bacon, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms, granola, and more. Then they have the all-day breakfast section with classics like Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Croque Madame, French Toast, Waffles, Pancakes, among others.
Since we land up in the afternoon, we browse through the other sections, which include burgers, sandwiches, pasta, pizza and mains. In sandwiches, my friend contemplates between Hawaiian Veg Club Sandwich (with tomatoes, three cheeses and pesto) and Cajun Spicy Chicken (spiced chicken tossed with cream and vegetables) but finally settles for Barbecued Chicken, whose selling point is the home-made barbecue sauce and focaccia bread. The sandwich arrives with a portion of spiced potato wedges and home-made tomato relish. While we enjoy the taste of the focaccia, we miss the prominent smoky flavour of a typical barbecue sauce. Sandwiches, in my opinion, should be loaded and saucy/creamy so that the flavour of the filling is not subdued by the texture of the bread.
As munchies The Brew Room offers all-time favourite options like Bruschetta, Chilli Cheese Toast, Mozzarella Sticks and Masala Fries, and we decide to try the Shrimp Popcorn from the lot. This comes in a cute, little metal mesh basket along with spiced mayo on the side. It’s delightfully crunchy, and turns out to be the perfect treat while we get glued to work.
On another visit, we try their pizza and pasta for lunch. We order the wood-fired Ligure pizza, which has a thin crust and is topped with fresh tomatoes, pesto, parmesan and basil, proving that classics never go wrong. Though we wish they had smeared pesto more generously. For pasta, we order the Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Prawn, which has prominent flavours of roasted garlic and parmesan as meant to be. For me, the sprinkling of red chilli flakes is far too much, but for spice lovers it could be a great hit. Or you could opt for Carbonara, Arrabbiata, Alfredo or Bolognese.
The coffee listing is definitely impressive, with a plethora of options to choose from and some which are not seen in other cafes. I hop directly to the speciality coffee section, getting past Cold Drip (18 hour brewed coffee), French Press and Turkish and ordering the Vacuum Siphon. The siphon is one among the few coffee brewing equipments on display at the counter. The black coffee has a sweeter and softer taste, quite winey, and we are told that it is made from single estate Arabica beans. Those who prefer stronger flavour could try The Brew Room Dabara Coffee, made with darkly roasted beans.
My friend skips the hot brews and selects from their range of cold coffees, finally selecting Irish Cream Cold Coffee. The non-alcoholic version is rich and creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness. We make a mental note of trying the Thai Cold Coffee and Salted Caramel Mocha for our next visit. Hopefully soon!
What We Loved
For coffee lovers, it’s the perfect space to get down to work with a range of coffee for some kick. Since it’s slightly away from the crowd, you get your much needed ‘peace and quiet’ with none to interfere in your work. While the coffee section offers exclusive options, the food section is the usual affair, without you having to worry much about what’s worth trying. It is well-priced and the service is attentive.
Where: C-16, 1st & 2nd Floor, SDA Market, Opposite IIT Gate, New Delhi; Tel: +918587928645