All Roads Lead To Raasta
Delhi can take credit for birthing the reggae revolution in the country, with the Reggae Rajahs, Delhi Sultanate and Begum X all harking from the capital city where they enjoy a dedicated fan following. A year back, Raasta, a Rastafarian themed cafe and lounge which opened shop in Hauz Khas Village, and nobody could have foretold how it would become the talk of the town, for better or worse.
Started off as a Raastafarian/Carribean themed lounge, Raasta is quite spacious compared to other places in the Village. To its credit, for the most part, the lounge is packed with revellers, quite a few of them who willingly spend a considerable amount of their time and money there.
Posters of Bob Marley adorn the walls, and the generous wooden panelling around the whole cafe. The seating areas include an assortment of stools at the bar, high chairs with polished glass tables and lounge-y sofas at the balcony in colourful colours. Striped sun shades in primary Rastafarian colours overlook the smoking lounge cum bar area. While the Rastafarian movement might not be represented in detail, the place has a colourful vibe going around it overall, a reflection of which is to be seen even in the food that they serve.
The menu is a mix and match of Caribbean, Lebanese and regular Americanised bar fare. This means while you can get your fish-n-chips/burger/pepperoni pizza fix along with your beer-on-the-tap, you might even explore further and try out fusion dishes like Spaghetti and Chicken with Jamaican jerk spice and snacks like a platter of raw banana fritters, potato wedges, crispy lotus stem and french fries served with a mint yoghurt dip. The best part of Raasta’s deal is that while most other places in HKV, notwithstanding their fancy menus are watering holes at best with paltry fare to eat, Raasta has actually put in some thought into their menu, and has managed to up the ante since it started out in matters of taste, a rare phenomenon for bars in the Village.
Raasta’s biggest USP lies in its commendable organisational skills – considering the place is packed on most days, service is good, portions are fairly large (relative, this, for we’re still adjusting to the ever shrinking portions and the expanding bill syndrome the economy has brought upon all of us who like to eat out), plus they have a varied choice of alcohol, albeit a tad expensive. Not just that, they have managed to create an interactive experience for all on the night prowl by having a photographer who clicks ‘that Kodak moment’ for you and your friends to cherish. While there isn’t any one thing about Raasta that absolutely captivates you, it is an amalgamation of a lot of small details which makes this place the inevitable place you gravitate towards when in need for a pick-me-up. Being that, for a city full of young people in a mood to pick themselves up, is no mean feat.
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