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Imperfections make for a perfect meal
Abhirup Dam  23rd Mar 2013

The seating inside Imperfecto, Hauz Khas Village

hen you enter Imperfecto, a newly opened restaurant at Hauz Khas Village (HKV), you instantly realise that neither were they kidding while christening themselves, nor was the naming the result of some fanciful abstraction that got hold of them. The place is imperfect, with no furniture piece alike, and improvised accessories all around (look around and you will find flower pots as light shades, graters as candle holders). Yet this two-floored restaurant, with an intimate balcony space upstairs, exudes charm, elegance, and warmth. The al fresco dining area is perfect for balmy spring evenings and boasts a wood fire brick oven which doles out delectable pizzas, alongside a live grill.

The menu offers a comprehensive Mediterranean fare, along with a choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Nuria Rodriguez, Executive Chef, is someone who knows her art extremely well. A gregarious and warm Rodriguez believes in interacting with diners and is extremely accommodating when it comes to food (Aside: She has promised me her signature flan and tortilla de patatas, on advance request the next time I am there. So, if you want your favourite Valencian or Basque dish, out of the menu, you know what to do). The restaurant is also holding a special live oven and serving paella on Sundays.

Being instantly charmed by the chef, it was only logical to leave the evenings dining menu to her. We had an array of starters and appetizers, which Chef Rodriguez plated out with excellence. 'Wildflowers', made with cherry tomatoes, feta, and chives, was a wonderful concoction of balanced flavours. One more thing that strikes you about the service is the presentation — the Wildflowers was served over a bed of grass. There was the generic humus, only it tasted way better with the express olive oil that Chef claims to import from Spain. The Mushroom Moti, (mushrooms stuffed with exotic vegetables with citrus aromas, splashed with extra virgin olive oil) was a complete delight. The Cordon Blue (chicken, ham and Emmental cheese stuffed breaded fritters) was not overpowering and surprisingly light. The Spanish prawns were to die for, with the prawns cooked perfectly and flavoured optimally.

By the time we had finished with the starters, there was hardly any stomach space left for more. Yet, on the chef's insistence, we had the spinach tortellini and the sea food spaghetti with champagne. I have to admit that I am a little choosy about my pasta, and most of the times, a poorly executed béchamel puts me off. But I must say that the Chef exhibited her mastery yet again with two scrumptious, perfectly seasoned dishes. There was no way that I could have sampled any desert, but my instinct told me that Chef Rodriguez will not fail me there too. I would love to visit again, especially lured by the promise of flan and Spanish omelette. I bet if one visits Imperfecto once, one is sure to go back again.

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