Drums of Heaven
Drums up! Appetency
By Ravi V.Chhabra
For almost two decades the infamous Uphaar cinema compound in Green Park Extension has been quite popular with diners. The market around the once bustling cinema hall now houses diverse eateries from Naga cuisine, Japanese, Chinese, Punjabi and a café. Here are some restaurant names that I can recall offhand: Nagaland’s Kitchen, Drums of Heaven, Red Chilli, Guptaji Ka Dhaba, Tamura and Café Coffee Day.
Drums of Heaven is, undoubtedly, one of the oldest oriental restaurants in south Delhi and is famous for Chinese, Thai and oriental seafood that has a bar and a large fan following for the Chinese seafood it offers.
The restaurant prides itself for serving impressive seafood dishes made from fresh and specially flown in sea selection comprising lobsters, prawns, calamari, baby crab among others. Its seafood, chicken, lamb and vegetables are worked up into main dishes as well as soups and appetizers that include dimsums, spring rolls and wontons. Drums of Heaven (the chicken wings), juicy fried chicken wings served with spicy sauce are the mainstay chicken dishes. There are plenty of lamb dishes to choose from.
Seafood is simply worth ordering and offers a vast repertoire comprising Singapore Chilli Crab, Grilled Malaysian Prawn Satay, Wasabi Crab Cakes, Taichin Prawns, Bacon Wrapped Prawns, Teppanyaki Jumbo Prawns, Xinhua Prawn Sizzler, to name a few. The seafood appetizers range from lobster priced at Rs. 1265, baby crab / squid priced at Rs. 525, jumbo prawns ( 6 pieces) at Rs. 895, red snapper / pomphret at Rs. 725, river sole at Rs. 415 and calamari at Rs. 525.
The elaborate main course menu also offers an assortment of rice, noodles, chowmein and chopsueys to choose from. Manager Sengupta suggested to us the excellent Caraway Chicken which is a slow fried sliced chicken stir fired in oyster sauce with chilli powder and caraway seeds. We also had the chicken mushroom salad, which had excellent flavours and was specially crafted on request alongside the manchow soup for starters.
For the fish devout Red Snapper in your choice of sauce is the most recommended. Combine it with Szechuan Style Kung Bao Chicken gravy alongside fried rice and traditional hakka chowmein. The flavours are enhanced by the presentation of the Claypot Vegetables: tofu, broccoli, bamboo shoot and vegetables cooked to perfection over slow fire in a tangy sweet chilli sauce and topped with sesame seeds.
Some other dishes worth trying are Chicken Mongolian, Jumbo Prawns, Lobster Spring Rolls, Pepper Garlic Lobster, Lobster in Soya Chilli Sauce and Steamed Red Snapper. My favourites are Claypot Chicken, Orange-Chilli Plum Chicken, Pepper Honey Chicken and Shanghai Crispy Chicken. With a pleasing decor and great food no wonder Drums of Heaven has carved a niche for itself in the two-decades of its solid presence.
Drums of Heaven is also known for offering ‘happy hours’ and other schemes for foodies and special discounts for kitty parties. You will find happy hours all days from 12 noon till 8pm, but Tuesdays and Thursdays are special as the happy hours run till the restaurant closes at 1:00 midnight. An all ladies table is entitled to happy hours all through the week.
Beer comes by the pint as well as by 5 pint bucket which turns out cheaper if you happen to be in a group. The brands all for the asking are: Carlsberg, Budweiser, Tuborg, Hoegaarden, Heineken as well as Kingfisher. The bar is stocked with scotch, whisky, bourbon, single malt, cognac, vodka, tequila, rum and gin. The signature cocktails and mocktails are a hit with the regulars here, who happen to be come over for the nostalgia associated with the restaurant.
Other super offers at the restaurant include unlimited bar appetizers (Rs. 150 per head for vegetarian and Rs. 250 per head for non-vegetarian) every day from 4-8pm. The restaurant plays nostalgic 70s and 80s rock and pop at low decibel and that gives its pleasant décor an overall fine ambience for dining.
The restaurant is spacious and divided into two floors, so it does not get crammed up even on weekends. The service is courteous with a few personal visits at your table by the manager for feedback. A meal for two (including a seafood dish) and without alcohol would cost around Rs 1500-2000. This is a good Chinese and seafood restaurant to dine out with folks.