Capitol Rocks The Capital

Updated: Jan 26 2003, 05:30am hrs
Want to get a slice of Mumbais night life in New Delhi Head on to Capitol at the Hotel Ashok.

The brainchild of Praveen Nayyar, Siddharth Singh Chaudhry (brother of actress Mahima Chaudhry) and Kunal Kuwadekar, Capitol promises to be a night club with a difference. It is certainly a new address for people who love partying and want nothing but the best for themselves.

The place has three segmentsa main lounge, a member lounge and a retro room. The atmosphere is young and peppy, with the decor in bright yellows and reds, and music from the 1970s and 1980s and foot-tapping remixes.

The interiors of Capitol are dateless. Modern and contemporary in style and international in look.

The spacious Capitol will have two kinds of music playing simultaneously, trapped in sound-proof segments and three variations in sound levels. You can choose the music of your liking and control the sound, too. With two DJs playing an unbelievable collection of music on state-of-the-art music equipment, the place will definitely rock your soul. The club also proposes to get in international DJs on a regular basis.

In the main lounge, the music changes and so does the feel of the place. This is more relaxed, you can actually lounge here. The bar doubles up as an entertainment area with bartenders enthralling you with their skill in mixing heady cocktails.

In the member lounge, the music softens by six decibels. It has easy seating arrangements, a Buddha Bar, a Moroccan Lounge for cigar lovers and a champagne bar, too. Membership is divided into categories: gold, silver, platinum and corporate. The membership fees have not been finalised yet. For walk-in couples, the charge is Rs 1,000, which can be adjusted against drinks and food.

Capitol does not have any specific dancing areas. The whole place resembles a big dance floor and you can dance wherever the music makes your toes tap.

The liquor selection varies from the normal selection of whiskies to the best international brands one can ask for and a range of wines to select from the wine cellar, preserved and served at the perfect temperature. Accompanying these is a melange of foodcontinental, Chinese and fusion.

A drink on an average would cost between Rs 200-300 and food for two would cost between Rs 500-850. Well, the Capitol does promise to be different.

Shawarma And Belly Dancers

Hotel Ashok seems to have set out to be different. Also newly opened here is Mashrabiya, just right for those of you who seek a slice of Lebanon. The restaurant offers the epicurean touch of Chef Ratib Al Ghriwti, who used to work with Burj al-Arab in Dubai and was handpicked by Amit Amla, the director of Mashrabiya. We had to persuade Ratib to join here and start the restaurant, says Mr Amla.

At Mashrabiya, one can start with an extensive range of hot and cold Mezzes or appetisers. These include Tabouleh (chopped parsley, tomato, onion, crushed wheat, olive oil and lemon juice/Rs 250), Muhmara (fine paste of walnut, tomatoes, red pepper, bread crumbs served with olive oil/Rs 225) and Baba Ganough (chopped eggplant mixed with seasonable vegetables and garnished with pomegranate/Rs 225).

Before moving on to the main menu, you must try the Shorba Adas or soup. This is an oriental Arabic lentil soup served with lemon and fried Arabic bread. On to the main menu. Chef Ratib can offer you Grilled Seasoned Fish (fish fillet marinated in Arabic herbs and spices and chargrilled/Rs 600), or a must try, Mashwi Ala Rateb (a selection of shish tawook, shish kebab, kofta kebab and lamb chops/Rs 550). You could also try the Chicken Shawrma (Rs 400).

The desserts range from Umm Ali, a puffy pudding served hot with nuts and fresh cream, to Muhalabia, a white custard that is sweet and gelatinous but neither creamy nor rich. Better still, you can ask for the Halviyat Arabia, an assortment of Arabic sweets.

The grand finale to an interesting meal is a choice of Turkish or Arabic coffee. The strong brew is served in a small cup accompanied by an assortment of the famed Baklavas, laced with honey and dripping with nuts. And yes, for fun lovers, belly dancer Zahira will make your dining experience an electrifying one.