Address: F-60, 2nd Floor, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk
Cost for two: Rs 2,000
Next to the hustle-bustle of Palika Bazaar, The Vault sits comfortably on the third floor of a certain part of the F-block of Connaught Place with it’s sprawling multi dimensional mien and the visual of the Indian Flag swaying quietly with the gentle wind. We made our way to the cafe via a spiral staircase with traditional sculptures embedded on the walls at the end of which was a huge vault-portal-like iron gate with a rugged and rustic demeanour.
The scent of paan from the hookahs filled the premises lit up with red lights and embellished with vintage sculptures of women and men, iron chains well below the actual ceiling with suspended lights peeking through it. Iron hooks and uneven wood pieces are fastened to the walls encompassing iron nail detailing. A classical wall clock hung on the wall beside the main entrance adding to the oomph factor of the space. This place reminded me of a pirate ship for its unevenness and multiple elements like the DJ’s console which looked like an old wooden barrel, the intricate detailing done by iron rods and a number of vaults filled with, well, people, not treasure. Perhaps, even a submarine or Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Let’s leave that there. What really caught my attention were the vintage-button-tufted and upholstered red leather sofa chairs in imperial-kind-of-a-wood paired with wooden tables. They imparted a royal feel to the entire space. The space was divided into four sections — the vault rooms, dining space, bar counter and the terrace area. The terrace is a quaint little elongated space with two counters on either side with a humongous vintage-style-oven in mosaic design of red and black tiles on one side. The two dominant colours of the space were red and grey rendering a calming and relaxed vibe.
The cabins called vaults can accommodate anywhere between 7-18 people and are designed exclusively for private parties. One may book these cabins on prior registration or first-come first-serve basis. However, the vaults don’t have any minimum bill amount constraints. This place is perfect for big groups who want to catch up over a drink.
This one and a half year old catered to people of all ages while some hip EDM music played in the backdrop. We, then, settled down on one of those regal chairs and tumbled our way through the menu which was in sync with the theme with its retro-vintagey-design owing to the burnt-paper effect. The menu is a mix of just about all cuisines under the sun. From North Indian to Mediterranean, Asian, and Continental — they have something to suit everyone’s palate which is immaculate for a big group setting. To accompany the food, they offer innovative cocktails served along with dry ice to manifest a dramatic air of vaults and all that jazz. Very impressive, indeed!
We started off with a crowd pleasing dish Chilli Tofu served with kimchi salad on the side. This combination worked immaculately well balancing the flavours. I don’t like spicy food generally but this one made an exquisite exception. Along with it, we were presented with a magical looking cocktail called Vault No. 1857 and Rum Julep. This wonderful concoction of vodka, cardamom, vanilla syrup, pineapple juice and lime juice topped with vanilla air blew my mind away. The cardamom flavour pops distinctively accompanied by vanilla known for making the world a better place.
My favourite was the Non-Veg Mezze platter. For a person like me, who loves variety laid out in front of them during a meal, this is a definite win. Lamb samosa, beautifully grilled fish and juicy chicken that melts in your mouth served along with pita bread, hummus, curd, seasoned raw veggies, and tabbouleh made for a deliciously light treat and the flavours were whimsically tied up together making it a refreshing one. The smoky cheese balls filled with sticky mozzarella served along with chilli mayo and bbq sauce were flavorsome and made for great sidekicks with drinks.
The Vault Special Chicken Dumplings were plated along with five sauces and cooked to perfection. I found the Mushroom galauti kebabs with malabar parantha, mint sauce and seasoned onions on the side a bit too spicy for my palate. They do have one of the best Mojitos in town.
For the stylish, cheerful ambience and friendly services, this place deserves brownie points. If you’re looking for a space to party in big groups with a hookah by your side, good EDM music, and a private vault — this is your spot!