Those who are driven by epicurean delights are forever on the lookout for something new. Luckily for us, every so often an exciting place surfaces, something that’s far from usual, run-of-the-mill. Take Perch for instance. The newest wine bar in the city, Perch provides for not just your vinous wishes; it caters to your coffee fix as well.
Located in the always-buzzing Khan Market, walk up to the first floor and you are greeted by a bright, uncluttered space with white-washed walls, light wood furniture and a smattering of healthy green foliage whether the potted tree by the stairway or the terrarium centrepieces. The seating is dominated by a large community table with barstools all around. If you’d rather avoid the vertigo-inducing seats, then a few lower tables are come to the rescue. The bar at one corner seems tiny by most standards, but what it lacks in space it makes up for in efficiency. The floor above with its part-terrace space is airy and retains the casual feel. The sofa seating however is more conducive to lounging.
Opening a wine bar in India is a challenging prospect considering the glaring issues of taxes and availability, but Perch has managed to do a decent job with its wine list. The 40-odd wines on its list represent most of the famous wine regions of the Old and New World. Of these nine are available by the glass (150ml), others by carafes (half bottles) and, of course, by the bottle too. At between Rs 350 to Rs 475 a glass, there’s scope to try a fair number.
Anand Virmani, who’s been instrumental in choosing the wines, intends to change the selection every quarter. Everyday wines aside, there’s also something for the connoisseur with five super premium wines (including Italian bigwigs like Gaja and Masi) served by the glass at upwards of Rs 1300/glass.
The restaurant is able to offer you premium wines by the glass without having to worry about an unfinished bottle, thanks to Coravin.
Coravin is a device that pierces the cork with a thin hollow needle to draw out the wine, while simultaneously covering the wine with inert Argon gas. This way the cork doesn’t have to be pulled out and it naturally reseals itself once the needle is extracted. Protected by inert gas, the wine is not exposed to oxygen, reducing the possibility of spoilage and increasing longevity.
Besides wine, cocktails are served too and Perch does a good job of it, which is to be expected considering Perch is owned by Vaibhav Singh, who had a major part in building PCO in Vasant Vihar into Delhi’s favourite cocktail joint.
The coffee is provided by Delhi-based Kaffa Cerrado, which has a range of specialty beans. Apart from the house blend, there are four single origin coffees sourced from destinations like Kenya, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Indonesia. Equipped with all the prerequisites from moka pots to Espresso and Cappuccino machines, they certainly seem very impressive to those who are not fanatical about their coffee.
Singh’s concept for the food is to keep it simple and rustic, nothing too intimidating. The plates are portioned adequately, suited to tapas-style consumption. Seasonal and locally sourced ingredients take top spot on the modern-European menu.
Current summer favourites include braised pork mango and melon salad and grilled goat cheese, wine poached cherries and guava jelly. Afternoons have a special menu where sandwiches and salads take precedence.
All in all, Perch comes together beautifully; wine or coffee, it is definitely a place for those with refined tastes.
<div style=”text-align: right;”>– Karina Aggarwal</div>