Over the years, Big Chill has become one of the most iconic cafe’s in Delhi. A cafe, nestled in one of the quaint line’s of Khan Market, barely known by some of the Delhiites, has now expanded into one of the most sought after cafe’s all over Delhi with 5 branches and a unique Cakery. I haven’t ever come across a Delhiite who hasn’t visited or heard of Big Chill. Let alone Delhiites, it is one of the first recommendations even for those out of town. The name has spread and has become a Brand, synonymous with the American-Italian cuisine.

One of the main features that helped build this brand was, consistency. Whether you ate in Vasant Kunj, Saket or Khan Market, no matter how crowded it was, you would always get the same flavour, the same quality, the same taste. You could never feel that one branch is better than the other because from interiors, service to food, everything was maintained to be consistent throughout time and parallel in locations.

On weekends every branch has long lines, people waiting for their turn because they know its worth the wait, for once it isn’t an overhyped brand, it’s a deserving one {is it still?} Up-till a few months back, I was probably one of their most loyal and fanatic customers. Every visit to Saket meant a visit to Big Chill, at times so much so that if I ate at another restaurant I would go get my favourite dessert and pasta packed for later. When they opened their Cakery, I couldn’t be excited enough and when I visited, I was nothing but delighted. Big Chill always delivered! Delivered on their promise for quality, quantity, flavour and consistency.

I could never imagine a scenario where I would not want to visit Big Chill or feel that it’s not the same. To me this cafe was established as Iconic, just like the old gems – Wenger’s and Chaina Ram.  Never did it occur to me that this place could let me down, because iconic places never do.

However, over the last few visits I am beginning to doubt it.

Either Big Chill is losing its touch or the Vasant Kunj branch is falling behind. The last two visits in Vasant Kunj haven’t been the same, the food didn’t taste that good, the consistency wasn’t maintained. Visiting Saket in that same time-period, the difference was clear. It was doing much better in maintaining the quality and flavours than Vasant Kunj. I have been gorging up their Peri-Peri pasta for eternity and could point out the difference with my eyes closed, the blue cheese pasta (another one of my favourites) packs quite a punch, but eating it at the Vasant Kunj branch, it just lacked the flavour, the punch, the reason that each bite sings in the mouth, despite having eaten it numerous times. Another time, this difference was clear when we ate Banoffee Pie Ice-cream at these two branches and they were a million miles apart. One we couldn’t stop eating and the other we had to send back.

So, what is happening? Why is this branch falling apart? Is Big Chill losing its touch? Will it just become like one of those over-hyped restaurants? Honestly speaking, I don’t know. Maybe! But I surely hope not. This cafe has way too many memories associated with it to lose its edge. It isn’t called a landmark for no reason after all.

The article was first published on https://lebensmittelsite.wordpress.com

Published by Srishty Khullar