One of Khan Market’s winners
Atmospherics: Navy and white is an unbeatable combination that looks chic, almost royal. And part of ABB’s appeal is this luxe blend, interspersed with large mirrors because all Khan Market restaurants could do with a bit of extra space, or at least, the illusion thereof. There is a cosy second floor too where the bar is located. Service is as prompt as it is humanly possible, but the truth is that the restaurant seems to have hit the jackpot from the word go, so it is crowded to capacity at all times. When I tried to enter, the doorman actually stood against the door in the middle lane till it was established that there was a free table! It might be because of the novelty of a new restaurant in Delhi’s favourite market or it may because nobody yet is doing the kind of food that Andrea Pauro is, but here’s hoping that it keeps up its quality!
Table talk: The Asian street-style noodle soup (Rs 475/545/595 tofu/chicken/prawn) is the most refreshing clear soup: full of flavour, and filling because of the mung sprouts, noodles, sugar snap peas and generous portion of prawns. Being light, clear and flavourful, it is one of the most suitable soups even in the hottest summer. The bacon kimchi noodles (Rs 695) is another intense flavour bomb, large enough to serve two or three people. Spicy, but not uncomfortably so, the bacon was crisp with a hint of sweetness, in contrast to the noodles that had the sourness that comes with fermentation. Persian lamb baarg (Rs 725) was yet another genius dish that featured thickly sliced lamb, marinated and then grilled. Paired with pomegranate pearls, sumac herb rice for the trademark sour appeal of Persian food and labneh dip, there even was the roasted, skinned tomato that is such a feature of pre-plated dishes in Iran as were the contrasts: fresh mint, succulent lamb, flavoured rice and a tangy dip. Even the dessert I ordered: cremino (Rs 445) was worth the calories. Creamy and luscious, the coffee flavour won the day.
Plus and minus: Chicken and mushroom pie had too much mixed dried herbs for comfort. Unforgivable in so exalted an eatery.
Must try: Kai yang; Asian sole; chocolate mousse
Food: 4.00; Service: 4.00 Décor: 4.00
Shop No 12, Middle Lane, Khan Market,
Open from 12 noon to 11 pm
Credit cards; alcohol: check with outlet
Meal for two: Rs 2,750