Turn time back
Atmospherics: In Park Inn, built on what was once upon a time known as Vikram Hotel, Anticlock is the courtyard seating of RBG (short for Red Bar and Grill). It is open every evening from 7 pm to 4 am and is essentially a young people’s hangout place, under the stars. The menu travels across the country but the kitchen excels in Kolkata cuisine. One attraction is the surprising hours of operation: it is made for Delhi’s night owls who don’t sleep before dawn. The other attraction is the price: considering that it is in a hotel, the prices are extremely modest. The menu is concise and offers a remarkable variety of flavours from many parts of the country. It has quickly metamorphosed into an after-party venue.
Table talk: either the kitchen was having a bad hair day or my expectations were too high, but when I ordered vegetarian street-style momo (Rs 225) I expected coarsely chopped vegetables and chilli garlic sauce with bits of chilli seeds and garlic in it rather than the finely minced vegetables and bottled sauce that I got. The promised thukpa that is served alongside never arrived. Chicken kothu paratha (Rs 295) more than made up; it oozed grated coconut roasted on the tawa on which bits of chicken and the paratha had been roasted with minimal spices, together with egg. If you’ve had this on the streets of Madurai, you’ll be struck by the similarity. The best dish of my meal was nawabi seekh kebab (Rs 375) which was finely minced, beautifully spiced lamb with enough fat in it to render it succulent till the last morsel. Chicken rezala (Rs 395) is where the chef is on firm ground, being from Kolkata. It is not a five star version, having more similarity to what is served in rough and ready joints across Kolkata. Pleasantly sour gravy where curd rather than cream is the dominant flavour and the scent of kewra is not prominent. The curiously named jungli lal maas (Rs 445) combines two favourites from Rajasthan: one famously has no onions or garlic; the other one does. This has heat, tempered by half-cooked onions.
Must try: chicken Chettinad, sukka mutton ghee roast, litti chokha
Food: 3.25; Service: 3.25; Décor: 3.25
Park Inn by Radisson, Moolchand Metro Station, Lajpat Nagar 4
Open from 7 pm to 4 am daily except Tuesday
Alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 1,300