The lines between one eatery in Hauz Khas Village and the next are beginning to blur. Just about every restaurant concept on the planet has been done here. American grills, however, are being attempted for the first time at this location.
Atmospherics: Dark and dimly lit, the ceilings are exposed cement for an industrial feel, and that sets the tone for the strictly fuss-free food. Even the bright, zingy cocktails, many of which have been made to order, are colourful and contrast with the barely-lit backdrop. There are many sofas against the walls, but unless you have gone to drink, with a couple of snacks thrown in, your best bet is the restaurant seating. Service, let it be said, is where the fatal flaw of the restaurant lies. The staff is cheerfully clueless about the menu and don’t know how to make recommendations.
Table talk: Burnt mushroom soup (Rs 245) sounds less than felicitous but is rich, with umami appeal. Recommended for how a seemingly simple ingredient can be given a novel spin. Leafy orange (325) turned out to be the best of the salads: crumb fried chicken was sliced and combined with orange wedges and lettuce. It was another example of how well-known ingredients can be given a new twist.
The best items on the menu are the smoked barbecued chicken (Rs 395) and the build your own burger (Rs 395 ++). The latter has its own menu in which you tick off the bun you want, the patty (vegetable, soya, lamb, tandoori chicken, fish, lamb, pork, tenderloin) its degree of doneness, the type of bun, accompaniments, sides, cheese, topping and sauce. It is fun trying to conjure up the best possibilities and even better when the burger is delivered. This is one of the few places in the NCR that actually uses a coal fire to grill a burger patty and the difference to the smoky flavour is enormous. (Don’t believe the waiter who tells you that the tenderloin is imported: it isn’t).
Plus and minus: the onion rings (Rs 225), Forked spring rolls (Rs 325 for chicken) and grilled chicken wings (Rs 345) have been added to the menu to go with drinks rather than for any startling qualitative addition to the menu.
Must try: grilled fish with lemon butter sauce, chips and salsa; oak cask aged cocktails
30, 1st floor, Hauz Khas Village
Tel: 9990889494, 011-26566125
Open from 12 noon to 11.30 pm
Meal for two: Rs 2,000