If you live in Delhi, chances are that you’ve thought in Hindi and spoken in English. Or thought in both languages and spoken in both. In the same sentence of course. You may have eaten a desi breakfast and an Italian lunch. Or vice versa. That is the spirit that Hinglish celebrates: the crossover between Hindi and English. One merges into the other so insidiously in this city of ours that nobody can actually pinpoint where one starts and the other ends. So you can have an entirely desi meal, a completely western one, or a blend of elements of both, the likes of which is only possible in Delhi.
Hinglish has an unbeatable location on the ground floor of the finest mall in all of west Delhi: Pacific Mall. There is a courtyard with a couple of cabanas on it. Each of them acts like a private dining room, complete with air-conditioning in the summer months. Inside the restaurant, there is sofa seating as well as conventional restaurant seating. And just outside, near the main porch, is a play area for tiny tots, complete with trained staff. Mothers can catch up with friends in the restaurant while watching their toddlers have fun at the play pen. The salad bar at the entrance does double duty: you can have treat it like a first course and have one plateful or make a meal of it with unlimited helpings.
By far and away the most popularly ordered item on the Hinglish menu is the tiffin (Rs 175-250). Identical in concept to a thali, yet vastly different in presentation, I personally would not go to a restaurant to order a gussied up thali, but then, it takes all sorts…. Far more interesting are the sandwiches. The desi ones include keema bun (Rs 225) and Chicken Tikka Croissant (Rs 225), both novel options, excellently presented. The angrezi variations include grilled ham trencherman (Rs 225) and peanut butter jelly sandwich (Rs 195): neither one particularly common on Delhi menus.
By the same token, you can get pizza Margherita (Rs 150) and four cheese pizza (Rs 250) as well as nazzas – the Indian version, whose base is made of naan, and whose topping includes the likes of dhingri aur makai (Rs 250) and mutton kebab (Rs 250). If there’s one city that has taken foreign influences in cuisine and integrated them into part of its own repertoire, it is Delhi. Hinglish does not try to be cheeky in presenting the desi take on various items from the western world: it does so in a matter of fact way. You get to decide if you want beer battered fish fingers (Rs 295) or kesari machchi tikka (Rs 325) and you have the privilege of deciding which one works for you.
The result of this extremely eclectic menu is that the crowd that visits Hinglish is mixed as a result. However, the space, the music and the sheer appeal of the food is such that you have to ‘get’ the thought behind the samosa and bread pakoda with ghugni (Rs 95) washed down by a glass of cutting chai to be able to appreciate it for what it is.
Bread and butter pudding (Rs 135) is the dessert that has become something of a signature.
GF, Pacific Mall, Subhash Nagar
Ph: 25984044, 25984047
Open from 12 noon to 11.30 pm
Alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 800