The Hong Kong Club
You’ll lose yourself in the mountains
Atmospherics: After a day spent tramping about the city, retreat into the mountains, right in the middle of Greater Kailash Market. The (mostly retro) music is played at a low volume, the lights – that replicate candlelight – are low (you’ll have to use your cellphone torch to read the menu at dinner time) and the seating is comfortable and varied. I love the coziness of the ageing armchairs near the ‘fire-place’ and the service staff is helpful and charming: not surprisingly for a mountain café, most of them are from the mountains! There is a back room that accommodates one or two tables and doubles up as a private dining room. In addition, the long table is for community dining and accommodates a dozen friends or strangers and the four tables at the full length glazed doors have a view of GK’s greenery, such as it is. The food here is unfussy and is served in large portions, so do be aware while ordering. Music & Mountains is the closest thing you’ll get to a family-run café hereabouts, where you can visit for a cup of good coffee, stretched out over three hours.
Table talk: Southwestern salad with avocado mousse and greens (₹550) was okay for those who are crazy about greens. It is also a good choice of salad to be shared by two or more persons. The grilled chicken had a pleasant bite to it and the Southwestern sauce was surprisingly authentic in an age of pretentiousness and grandiose names. Cloverdale jacket potatoes with sour cream and cheese (₹410) is a great addition to a main course or even a hearty all-day breakfast because of the subtle tang of blue cheese. Grilled prawn skewers (₹645) showcase generous sized prawn, cooked to crunchy, juicy perfection with nothing more than lemon and butter. The finest dish of my meal was grilled fillet of sole with brown butter sauce and lemon (₹795). Classic perfection and the not-very-easy to replicate for newbie cooks, brown butter lived up to its name. Dark chocolate and strawberry crumble (₹425) is decadent, a blend of sweet and tart and crunchy.
Plus and minus: some of their finest dishes are vegetarian like whole baked cauliflower and also roesti. However, for those with restricted mobility, it is a challenge to climb up two flights of stairs.
Food: 3.75 Service: 3.75 Décor: 3.75
Must try: Black Forest pancakes with cherry preserve and cream, pork belly baguette sandwich, chicken stroganoff
M-23, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, second floor
Tel: 4165 3732
Open from 11 am to 12.30 am
Alcohol served, credit cards accepted
Meal for two: ₹2,000