Khan Market has become richer with the addition of a deli with great, no-fuss food
The second Smokehouse Deli in town, this one is packed to the rafters at mealtimes.
Atmospherics: The interiors are an accurate indication of the food served here. Smart, witty, unusual and with a personality of its own. The trademark pen and ink sketches on the white walls of every branch of Smokehouse Deli are here too. Seating is on two floors: first and second; there’s a terrace too on the second floor. The chairs are hideously uncomfortable, so do try and grab a sofa or the terrace garden furniture. While you wait for your food, the witty wall sketches are sure to keep you amused: advertisements, book covers, local personalities – the theme is Delhi and it has been well executed. Mention must be made of the staff: easily the best in any Khan Market outlet. They are knowledgeable and know the menu well.
Table talk: All the signature Smokehouse Deli favourites are here. In general, the appetizer section shines the brightest, followed closely by the all-day breakfast menu. This branch of Smokehouse Deli has the finest cappuccino in the NCR. Iced chicken liver pate & apple marmalade (Rs 350) is the most popular appetizer on the Smokehouse Deli menu, across cities. No surprises there because the creamy, buttery, flavourful pate with just a hint of tanginess and a morsel of sweetness in the marmalade is the stuff of dreams. Piped onto roundels of crisp bread adds another dimension to the texture. Chickpea and horseradish fritter (Rs 280) is another winner, this time more subtle. The chickpea mash is ever so slightly coarse, so the texture counterpoints well with the crunchy exterior that has been deep-fried. Wasabi cream adds a mild bite.
SH Deli egg Chimay (Rs 310) is the other great appetizer. It consists of halved hard boiled eggs in which the yolks have been ‘devilled’ with mustard and cream. Each half has been batter fried. Very filling, surprisingly old-fashioned for the trendy Smokehouse Deli and completely irresistible, do leave some space for the main courses. SHD mac and cheese (Rs 450) is quintessential comfort food, but the best is half a roast chicken (Rs 480). The sauce is an intensely savoury ambrosia that is not unlike a Mexican mole. Unmissable in other words.
Plus and minus: Do not try the Grilled basa lemon and dill (Rs 580): the mashed potato and the fish are both soft, the sauce doesn’t match and the salad vegetables are wilted. Do try any or all of the desserts. Our favourite is hazelnut mousse flan.
Must try: SHD smoked salmon and boiled egg kedgeree; turkey pastrami and gouda croissant; tiramisu
1st floor, 17 Khan Market
Open from 11 am to 11 pm
Credit cards, alcohol
Meal for two: Rs 2,500