Cuisine: South East Asian
Blurb: Plenty for the desi palate in this stylish diner that has a unique selling point
Atmospherics: dining tables and chairs, low squashy sofas with low tables, outdoor seating and bar chairs – you can visit Honk and have a different experience every time. But first, a word about the menu: it has taken elements of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Malaysian food and mixed them all up together. Hence, you cannot have three Chinese dishes, two Thai etc. And the menu doesn’t help either: the descriptions tell you the ingredients, not the provenance, of each dish. The upshot is that you cannot be disappointed with authenticity or lack of it, because none was promised in the first place.
Table talk: Tamarind and shrimp soup with mint, basil, green mango and tender coconut (Rs 500) was the least successful of all the dishes I ordered because it bore not the slightest resemblance to any of the ingredients on the menu, being thin, watery and distinctly lemony. Lime and pepper sea world pot sticker (Rs 700) on the other hand was a marvellous interpretation of the Honk philosophy. The wrapper was not the conventional wheat flour dough, and the trademark fried ‘lace’ had been made separately and garnished atop the pot-stickers: in view of the philosophy, this was not only perfectly acceptable, it was a witty take. Drunken shrimps with beer and Shaoxing wine, Thai basil, lemongrass and chilli (Rs 1200) were, like the soup, a far cry from what the menu promised. The beer and the wine eluded me (why would you combine two widely differing flavours in a single dish?) and the most prominent ingredient on the dish were finely sliced lotus roots that weren’t mentioned on the menu. However, it is a batter-fried preparation where four jumbo prawns (not shrimps as the menu said!) were combined with fried onion niblets: tasty and consonant with our palate. Kimchi fried rice with edamame and crispy chorizo (Rs 600) was just as the menu promised. Delicious, delicate and with a slightly spicy tinge, neither did the edamame get lost nor did the chorizo. Even more inventive were the tomato skewers (Rs 200) that had been brushed with miso garlic dip and grilled.
Plus and minus: The menu needs re-wording and far more readability: the font is too small in the prevailing light.
Food: 3.50; Service: 3.00; Décor: 3.50
Must try: chicken (thigh) skewers; Sichuan dan dan noodles; ginger cake with candied kumquats
Open from: 7pm-12pm (dinner only)
Address: Asset No 2, Aerocity Hospitality District, IGI Airport
Ph: 4608 0808
Meal for two: 3500
Alcohol served; Credit cards accepted