New Delhi: Youngsters who are looking for an easy-on-the-pocket place to eat, drink and groove can have it all at House of Commons (HOC), a British-inspired gastropub that offers a vast menu comprising Continental, Mediterranean and Indian cuisines, coupled with rejuvenating drinks and live music -- ideal for a fun evening.
Located in Connaught Place, HOC has a casual vibe with red and green furniture, and wooden tables. The walls have a brick finish all over and showcase witty frames and quirky accessories. It also has a small sitting arrangement outside.
HOC hosts musical nights on an almost regular basis. "We have a live band on Wednesdays, Rock and Retro Ladies Nights on Thursdays, during which we offer 25 per cent discount to women; Sufi live music on Fridays, Bollywood night on Saturdays and DJ night on Sundays," Manager Krishna Kumar told IANS.
Talking about food, Chef Vinay Kumar, who has been in the business for over two decades and has been associated with HOC since its launch three years ago, recommended that I kick off my meal with Paalak Patta Chaat.
It was a delicious snack of spinach leaves coated with cornflour batter, deep fried and topped with tamarind chutney, sweet curd as well as mint sauce. It was finished with a sprinkle of bhujiya and chaat masala. If you are a chaat lover, this one will surely excite your tastebuds.
Next up was the classic Fish 'n' Chips, followed by British Raj Mac ‘n' Cheese and Zaffrani malai tikka.
The Fish had a flaky crust and was juicy on the inside. Served with potato chips, tarter sauce and a salad comprising lettuce, orange and sliced olives, this starter was full of gorgeous flavours.
Mac ‘n' cheese -- baked macaroni with cheese and fresh tomatoes -- was silky smooth, but a little high on salt. I nibbled at it along with HOC's signature Pimms Cup cocktail -- an interesting concoction of gin, triple sec, white wine, basil and fruits.
The Zaffrani malai tikka -- presented with pappad, mint chutney and onions -- was succulent. The crunch of pappad and softness of the tikka complemented each other perfectly and amplified the taste of this dish.
According to the chef, Bhatti ka kukkad -- chicken legs marinated overnight with 32 home-made spices -- is another hot-selling appetiser and a must-try.
Other cocktails worth mentioning are Deconstructed Sex on the Beach -- a fruity drink consisting of vodka, orange ice, peach caviar and cranberry. Long Island Ice Tea is another option here if you want to get tipsy.
Non-drinkers also have a variety of mocktails and shakes to choose from.
For the main course, I went for Laal Maas, Dhania Murg, Dal Makhni and Himachali Chana Paneer ka Madra, accompanied with a plain naan.
Laal maas -- the fiery red hot meat curry from Rajasthan -- was the winner of the evening. The lamb, cooked in desi ghee with a variety of secret masalas on coal, was finger-licking good. The flavour of cloves added to the rich aroma. But its zesty curry is not for the faint-hearted!
The Dhania Murg was creamy, yet a regular one, as was the Dal Makhni. Vegetarians must go for Himachali Chana -- a delectable chickpea curry topped with chunks of paneer.
I wrapped up my meal on a sweet note with phirni.