The Hong Kong Club is a refreshing new addition to the Capital’s dining scene. Located at Andaz, the Hyatt’s lifestyle brand, at Delhi’s Aerocity, the focal point at the Hong Kong Club is the bar, with its artisanal cocktails and juicy “Modern Cantonese” nibbles. Chef Alex Moser, who is at the helm, along with Chef Yu Fuhai from China, works with locally popular spices and ingredients for a modern spin to classical recipes.
Accessed from the hotel as well as from an exclusive street-facing entrance, the The Hong Kong Club has a calming vista. A glass pavilion surrounded with a water body set amidst landscaped lawns, it is instantly charming. Inside, the long wooden corridor is lined with empty wine bottles and the space opens into an amoebic-shaped (pardon the oxymoron) bar counter. There are the classic numbers but the signature cocktails inspired by the twelve signs of the Chinese Zodiac are designed to keep you guessing. I must admit my zodiac-based Sleeping Dragon—a smoky drink of Scotch, martini mix, orange liqueur and chocolate bitters, left me merry. Partly because the fragrant Moon Rabbit made with jasmine gin, champagne, lychee and rose had already put a smile on my face. If you’re in an experimental mood, give the Sun Wukong a try. A mix of coconut Scotch, banana liqueur, fivespice, yuzu and bitters. Curious? According to lore (and the menu) “Sun Wukong is a handsome Monkey King, blessed with incredible strength and powers, the character can defeat all the armies of heaven, single-handedly, and features in many legends”. Go on, we can do with some of the magic of the defeater of armies.
The bar area is where ‘the action’ is, from the DJ console to spectacular acts including exotic dancers, themed shows, aerialists and acrobats. Bring on the small-plate appetisers. There are refreshing cold appetisers like marinated green asparagus in mustard oil, pickled radish with chilli and soya, cuttlefish salad with orange, sweet basil and pok choy and roasted duck salad with pomelo, pine nuts and shallots. Although it is unusual to find cold appetisers at a Chinese restaurant, these dishes showcase the beautiful flavours of farm-fresh produce that is the highlight of the menu.
Move upstairs for a quieter, sit-down meal. In keeping with Hong Kong’s traditional dimsum teahouses, the dumplings menu is robust, but passable. Meat lovers should definitely try the crisp pork belly that works beautifully with the kasundi mustard it’s served with. The Hong Kong style duck is also a winner and is served with a homemade barbecue sauce and mini bao, instead of the usual pancakes. While we covered the entire gamut from free-range chicken to rock lobster in black bean sauce, the highlight turned out to be something that’s not on the menu of any other fine-dine restaurant in Delhi, yet. Chicken feet! Served in a bamboo basket, the bird’s feet are poached, fried, marinated and then steamed. The gelatinous meat surrounding the soft bones is actually very comforting and the mildly spiced broth is extremely flavourful. If you’re up for trying some authentic Cantonese fare do give this one a try. Another street-side dish from Hong Kong is congee with chicken, crispy shallots and ginger. Here it is oomphed up with a soft duck egg.
Finish the meal
The Hong Kong Club fruit platter with mandarin sorbet and ginger wafers is ideal to round off this hearty meal. But if you want a richer sweet ending, the star anise brulee with caramelized pineapple and banana fritters lends the perfect Asian flavours to a French classic.
Details: The Hong Kong Club, Andaz Delhi
Timings: 6.00pm – 4.00am. Bar: 6.00pm – 4.00am; Dinner: 7.00pm – 12.00am
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