The HKV restobar is mostly a migratory species, with specimens settling down to roost for a while before moving on to more lucrative abodes, or into oblivion. Chic lounge is the latest entrant into this food chain, having made its lair below the shot bar, He Said She Said, a sister concern. Unlike its distinctly collegiate sibling upstairs (pop colours, loud preppy music, hipster clientele), Chic is more grown up and sophisticated.
What’s in a name, indeed. The interiors are dull gold and black with brown furniture lining the space. The music oscillates between club and chill without getting cacophonic. The service is discrete but friendly, and the waiters knowledgeable.
The food potters around the globe, making all the usual pitstops at the Middle-East, Italy, Mexico, the Orient and, of course, regions of India. The drinks menu is as well-travelled and includes American Bourbons, French liqueurs and Mexican tequilas, besides a small cocktail list featuring crowd-pleasers. The prices of both, food and beverage, are reasonable by Hauz Khas standards, the average cost per dish or cocktail being Rs 350. The shots menu from upstairs is available as well but this seems hardly the place to indulge in that particular fancy.
We order a Margharita and a Long Island Ice Tea to slake our spirit of enquiry. The drinks take their time to come but are worth the wait. Sure, the Long Island Iced Tea is a tad sweeter than necessary, but both drinks are potent, leaving a strong, boozy kick in the mouth after each sip. To fortify our stomach lining, we order a Shish Taouk and the Prawn Sui Mai. The Middle-Eastern kebabs turn up first, spit-roasted chicken and bell pepper pieces, alternately skewered and hung.
Accoutered with pita bread, garlic mayonnaise, sour cream and pickled vegetables, the well-marinated, yielding shish touk fairly glides down the throat. The sui mai follows suit, four to a portion, glistening like a miniature pinkish iceberg under the strobe lighting, and accompanied by a variety of dipping sauces. Chock-full of dessicated, delicately flavoured shrimp, the sui mai more than fortifies one’s tissues.
Address: 31, Hauz Khas village