Séance Sensibility

A new watering hole in Hauz Khas Village opened in the memory of its late owner,offers frightening beverage options

Written by Shantanu David | Published:October 6, 2013 5:00 am

In the restaurant birthplace-cum-graveyard of Hauz Khas Village,there once lived a Turkish eatery called Masha. Sadly,like 75 per cent of her peers,Masha soon passed into the great beyond,much missed. However,there can be no life after death and the village soon saw the birth of a new bar where Masha used to be. Meet Chaman lal & Sons.

The bar is accessed through a dimly lit staircase past a plaque dedicated to the memory of one Chaman Lal,a former lawyer who mysteriously drowned in the Hauz Khas reservoir in search of a drink. He evidently got one,though probably with a lower alcoholic content and higher volume than he would have liked. The restaurant interiors include vintage bookshelves lined with real leather-bound law books,shelves and alcoves stuffed with nautical bric-a-brac (the man did die of drowning) and one part of the wall studded with grinning golden skulls. The furniture is vilayati,with wooden and leather furniture in suitably sombre shades. There’s also an outdoor seating area with a spectacular view of the lake.

The food menu is the same as Masha’s,essentially sound Turkish fare. The drinks menu is however new and the cocktails section,given that it’s in a bar inspired by a dead guy,subsequently full of horror movie references. Getting into the spirit of things (pun unintended) we decide to stick to the cocktails. The options include Psycho Chaman (Jim Beam with Strawberry Cinnamon and Lemonade),Emily Rose (Tigre Blanc with Balsamic Reduction and Vanilla Sugar),The Grudge (Beefeater with Jagermeister and peppermint) and the rather diabolical Satan’s Lantern (Jim Beam,Absinthe,Orange Marmalade and bitters),all priced between

Rs 495-Rs 525. Emily Rose is as much of a scream as the original movie,as are the rest of the drinks. Indeed we exorcise the spirits out of their vessels at a speed which would probably get us a letter of commendation from the Vatican. Since dying of alcohol poisoning is not in our day’s to-do list,we also order the lamb Adana Kebab,which is as excellent as it used to be in Masha.

The standard pour of the bar is 30 ml. The one caveat to the reader is that this is also probably the same amount of brains shared by the service staff. However,we sat on the deck and promised our Halloween at Chaman Lal & Sons. It promises to be a good one.

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