It takes a fair bit of effort to open the gargantuan wooden door that leads into Smoke on the Water. The restaurant is split over two levels, traversed by the seemingly de rigeur industrial metal staircase, with the lower space boasting digital menus which you tap your order in to. Being old-school, we ascend to the upper floor, dominated by several large monitors, currently tuned on to everyone’s latest favourite hashtag, the Olympics.
The menu is an ode to Americana, in the form of burgers, pizza (sorry Italy), a large wings selection and deep-fried everything. The wings are available in 16 flavours ranging from sweet to mild to extremely hot. You can guess what we picked; and since we can’t fly on wings alone, we also get the Non-Veg platter, which comprises Chicken Tenders, Buffalo wings, Crispy Sriracha Shrimp and onion rings. It is here we hit our first roadblock. The wings are available in portions of eight, 16 and 24, with a choice of one, two and three flavours respectively which, for a place that boasts 16 varieties, is a bit absurd. Reconciling ourselves with the fact that variety isn’t a spice used here, we settle for the Sriracha wings. While well-spiced and crunchy, the wings have the heat level of say, a chicken curry; and not the one your chilli-obsessed friend makes either.
The Non-Veg Platter is served next in what is a stunning visual presentation of deep-fried indistinct breaded shapes on a similarly shaded wooden board, so basically brown on brown. The squiggly things are the shrimps, right? It turns out they are, and apart from a dash of disappointment, are flavourless and overly chewy. This largely applies to the remainder of the platter’s contents, the sole exception being the Buffalo wings.
Tired of swimming in a deep fryer, we race back to our Indian shores and order the Shammi Kebab, served on Malabari Parantha. Here we can’t find anything to complain about; the kebab is soft and piquant (it could teach the wings a thing or two) while the parantha is flaky and crispy. Resembling one of the dishes featured on Man vs Food by this point, we still soldier on in to the dessert. The Double Chocolate Cake comes layered with chocolate and caramel and provides at some Karmic relief from the trials of the earlier courses. Ah, sweet circle of life!
Meal for two: Rs 2,000 (including taxes)
Address: D-26, Connaught Place