The oft-quoted question, “What’s in a name?” led us to Kinbuck2, newly opened in Connaught Place. The Capital’s “first Roman bistro” takes its name from the picturesque town of Kinbuck in Norway, which the owners had visited. Taken in with the scenery and bonhomie of the original, they decided to name their venture after the same.
Egged on by the servers, we decide to do as the Romans do, er, did and partake in an orgy of the wholly culinary kind, trying out all the cuisines available. Accordingly, we start with a Middle Eastern Platter, Fried Calamari and an Orange Salad. The platter is gargantuan, piled with all the dips of the desert and tabbouleh, apart from a garden of pickled vegetables and hot, crisp pita. With each dip superlative and a top-notch crunchy Tabbouleh, the platter holds us captive till the end of the meal, like a lamp allegedly does genies.
The salad, despite not being Caesar’s, is entirely Italian, lush with leaves and with a parade of parmesan cheese stretched around the bowl, the zesty citric dressing and the slices of fresh oranges making it an extremely pleasing forage. Amid all this lightness appears the calamari, decadently battered yet springy on the inside, all the frying belied by a sprightly pairing of pesto and aioli sauces. By this time, we are pretty entrenched but like the legionaries from Asterix and Obelix, we soldier on gamely.
It is somewhere in the middle of this browsing and sluicing that we are reminded of the legend of the vomitoria. Originally designed as an egress in ancient amphitheatres for the rapid dispersal of crowds after a show (gory or otherwise), the term vomitorium was misinterpreted as an anteroom wherein hedonistic Romans would retire to to clear their systems of all that food and drink before heading back to the party. But we digress.
Back at our table, we wished we could, in fact, clear our systems, perhaps in a more elegant manner, to partake the panoply of dishes headed our way. After cruising through the Mediterranean and Levant, we wash up on Asian shores. First up is a pairing of Schezwan Eggplant and Garlic Noodles. Firm and diabolically spiced, the eggplant makes us forget our apathy for baigan while the noodles are textbook.
Our final port of call is the land of Five Rivers and we are served Dal Makhani and naan along with some Kashmiri Rogan Josh. While the curried meat is tender, it is the dal which walks away with the honours. Undoubtedly, the best Makhani we have ever eaten, it has us wishing vomitaria were real so that we could clear our systems and come back and finish the whole dish. Next time.
Meal for two: Rs 1,500 (with tax)
Address: P-10/90, Connaught Place