House of Commons, unlike its grand name, dishes out a palate of a saleable mish-mash of global cuisines, says Ayushi Sharma
What makes for a perfect evening after getting done with a heavy bag of tasks at workplace? An enduring meal, isn’t it? So we head to a place hoping that it fits in our cravings. As we walked towards Connaught Place looking for it, we came across a British-inspired gastro pub, House of Commons. In keeping with its name, the long rectangular space reminds one of the lower house of the British Parliament. But truth be told, there’s nothing British about the food, or a colonial fusion, but just a saleable mish-mash that goes by the label of multi-cuisine — Continental, Mediterranean and Indian cuisines, coupled with drinks and live music.
On a Wednesday night, when the temperatures were hovering around 14 degrees, we quickly retreated in the comfy ambience of the place. We entered and found the best table around the corner where a flickering lamp kept exactly on its right gave the room a cosy lived-in air, exactly the way we wanted.
HOC has a casual vibe with red sofas and wooden tables. The walls have a brick finish all over and was showcased with witty frames and quirky accessories.
Chef Vinay Kumar, who has been in the business for over two decades now, believes in infusing creativity in his culinary art. He said, “The industry is quite big and every chef has his or her own taste. So I do not compete with anyone else. I believe in competing with myselfand my every dish speaks volumes about that.”
He recommended that before we started with a full meal, we should induge in some light snacks. So we ordered cheese and vegetable Spring rolls that were crisp on the outside and tender inside. These were served with a sweet red sauce. The dish had a satisfying combination of fresh flavours and contrasting textures. Then there was Paalak patta chaat — made with spinach leaves that were coated with cornflour batter, deep fried and topped with tamarind chutney, sweet curd as well as some mint sauce. A sprinkle of bhujiya and chaat masala further enhanced the tastes. This one is for the true chaat lover.
Next, we tried the Hummus falafel with pita bread. This is a complete platter in itself and the flavours of the dip were subtle. To accompany this there was a specially curated cocktail by HOC, MacDonald Windsor, that added a twist to the classic cocktail with some vodka, pineaplle, peach schnapps, blue curacao and orange ice.
Other cocktail worth mentioning is Drunken tea master — two classy beverages came together to make a great master. It consisted of a rare combination of vodka, tea, spices, honey and sour mix.
Non-drinkers also have a variety of mocktails and shakes to choose from — Tropical Sling, Apple and Cinnamon Smash, Rose Orchard and many more.
Can you imagine beer flambe creamy pasta? It was tossed with parmesan cheese and butter forming a smooth and rich sauce coating. Indeed, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Next up was the main course, I went for Dal makhni, usually cooked with butter and cream which gives the finished dish a smooth, creamy texture. Given the addition of butter and cream, the dish has a rich mouthfeel, with a complex combination of dried and fresh spices and herbs and just a hint of smokiness. Then there was Himachali chana paneer ka madra — a quintessential Himachali dham item, cooked with whole spices making it flavorful and aromatic. Chef Vinay said that Madra is generally made with rajma (kidney beans) or chana (Chickpea) or Black eyed peas but then there are other variations with paneer. Chickpeas are cooked in yoghurt based gravy with roasted raisins, cumin seeds and cloves.This dish has an extremely simple recipe and has a tangy and a mildly sweet flavour. We had this with butter naan.
And as they say no matter how stuffed you are after the main course you always have room for a little dessert. So to end it on a sweet note, I had Tiramisu and phirni.