With a fabulous experience at Smoke House BBQ, it was but natural to visit the newly launched Smoke House Deli at Khan Market. Smoke House Deli has been in DLF Promenade at Vasant Kunj since 2009 but it missed my attention.
The 75-odd covers at Smoke House Deli is spread over 2 floors with a small Al-Fresco dining area too; A luxury in bustling Khan Market. Interiors done in whites with hand painting displaying books gave the place a comfy and a spacious look. My visit for a Sunday lunch saw the place fully occupied which made it a little noisy, but to have it full within the first month of operations is a dream for every restaurant owner. On second floor, Smoke House Deli also has a small terrace which is great for the summer evenings or winter lunch.
My start with a Mushroom Soup was at best can be termed average. The Margarita pizza served with Mascarpone in the middle was something new for me. Neither was it looking appealing nor did it add to any taste. On its own pizza was as good as any other cafe. My kids wanted Macaroni with Cheese, which was the excellent; Al dante Macaroni with cheesy sauce baked for just the right time.
Moving on to the main course, Nitin Kumar – Manager at Smoke House Deli suggested I try Chilly crusted Cobbler Fish with turmeric risotto (680) while I wanted Smoked Lamb Shanks (800). With much discussion we decided to order both. Lamb shanks were tender and cooked well, however a common complaint we had for the entire meal that it lacked basic salt and seasoning. Understandably, the Firangs rules the population given proximity of Khan Market to diplomats who likes lower salt content and the meal seems to be customised for them. Nitin’s suggestion of Chilly crusted Cobbler turned out to be the star attraction. This is one dish which will pull me back to Smoke House Deli, time and again. This soft, juicy and flaky fish had retained all its texture and was presented well too. The Panko based crust was mixed with Parmesan cheese, bhavnagree chilli and herbs and the dish kept attracting envious glances from neighbouring tables.
Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for deep-fried foods. The biggest difference between panko and standard breadcrumbs is that panko is made from bread without crusts. Panko’s crustless bread is coarsely ground into airy, large flakes that give fried foods a light, crunchy coating. The flakes tend to stay crispier longer than standard breadcrumbs because they don’t absorb as much grease.
While I admired and cherished the Cobbler, I kept noticing the manager, Nitin Kumar, who would personally greet every guest and make them at home. He is a polite, well spoken and experienced professional with a natural smiling face who these days are so rare to find. Even without a hotel management degree, he seems perfect for the job. Barring him, service was a little lackadaisical. Servers missed on noting the order, plates were not changed on their own, and we had to keep looking at them for long to get their attention.
Ending with comforting and delicious Tiramisu, Walnut Prune Pie and Kahlua Mousse Tart (150 each) we can say that despite of the slippery start we were a happy lot.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.5 | Ambiance: 3.5 | Service: 3.0 |Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two: Rs 2000 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Home Delivery: Yes | Timing: 8.30AM – 11:30PM
Address: Smoke House Deli, 1st Floor, 17, Khan Market, New Delhi | Phone: 011-43562819/ 43562820
– Pawan Soni