Few days ago one of my friend and a fellow food writer asked me if I know of gourmet spots at Hauz Khas Village. Barring few, I couldn’t come out with many. Perhaps this is one of the reason that inspite of HKV having the most restaurant per sq ft compared to any other place in Delhi, I hardly visit it.
To make amends, I decided that I shall be soon going to Hauz Khas Village that has been compared to the popular night spot in Pattaya; The Walking Street, given the energy and youth from all parts of the world. So without even looking at the kind of place, the next invite from Hauz Khas Village area, sees me there.
Matchbox is the resto-pub and while I thought restaurant is named such given the small area, and a nauseating smell that comes when something is closed for long, I am told that’s the air freshener they have used. Believe I am getting old between differentiating between aromas and smells. Still we occupied a small table on the side, and given the early bird that I am, most other tables are empty.
The newspaper like menu is interesting but confusing. It does not help one perusing through the menu where sections are bit hard to read given the difficult eye movement and a dark atmosphere. The owner who shortly joins me agrees and says they are in the process of getting it changed. I am particularly pleased with the owner who comes from non-food industry background but still has a penchant to learn about it. However that’s the only thing that pleases me here.
Ceaser salad isn’t a ceaser. It has bell peppers, carrot, and olives that are never a part of a ceaser salad. Even the croutons are a tad soggy and Worcestershire sauce flavors completely missing. Pigs in the blanket (Rs 345; chicken sausage in bacon) are just three half pieces of sausages that too of mediocre quality. Crumbed fried chicken platter (Rs 345) is much better. I enjoy the chicken while the meat balls served along are not on par with the chicken and are left as it is on the plate.
The service is unusually slow, especially for the cocktails. This is when the restaurant is fairly empty. I ask for a smoked whiskey cocktail which in absence of knowledgeable bar tender, is made with a Teacher’s based drink which as a common knowledge doesn’t have any smokiness. Electric lemonade isn’t available and Mojito does not have any balance and has to be sent back for rework.
Devilled eggs are nice except the egg isn’t hard boiled as it normally is. Pizza has a nice sauce however the base is limp-y. My favorite here is the pork curry which for some strange reasons they call it pork vindaloo (Rs365). Though it is a wonderful dish but it isn’t the Goan delicacy by any stretch of imagination.
Options for vegetarians are fairly limited at Matchbox. Even for non vegetarians, most of the dishes are the usual fried stuff but goes well with drinks. With just icecream in the desserts, we decided to give it a miss. The music is good and given the first venture of the owners I do wish them well. Hope they get their acts together, sooner than later.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 2.0 | Drinks: 2.0 | Ambience: 2.0 | Service: 2.5 | Overall: 2.0
Meal for Two: Rs. 1500 (without alcohol) | Credit Cards: Yes | Timings: 12 noon to 11.30 pm | Wheel Chair Accessible: No
Address: Matchbox, 30, Ist Floor, Hauz Khas Village, Delhi | Telephone: 011 46204152