Moonshine is a name which can be traced back to the 1920s American concept of distilling liquor at night ‘by the light of the moon’ during the Prohibition era. In 2014, it is the name of a new bar and café at the once tony address of Hauz Khas village. Reaching it can be a challenge for all less than fit, for one has to walk two flights of stairs. Once one gets there, one discovers a large space, one of the largest in Hauz Khas village, with a seating of mere 48 covers, making it an airy space with somewhat underwhelming interiors.
Moonshine Café & Bar is divided into two sections which play different genres of music including electronic, house, classic rock and popular jazz tunes as well as Sufi music. The bar menu is pretty much standard format, and so is the food menu. I meet Kabeer Marwaha, the young energetic management graduate and professional golfer owner who joins me in the tasting session.
We start with the cocktails. The house special Moonshine caprioska (Rs 475), an excellent drink made with vodka, orange chunks, orange juice, chat masala, and topped with soda, with the fresh orange chunks adding to the magic. The New Orleans classic Hurricane (Rs 475) with tequila, grenadine and fizz is nothing like the original and can be avoided. Moonshine café is one of the few places that make a correct martini (Rs 380) with the right proportion of gin, dry vermouth and olives on a stick. Sex on the Beach (Rs 380) with vodka, peach schnapps, and orange juice, topped up with cranberry juice is another good drink.
Coming to the food, panko dahi kebab (Rs 325) is spectacularly good. The insides have nuts and saffron infused hung yoghourt, with a crisp green cardamom flavoured panko crusted, giving the patty a wonderful bite. The veg mezze platter (Rs 425) has falabel, cheese fatayer and spinach fatayer with babaganoush muhamara, and hummus. Non-veg mezze platter (Rs 525) has lamb kibbeh, shish touk, and fish fatayer with babaganoush, muhammara, and hummus. While the dishes are competent by and large, falafel and fish fatayer impress.
In the mains, Moonshine tenderloin steak (Rs 525) is not cooked rare medium as requested but is medium done, and is average. Beer batter fish (Rs 525) has the fish missing seasoning and the outer coating dripping in oil. This dish can be safely avoided. Veg kabab platter (Rs 599) with paneer tikka, tandoori aaloo, tandoori vegetable, dahi kebab and kachumber is ordinary, while the dal makhanki (Rs 525) is surprisingly good, perhaps the best I have had in Hauz Khas village.
Music is what attracts crowds to Moonshine bar and café, and considering that, the food and drink are more than adequate. The place has ample space and music to get the crowd coming in.
Disclaimer This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3.5 | Drink: 3.5 | Ambience: 3.0 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for two: Rs.2500 including alcohol | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Wheel chair friendly: No
Address: 30, Second Floor, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi | Tel: +91 9818102392, +91 9899828004