Review by: Murchana Das
Behind the lens: Shrishti Oberoi
A link between the New city and the Old, Connaught Place is at the very heart of Delhi. A bustling hub for finance and commerce, an ideal location for family outings, a great place for broke students who can only afford window shopping, and a place where you get millions of food joints and restaurants.
One of such restaurants is the newly-inaugurated HotMess, who claim that they are one-of-a-kind, and believe in concept food and drinks. We went to their launch party to check out whether it was true or not. And, yes they were definitely speaking the truth.
How to reach there:
Finding the restaurant is a bit of a task. Exit the Rajiv Chowk metro station from Gate-4, place yourself near block M and ask someone for M-11. Voila! You will find yourself inside Hotmess.
The designers have done a great job with the décor. The outside walls of the restaurant have been embellished with torch-carrying gargoyles, giving it a vintage feeling. But once you enter the restaurant, you forget all about those gargoyles and are completely taken aback by the interiors. The insides have been adorned with pretty hibiscus-shaped lamps, bamboo chimes, glass chimes and abstract paintings. The lighting is golden in shade, and the doors and windows are panelled in a golden colour. Vintage, royal, classy.
The seating arrangement is also very unique. Plush leather couches in mustard-yellow and red, round wooden tables, chairs high and low, have been placed to wine and dine. There is a DJ set-up as well,for those who want to groove. You definitely will fall in love with the place at the very first sight.
We fell in love with the ambience, but what about the food?
Let us begin writing our Food Journal
One of the best chicken dishes we have tried. A twist of the normal honey chicken, HotMess has added their own touch, by blending together the smokiness of Chinese Wine and the sweetness of honey. The dish is an example of balance: smoky flavour, sweet, sour and hot. We can ask no more.
This dish is pure bliss! The mutton is marinated in a sauce of cream and cheese, and given the shape of a seekh kebab. A drizzle of the flavourful Rogan sauce on top, served with pickled onions, green chutney and onions coated in Rogan sauce in the side. Beautifully moist and an absolute perfection.
Tired of those dry thin-crust pizzas? Head over to HotMess to taste a pizza you have never relished. The crust of this pizza is flaky, crunchy and buttery. The sauce used in this pizza is homemade, which you will get to know in the very first bite. Sweet corn, bell peppers, broccoli are the main ingredients used, which is topped with loads of mozzarella cheese. The best part of the pizza, though, is definitely the crust. Hands down!
Tandoori Chicken Gyoza
The amalgamation of Indian and Japanese, HotMess has taken a very popular Japanese snack and has given it an Indian twist. Gyoza is a pan-fried dumpling, with different oriental stuffings. The stuffing used here, on the other hand, is finely chopped Tandoori Chicken, which adds a kick to the normally-bland gyoza. This dish is served with a vinegar dip and a spicy cream sauce, which goes well with the gyoza.
Tempura Chicken (Highly Recommended)
Little nuggets of tempura-battered fried chicken, tossed in a sweet-sour-hot sauce, and served in a bed of iceberg lettuce. This dish creates an explosion of flavours inside your mouth. The batter is light and airy. The chicken is tender and well-cooked.
Even Donald Trump won’t be able to resist this. A popular Mexican dish, the nacho is served to you in the shape of a small bowl. The main filling used inside the bowl is cooked and spiced kidney bean paste, topped with guacamole and cheese, and salsa and sour cream on the side. Right amount of spices with the right amount of freshness. DELICIOUS!
Chilli Coriander Chutney Soya Chaap
The name describes the dish itself. The soya chaap is spicy, with the freshness of the coriander coming through. This dish is served with a hot chilli sauce and a sweet green chutney. The chaap tasted good with the green chutney, but we found it a bit dry when we had it without the sauces. Not a stand-alone dish.
Pita Pocket Sandwich with French Fries (Chicken Shawarma)
Served to you in a golden-netted basket, with two very different sauces. The filling of the pita bread is mainly Lebanese-style shredded chicken, topped with mint sauce and sour cream. This dish was a tad-bit dry for us; the bread was dry and the filling wasn’t moist enough, even after the addition of the sauces.
What did we drink (Madira time):
Don’t let the name fool you. This drink is a bomb. A slush with flavours of watermelon and thyme, with the base alcohols being vodka and gin, and an upturned bottle of beer; served to you in a big bowl-like glass.
Nuclear Banana Daiquiri (Highly Recommended)
This drink puts everyone in confusion. Daiquiri without any citric fruit? Is that even possible? We got our answers at HotMess. They have ignored the acid, and have used banana as the main fruit in this drink and white rum as its base. This is more of a dessert than a drink.(For a moment, I felt like a minion)
Imli Patola (Very Highly Recommended)
The sourness of tamarind, the sweetness of the sugar syrup and the bitterness of the white rum. I wish this was used as gol gappe ka pani.
Dum Dum Doo Dum Dum Doo Once again, DO NOT let the name fool you. This drink has used fresh oranges and lemons, with whiskey as the alcohol. Fresh and strong. We loved it.
Litchi and Lemongrass-tini (Highly Recommended)
A take on the normal, average martini. With a strong flavour of litchi and the aroma of the lemongrass, this drink will take you by surprise for the strength it has. Gin and Vermouth are the main alcohols used, and the regular olive garnish has been replaced by a lemongrass stem. VERY STRONG!
Sugary goodness (Dessert time):
This is a piece of heaven. The crust is crisp and buttery, the cream cheese filling is light and fluffy, and the passion fruit layer on top is marvellous. Please let us have another one of this.
The brownie is chocolaty, and the red velvet flavour is not overpowering. Though on the sweeter side, the hot brownie tastes great with the cold vanilla ice cream. We loved it.
The service and hospitality was great. The waiters knew all the dishes and the drinks they were serving. We had many queries regarding the items we ordered, and they answered them without leaving any doubts in our minds.
In the end, we rate the ambience: 5/5
We rate the food a definite: 5/5
and the service a: 4.5/5
We are sure that this new concept restaurant will be a big hit.
Truly a place for aphrodisiac food and drinks.