Sidewok – Khan Market, New Delhi

[Rating:2.5/5]

Ashwin and I decided to meet up midweek and yesterday seemed as good a day as any. Since I had had enough of western style food, the general consensus was either an Indian or a Chinese restaurant. Roaming around Khan market, we found SideWok.

If I were to choose a single redeeming feature at SideWok, it would be their manager – Rakesh Puri. He impressed us to such an extent, that (since they didn’t serve alcohol) we went elsewhere for our pint and came back here to eat, solely due to him.

The decor here is quite neatly done in a mixture of wood panelling, glass and brick. It could be a little less cramped, but once you’re seated it is quite alright. Have you ever been to some really good restaurants and wrinkled your nose at their toilets? For example, Golden Dragon Lajpat Nagar’s loos are cramped, dingy and stink! Not so at SideWok – *Very* well maintained and well designed – I was quite impressed.

The service is attentive, friendly and efficient. I asked for my food to be served a certain way and they ensured it was done so, down to the smallest detail. The manager was all smiles, suggestions and I found willing and polite answers to everything I asked… and I can be pesky at times.

Here’s where the experience starts to dull a bit.

We ordered Mizutaki Soup, Crispy Fried Sweet and Sour Pork, Mixed Meat Noodles and Vegetables in a Garlic Wine Sauce. While it came to the table exactly the way I asked, *nothing* except the soup met the mark.

The Mizutaki Soup was exellent, even though they used Koyadofu – a type of freeze-dried spongy Japanese tofu that I don’t care much for. The taste, textures and contents were splendid and I’d love to have it again.

The Vegetables in Garlic Wine Sauce was grossly overdone and the whole dish could be described as one step short of the mush fed to babies. The Pork was fried to the extent that it couldn’t be chewed, definitely wasn’t crisp and was in a sauce that was a couple of marks short of syrup (sweet!!!).  The noodles would have been fine if the shreds of omelette inside it didn’t smell of burnt egg. None of the food matched the high expectations set by the decor and service. The food was more Delhi street Chinese than that you would expect in a restaurant.

I’ll say it again here – the soup was exellent. :-)

I don’t think I will be visiting here again, inspite of the wonderful people, service attitude and service.

Meal for two: INR 1300 | Alcohol: No | Credit Cards: Yes | Phone: 011-43587122 / 43587133

– Sid

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.