Smoking Hot in Khan Market

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here are some menus that I can’t wait to run away from and others, from which I’d like to try every dish. Among the former, I count restaurants like Big Chill, where I usually end up reading the menu from cover to cover multiple times and am still unable to find anything that strikes my fancy or what which I can sink my teeth into. At the risk of sounding archaic and sexist, I’ve always thought of their offerings as “chick food”, not to put too fine a point to it. At the other end of the spectrum are restaurants like Smokey’s who seem to have spent a fair bit of time designing a menu that has oodles of appeal, something for everyone and bunches of clearly visible creativity.

Smokey’s recently opened another outlet at Khan Market. Decorated in the distinct tones of its brand, this one sports the familiar orange, brown and woody tones that the brand tends to use to set itself apart.

The Smoked Chicken Caesar Salad was nice as a regular salad, but didn't fulfil its own menu description.
The Smoked Chicken Caesar Salad was nice as a regular salad, but didn’t fulfil its own menu description.

Menus like that at Smokey’s are things of beauty. They combine distinct desires and proceed to become a set of options that turn away noone and welcome everyone who cares to peruse. Within you’ll find stacks of starters, salads and soups, and possibly the largest selection of steaks, meats, burgers and hot dogs this city has seen. Top that with a very nicely put together section for pastas and risottos, followed by pizzas, desserts and a plump little shakes and soft beverages area. Like I said, something for everyone.

My dinner began with a Cream of Mushroom soup that was the vegetarian Soup of the Day (INR 250). Being one of those who adores mushrooms of every size and shape, I’m  disappointed with most mushroom soups; the shroominess of it all being neither here nor there, and certainly not the hot fungi-flavored mouthful one expected. This one, while quite a bit over-salted, was a satisfying bowl.

The kasundi marinated grilled fish was soft, moist and full of flavor.
The kasundi marinated grilled fish was soft, moist and full of flavor.

The Smoked Chicken Caesar Salad (INR 410) that followed didn’t contain smoked chicken and was quite a bit overdressed too, both of which didn’t matter, ‘cos the salad wasn’t Caesar’s to begin with. Similarly, the Grilled Fish Red Harissa (INR 410) appears to use their own in-house translation of harissa, which is low on chili and garlic, two key ingredients of this Tunisian condiment, and high on roasted coriander and cumin seed, which didn’t work for me. Perhaps you’ll like it. While you’re at it, perhaps you should order the Kasundi Marinated Grilled Fish (INR 410) too, which is soft and moist, with distinct overtones of kasundi.

My steak was done just as I requested - medium rare.
My steak was done just as I requested – medium rare.

As a country or culture, we’ve been cooking meats for a while, but do not, to the extent of my knowledge, differentiate between levels of done-ness, such as rare, medium and so on. It is still a bit of an anxiety inducing exercise, the ordering of a medium-rare steak. Given the brave soul that resides in this flabby body, I went on ahead and asked for a Filet Mignon with Wasabi (INR 750), done medium-rare. What I received, thankfully, was a chunk of grilled filet mignon done medium-rare, accompanied by wasabi strong enough to clear the ugliest head cold and a smooth pile of creamy mashed potatoes, all of which I devoured without another word though my enthusiastic snorting and chewing may have cause those at other tables to reconsider their own meals. The end of my meal was heralded by a darling little Apple Crumble Pie (INR 340) adorned with a dollop of ice cream; ’twas excellent.

Smokey’s BBQ & Grill in Khan Market is a brilliant option if you’re with a group, given that they’ll certainly have something for each of your fellow diners and for most part, do a splendid job of delivering too. Their menu is an interesting one and which I’m sure you’ll return to try more of, making the whole a package that must be repeated and referred.

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.