Good old Spanish tapas may be world-famous… but what about ‘Indian tapas’? Is that even a credible thing? We went to find out…
Delhi street food
In a word:
A mix of couples, families and groups of friends. Its central location makes it attractive to local businessmen/women and tourists.
What’s the deal with Hankies? Well, firstly, Hankies specialise in Roomali Roti, a classic Indian roti which is hand spun until it’s very thin – paper-thin, which is then cooked on a hot Roomali Tawa and then folded into handkerchiefs, or, ‘hankies’. But it’s not just popular for its rotis. It’s also popular for its casual Indian street food. So what’s it like?
Being attached to the glamorous Montcalm hotel obviously means your stepping into something luxurious. Despite serving up casual street food, the restaurant has elegant interiors, sophisticated lighting, and gold-coloured cutlery. They take their food and settings very seriously.
On the menu
As there’s two of us, the waiter recommends Jack and I share four or five dishes between us plus a couple of their famous naans. And so, we order.
To start we order their naans. Meaty lovers will be especially keen to try the Keema Naan which has a hidden centre of mint and coriander marinated goat mince, with a maple and cumin raita. However, Jack and I are particularly fond of the Truffle Naan, featuring vintage cheddar and cumin and shaved truﬄe. Absolutely delicious. We would be happy to eat just that!
Shortly after the naans arrive, the dishes come along. Once they’re all on the table, we tuck in.
A big surprise is the Bhatak Ki Khurchan, a fantastic dish comprising crispy duck, masala cashew nuts, mint, watermelon and sweet and spicy drizzle. The combination of strong and light flavours really make the dish. There are lots of squishy and crunchy textures that dance on the palate and it whets your appetite for more.
We then try the Sweet Potato Bomb, comprising sprouts, spicy chickpeas, jaggery and chilli jam. I felt the taste of the sweet potato was slightly lost here, but it’s rather filling.
One of my favourite dishes is the Crab Dumpling. It comes presented in its own little bowl, and although it looks small, it’s rather filling. It’s also rich, spicy and incredibly moreish.
Another fishy dish is the Seabass, flash roasted with coriander stem, chilli flakes and garlic. It’s slightly tamer in taste compared to the Crab Dumpling, but the fish is tenderly cooked and the chilli and garlic give it a flavoursome lift.
Obviously, I still have room for dessert and so I go for the Chocolate Gola, featuring tutti frutti ice cream, walnut brownie and caramel sauce. It arrives as a chocolate ball and the waiter pours the hot caramel sauce over it to melt it down. Sadly, it didn’t quite go as planned, but when it did melt, it revealed the ice cream, brownie, nuts and candied fruit.
Again, there are strong, rich flavours battling it out on the palate. Unfortunately, I’ve been defeated by it. The nuts and candied fruit is very filling!
The food at Hankies is bursting with rich, sweet and spicy flavours and of course, their famous rotis are out of this world. The staff are always on hand to recommend dishes and how many to each table, and then there’s the setting. Its luxurious décor sets the scene of a perfect evening out.