In March this year, Thirty Nine joined a clutch of restaurants, cafes and bars in the one-way eat street of Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi. Unlike most other restaurants in the quaint and quirky Village that are mostly holes-in-the-wall, Thirty Nine is an expansive monolith that is spread across three floors of ample sitting area. The restaurant is designed as a cosy English pub, complete with a parlour room, a library and a pool table. The owners Mohit and Dushyant Kakkar, second generation restaurateurs, have come a long way from their butter chicken days. Their first foray into fine-dining is a well thought out tryst that they have painstakingly put together - right from the 17th century Indian map to the 200-year-old, well-restored cricket bats that once wreaked havoc on a British bowler. Wood dominates the warm interiors and old handpaintings of Indian Maharajahs and English sahibs grace the walls. There's also a roof-top dining option (de rigueur among the Village restaurants), overlooking the lush Deer Park.
The restaurant is designed as a cosy English pub, complete with a parlour room, a library and a pool table.
Why the name Thirty Nine? While looking for a theme for the restaurant, the owners stumbled upon a little-known legend within the Village. Accordingly to them, Hauz Khas Village once played host to one Alistair Kensington, an English explorer and naturalist, who lived here around 1939. This inspired the restaurant's rather uncanny name.
The menu remains in tandem with the décor, featuring Brit classics like shepherd's pie, beer batter fish and chips, and other European favourites like sausages with mashed potatoes and lobster thermidor, among others. The food also gives equal consideration to Anglo-Indian fare, making way for your regular tikka masalas, country chicken curry and roghan josh. The two bars at Thirty Nine, one on the ground floor and the other on the second, house a wide variety of spirits, beers, and liqueurs. Sample some very English cocktails for the effect: A punch on Tom Collins (made with gin, lemon, and fruit juice, and soda) or revel in the Raj with East India Co. (a heady concoction of brandy, pineapple juice, orange curacao, and Jamaica rum).
Thirty Nine is an expansive monolith that is spread across three floors of ample sitting area.
We begin our evening with the braised tenderloin burger (Rs 375) which comes with a large helping of chips or onion rings and goes down smoothly with the beer. The meat is the exacting pink is the centre that makes it a juicy medium-rare. The sticky-sweet roast pork ribs with maple syrup and potato slaw (Rs 410) is falls-off-the-bone tender. The slaw adds the right amount of crunch and acidity required for the meaty treat. Next comes a generous helping of the lamb shepherd's pie (Rs 425) served in a casserole. The piping hot meat pie with a crust of crackling mashed potato and cheese comes out as the highpoint of the evening.
Dessert menu at Thirty Nine is rather small, featuring only six options. We sample the warm apple crumble and camembert tart with ice cream that is nice but doesn't quite matches up to the rest of the evening. Having said that, the food here completely makes up for that and calls for a revisit soon. Meal for Two:
Rs 1,500 (without alcohol)Address:
T 6B, Main Market Road, Hauz Khas Village, New DelhiTel: