The dimly-lit, fire-engine red stairwell and heavy metallic door leading up to Iron Curtain have us preparing for a hearty, Vodka-soaked meal, but then we walk in and are greeted by vintage film posters and fixtures that resemble studio lights, with not single Lenin bust or Matryoshka doll in sight. It turns out that this new restaurant-plus-screening room in Hauz Khas Village is named not after the Soviet Union but a movie theatre, which was shut the day we visited but is rumoured to feature fifteen red Innova seats and independent films by BLOT, Colourblind Productions and more.
The restaurant, which opens for business this week, features a bar and a small outdoor area which is pleasant even on muggy nights like these, thanks to powerful fans, a profusion of plants and some chilled beers, which we settle down with – no hard alcohol available until the license comes through – to order our meal.
Trying to be grown-ups, we pass on buttered popcorn and French fries – options that are in keeping with the cinema-house theme of the restaurant – and begin instead with garlic and lemon tossed prawns. These are nicely seasoned but skewered on so firmly to their little satay sticks that at some point it feels like fishing for your own supper might be easier. Next up are chicken poppers, perfectly browned and crisp on the outside, tender inside, and conveniently bite-sized. As for the dipping sauces accompanying our starters, both are so scant that for the first time this evening, we get a glimpse of what life in communist Russia might have been like.
Bread Army Victory
Next up is a veggie pizza, large enough to feed a greedy couple and so yum that you won’t want to share. Built on a made-from-scratch base, it is loaded down with cherry and sun dried tomatoes, green and yellow zucchini, green and black olives, and last, a generous helping of mushrooms. We enjoy it more with some additional salt and chilli flakes.
Lamb chops make for a satisfying if boring main course, nicely prepared and flanked with sides of grilled vegetables and a well-baked jacket potato, faultlessly prepared but generically flavored, not half as exciting as the gourmet candy floss and popsicles we’re looking forward to for dessert (so much for being grown ups).
Alas, neither are available tonight. The chef recommends we try her specialty instead – French toast – and spurred on by memory of dessert at Elma’s (Iron Curtain is run by some of the same people), we concur. It arrives generously drizzled with honey, topped with mango and a creamy dollop of mascarpone cheese – pretty and delish, but too heavy for the Delhi heat. Give us a popsicle any day.
Getting there: The Iron Curtain, 19 Hauz Khas Village, call 64781709-10-11, Rs 1,500 for a meal for two without alcohol.
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