It’s just you and five of your closest friends having a meal in a softly lit living room, bottles of wine strewn about, your iPod playing a ‘dinner party’ list, a friend all poised to capture this scene on Instagram.
This could very well be your flat, but it’s not. You’re dining in the Vasant Vihar home of food columnist and cookbook author Prabeen Singh, who under the name of Hush does pre-planned meals for groups of six to twelve in her living room, and leaves the alcohol and music up to you. A house party minus the pre-panic and post-clean up. Sounds like our kind of entertaining!
Get It Done In-House
So here’s how it works at Hush: Call Prabeen to book a spot a week in advance. She’ll work with you on a highly personalised menu, recommending you try her treats from Iraq, Iran and Lebanon, but will also inform you of the Indian and Italian options. She offers the use of her drawing room which you’ll have all to yourself, along with her domestic help and a waiter who appears at the press of a buzzer. You’ll have to arrive early and welcome your guests into the house with Prabeen, but after that, she’ll be out of your hair. “There’s no last call,” she promises. “You can stay as late as you like”. Our guest is as good as hers!
The Living Room
A columnist with The Sunday Guardian, Prabeen’s “art deco” living room is inviting, with a glass top dining table that shows off her delicious collection of antique textiles displayed in a groove below. Seated here you’ll usually find expats and travellers – she’s listed with a bunch of high-end tour operators – passing through the Capital, hoping to meet locals and dine in a Delhi home. Her dish list in the past has included pots filled with olive oil-stewed artichoke hearts, smoked oysters with salsa and Moroccan sea bass stuffed with noodles. Adding the air of casual to the meal is the fact that you can plug your own iPod in the living room dock and bring your own booze. “We do a mean nimbu pani for teetotalers too,” she says.
While Prabeen’s favourite is the tagine with couscous, publishing house Penguin head, Chiki Sarkar tweeted this as her Hush recommendation: “rohu and green apple curry, mangoes in brandy.” So it’s true then – the fruit of Hush’s labour is sweet indeed!
The bpb crew plans to get a spot at Prabeen Singh’s home next month. We’ll take our own Leonard Cohen-spiked playlist and Singh for our supper.