“If Alice had to go up a rabbit hole and not down, this would be it,” wailed my companion as we made our way to the Moonshine café and bar in Delhi’s Hauz Khas village; we walked through dark and dingy corridors that led to seemingly unending staircases. But our predicament was a short-lived one as we suddenly found ourselves in an airy, glass-walled café, with a view of one of Hauz Khas’ domed structures hidden behind green canopies.
Flaunting vintage American décor – dim lighting, framed pictures of old typewriters on the walls, leather upholstery and a rather interesting acrylic representation of the Chicago skyline as wall art – the Moonshine café occupied an entire floor of the building. The café has been divided into separate sections, each section playing different genres of music. The outdoor section contained a pretty hookah bar with colourful hookahs in all shapes and sizes, including one shaped like the Eiffel Tower. There is also a live stage with a good sound system. Local bands and artists perform almost daily; the playlist includes electronic, house, classic rock, popular jazz and good old bollywood tunes. ‘Gentlemen’s night’, a new concept in Delhi, attracts a fair number of men every Tuesday to the Moonshine.
We started with the beetroot carpaccio and Moonshine chicken wings. The carpaccio was excellent; the sweetness of the steamed beetroots went very well with the tangy flavour of the feta cheese. The Moonshine chicken wings were succulent. We ordered the soft shell chicken tacos and the Godfather pizza as our main course. The tacos were stuffed with chicken cubes and creamy Montgomery cheese. The pizza was thin-crust topped with ham, salami, bacon, bell pepper and onions. It was good but not extraordinary. Coming to the drinks, we ordered the moonshine caprioska and ‘the real me’. The caprioska was Indianised by adding a pinch of chaat masala. Not quite a success to be honest. The ‘real me’ was a mix of kahlua, Baileys, rum and chocolate – tasted too much of chocolate syrup. We skipped dessert and decided to try a special hookah from Moonshine’s hookah bar. Our mint flavoured hookah was quite smooth.
Overall, the place is great for a nice evening especially since dearth of space is not an issue and they always have some great live music. The starters were excellent, so were the pizzas but the drinks could do with a little more finesse.