Once you’re settled in at the Kimono Club—the latest fine-dine offering at the Chanakya—the first thing you’ll probably notice is the dedicated champagne bell on your table. Yup, this place is posh. Ring the bell and they’ll offer you an array of bubblies by glass or bottle, and a choice of sparkling cocktails featuring exotic ingredients like jasmine liqueur and blueberry wine. If you’re still not satisfied, no worries; the champagne butler will bring you a longer list.
The luxe offering comes from restaurateurs Ashish Dev Kapur and Joydeep Singh, who’ve made their mark with Whisky Samba and The Wine Company in Gurugram, The Wine Rack in Mumbai and Antares in Goa (the last is a collaboration with Australian celebrity chef Sarah Todd). Given their alco-bev chops, the impressive 40-foot bar at one end of the restaurant will come as no surprise. This is a serious watering hole. Besides the bar there is a dining area and an outdoor trellis garden. The inspired interiors by Freddy Birdy will take your breath away in one flamboyant swoop. On weekends, you will find kimono-clad models parked on swings inside the restaurant.
It is, therefore, a little miracle that Chef Vikramjit Roy’s Asian delicacies—with a firm emphasis on Japanese— manage to outshine it all. The chef’s tasting menu—which I dove into without further ado—encapsulated the restaurant’s flavours well. I started off with quiet classics like boiled peanuts in soy and black fungus in chilli vinegar. ‘Signature smalls’ included avocado carpaccio, grilled green asparagus (as soft as butter), spinach with sesame sauce and duck carpaccio. A standout dish, part of their cold offerings, was the chunky tuna tartare (though I do wish they would spell it correctly). I’m a sucker for flare and the tartare ticked all the boxes. First, it came in a rectangular box, the ingredients arranged in neat rows, from lean maguro (bluefin tuna) to flying fish roe in two colours, guacamole and a bunch of other stuff. Then someone helpfully mashed it all up for me to gulp down. It was heavenly. I’m all for fun when it comes to presentation.
No Asian restaurant worth its wasabi can get away without a dumpling section. The Kimono Room’s is spectacular, littered with gems like morning glory & water chestnut dumpling, lobster & truffle dumpling, pork xiao long bao and crispy prawn cheung fun.
Stand-outs among the mains include the plainly named but utterly delicious stir-fry broccoli with braised shiitake mushroom, spring chicken with black beans and tamari-glazed sea bass.
A word about the service too. At the Kimono Club it’s a notch above. Don’t we all like a little pampering when we step out for a bite and a drink? I, at least occasionally, like it when the waitstaff do all the serving. It’s little touches like this that make the Kimono Club a winner and a true luxury dining experience.
WHAT TO TRY
Spiced Edamame with Truffle Sushi
You can’t go to a restaurant named after a piece of Japanese clothing and not try the sushi. At the Kimono Club, it’s been poshed up with fancy ingredients
Crispy Prawn Cheung Fun
A dim sum classic which has come all the way from Canton. It’s a rice noodle roll made with a wide strip of shahe fen (rice noodle) with a crispy shrimp in the centre. Sublime!
The Kimono Club, Lower Ground Floor, DLF Chanakya Mall, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi; Open from noon to 1am; 011-71565105; INR 2,500 for two