Restaurant review: New Punjab Club in Central, Hong Kong (1 Michelin star)
Hong Kong's most sophisticated (and delicious) South Asian restaurant
Trying New Punjab Club for the first time was kind of an ordeal. I’d tried to go with girlfriends when it opened, but always called too late and they’d be full. Then I mentioned it off hand to a guy the day before our first date (definitely too last minute a request, though he did try), he booked us in for our fifth date, and now we’re dating. (Never write off a guy willing to go the extra mile to secure a restaurant reservation. #foodloversunite ;)
Anyway, New Punjab Club was an excellent choice for a date with someone you’re just getting to know because the service is spot on. Not only is the restaurant designed to perfection and the workers uniforms just OTT enough, Black Sheep (restaurant group) also manages to hire some of the most charming people around. Our server joked with us the whole night and added a big element of fun to our evening. It being our fifth date, I only took one sneaky photo that night. And only because the paneer kulcha was SO delicious; the best spicy, cheesy stuffed bread. We went back a few months later with friends and I was more snap happy (with my iPhone).
The Samosa Chaat ($98) is a great way to kick off a meal. It hits all the tastebuds and is a lovely blend of textures in the mouth. Fried bits, fresh bits, and happiness.
The Amritsari Machli ($118) had an addictive batter, but I think I liked the pickled Chilli Pakora ($88) slightly more for its heat.
Of all the things on the menu, I think the tandoor dishes are where it’s at. On both of my visits, I had the Tandoor Machli ($218). The fish is a line-caught cobia, a white fish that manages to remain moist even after being cooked in the tandoor. Something about the dill and carom seed seasoning is so rich. It absolutely clings to the fish.
The Masalewali Chanp ($468) were presented beautifully. I can’t really remember much about the taste though.
And of course we had plenty of paneer kulcha ($58) and naan ($48) to clean up all the sauces and chutneys.
While I think the sponge toffee pudding is slightly too dry and chai affogato is fine, I really enjoyed the nimbu lemon posset with raspberry sorbet. I love lemon flavoured desserts, and this one tipped the scale just slightly more towards creamy than tart. Refreshing yet indulgent.
So it turns out that New Punjab Club is not only good for a date, but for a group dinner with friends. It’s impossible not to have great night with flavour-packed messy food, creative drinks, and tongue-in-cheek surroundings. Those who like strong flavours will enjoy themselves at New Punjab Club.
World Wide Commercial Building, 34 Wyndham St, Central, 2368 1223
* Post updated to reflect that New Punjab Club received its first Michelin star in December 2018