Just when you think that you have exhausted visiting all the restaurants in the capital's most popular hub Khan Market, there pops up another shining new eatery with interesting offerings to lure us. For those of you who remember where Baar Baar pop-up restaurant stood in 2018, the same venue is now transformed into a chic urban bistro bar called Klap that is themed around world cuisine tapas bar, with fresh and seasonal eating as a core philosophy. Reminiscent of a family home villa with a terrazzo, the restaurant is the brainchild of three enterprising friends: Chef Gurmehar Sethi, Alekh Vardhan and Navdeep Singh Sethi, that took shape amidst the pandemic.
We make our way through the market's narrow cobbled lanes and up a staircase to reach Klap. Spread across two floors, the tall glass windows usher in sunlight to naturally brighten up the indoors, while mirror installations on the walls and ceilings add to the expanse of the space. The vibe is urban luxury with elements like textured hand-plastered walls, mood lighting, marble top tables, cane chairs and lounge seating with faux leather upholstery contributing to a tastefully done up decor. A highlight is the ceramic art wall installation by Claymen with a quirky display of whimsical faces that instantly bring a smile. With Delhi winter not too far away, the terrace is sure to become a popular spot to bask in some sun and enjoy cocktails on tap. Yes, you heard us!
Also read: Italian Restaurant Zanotta Reopens With A Bustling Space (And A Dolce Dome!)
Food Review: Klap
Coming to the food, Chef Gurmeher Sethi and team serve up global cuisine as part of a 'two fingers, one bite,' concept, offering an array of dishes that are light, fresh and seasonal. We learn that most ingredients are sourced from their in-house rooftop garden. Efforts are made to not just offer a farm-to-table experience, but embrace sustainable practices too, which you can spot in their food presentations where vegetable wastes are creatively reused.
We couldn't have had a better start to our rainy Saturday afternoon than the spicy Tom Kha soup served as a shot. It instantly warms us up. Next follows two innovative salads - the Shakarkandi Chaat and Yum "Som-O". The first is a retake of the visually appealing Indian street food - katori chaat. Here the basket is made of noodles instead and is filled with thrice-cooked sweet potatoes (roasted, boiled and steamed) tossed in an unusual red dragon fruit chutney and crispy kale. While I miss the crunch of the traditional potato basket, the chutney proves to be a delightful upgrade from saunth. Yum "Som-O" reminds us of stuffed golgappas for it includes air-fried shells stuffed with pomelo in tamarind dressing, and topped with roasted peanuts and coconut for crunch. It's an instant favourite with its burst of flavours.
Also read: Dine With A View At Mehrauli's Popular New Restaurant - Swan
Moving onto dim sum, Chicken and Celery brings in colourpop with its purple hued outer shell, and is not just about looks but flavours too (courtesy the garlic crisps and sweet chilli sauce). The vegetarian Crystal Dim Sum is an impressive display of technique and we particularly enjoy it with the spicy garlic sauce.
We expect sushi to follow dim sum, but there's Zushi instead. A reinterpretation, where the maki roll is replaced with fried rice cakes and it comes with a topping of spicy salmon, edamame and Japanese condiment furikake. The vegetarian topping includes avocado and mango mint salsa. The ice slab serveware is notable for it uses vegetable wastes to create a zoo theme. It's hard to compare it to traditional sushi, but it makes for an interesting Japanese-inspired canape.
In Small Plates, we try the Smoked Prawns that have a crispy and spicy coating, with prominent notes of kaffir lime that we love. The Hopper Taco is a South Indian-inspired dish with appam as a base and mutton pepper fry as the filling. We love that it's light and not overtly spicy.
Moving on from bite-sized treats to Large Plates, Chicken Chettinad satisfies our soft corner for southern Indian delicacies. The bold flavours of the ground spices stand out, and we enjoy it with ghee roast cone dosa. The rainy weather gets us craving for biryani too, and we pick the Kale, Coriander and Prawn option, which has us intrigued. The pairing seems odd, but when we try the biryani, the flavours beautifully combine together. A special mention to the beetroot pachadi for its creaminess.
The Klap Egg Tray is the sweet finish to our meal. Chocolate shells filled with coconut and jaggery ice cream - what's not to love? We could visit Klap again and again for this!
Klap, 2 and 3, Khan Market, New Delhi; Meal for two: Rs 2,500 ++