Black Sheep Restaurants are known for creating winning concepts that keep people going back to their restaurants again and again. The group’s 15th restaurant in Hong Kong, which opened towards the end of last year, is New Punjab Club, which celebrates the cuisine of the Pakistani and Indian areas of Punjab, from where co-owner Syed Assim Hussain himself hails.
Hong Kong is not short of Indian restaurants, but this isn’t your average Indian restaurant. Perhaps this is why it isn’t easy to get a reservation at this place, unless you’re happy dining at 6pm or 10pm – but who does that?! It could also be due to the fact that this Wyndham Street restaurant has only nine tables, so Friday and Saturday nights tend to book up early.
It’s a beautiful space, with dark wooden tables, leather banquettes and interesting art on the walls. I was also a fan of the staff’s uniforms, which consist of navy blue, mandarin-collared suits, in line with the elegance of the restaurant.
You can start your evening with a special gin and tonic from the old school gin trolley, but I chose to start with a mango lassi, which was both creamy and refreshing, topped with toasted almonds.
We then began our meal with the samosa chaat. Again, these were not your average samosas, but were absolutely incredible. They came broken into halves, served in a pool of sweet tamarind glaze and yoghurt, topped with crispy noodles and pomegranate seeds.
The keema pau was also excellent. We were told to open the accompanying fluffy milk bun and smear the spiced mutton sauce over the top, sprinkle with red onions and a squeeze of lime, and then eat it as an open sandwich. It was so good, I didn’t want it to end!
Our incredibly friendly and knowledgeable waiter recommended the lamb chops in such a way that made it kind of impossible to say no and he even suggested doubling the order to make sure we got one chop each! This meant that we were paying $936 for this dish alone – that’s almost $1000 for a single dish! Or, if you like $234 per chop! Thankfully, it was delicious and there was a lot of meat on each bone. Having been cooked in the tandoor oven, the meat on these giant dinosaur bones was so flavoursome and tender, and I loved the accompanying ember-roasted onion, which was sweet and juicy.
We also couldn’t resist ordering the chicken tikka makhani, or butter chicken, which was rich and creamy, exactly as it should be, and created the perfect dipping sauce for the beautifully fluffy butter naan. A side of masala palak (baby spinach with garlic and tomato) was also a lovely accompaniment.
Being a non-coffee drinker, I don’t get excited about a regular affogato, but I was very intrigued by the Chai affogato, which comprised of earl grey ice cream and black tea, with an accompanying almond biscuit. It was very sweet and quite hard to share, but nonetheless a nice Punjabi take on the classic.
Our favourite of the desserts, however, was the sticky toffee pudding with popcorn ice cream, served with a jug of extra toffee sauce, which we couldn’t help but drink on its own once the dessert was finished!
As mentioned, service at New Punjab Club really is excellent, as it is at all Black Sheep restaurants, with personal touches and recommendations that make you feel like VIP diners. For our table of four, including two G&Ts, two mango lassis and a bottle of wine, our bill came to an eyebrow-raising $3,162! Had we skipped the lamb chops, obviously this would have brought the cost down significantly, but it’s still expensive for Indian food. As I said earlier, however, this isn’t just a regular Indian restaurant, so I guess you can’t expect to pay regular prices!
New Punjab Club
34 Wyndham Street
Tel: +852 2368 1223