Maquina, Hauzkhas Village – New Tex-Mex boy in town

 The food scene in Delhi is witnessing a great thrust with the advent of new concepts and cuisines from around the world. Maquina, a Dive bar and Tex-Mex restaurant, opened its door a month back at Hauz Khas Village. The city has yet to witness the culture of Dive bars (comfortable-but-basic neighborhood bar serving  drinks to regular clientele), but the team of Maquina has attempted to bring the culture to the city.
The wood and leather interiors and cowboy hats hanging on the walls were true to the concept of Dive bars. In the past, restaurants have fiddled  with Tex-Mex cuisine, but none of them could carry on the experiment.

Maquina is part of Jackpot Ventures, which also owns Desiya Café and Farsi. Amit Bagga is the Director of Jackpot Ventures. We were welcomed by the General Manager Ankush who explained us the concept of the restaurant and then walked us to our seats. I took up the menu which looked is pretty expansive. I am sure it will leave you spoilt for choices. The widespread bar counter with typical high stools serves variety of mixes, liquors. As per our ritual we asked the Chef to serve us his specials. Chef Ajay is a young chap with substantial experience in USA and also with Cruiseliners. In the meantime, Ankush, who is also a trained mixologist, got us the Sangria (beverage from Spain and Portugal consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy).

Both, the Green Apple & Basil and Mandarin & Rosemary had refreshing taste and very alluring flavors of herbs. While we were enjoying the refreshing Sangrias, Tejas Salad was served to us. It had green apple, orange, cherries, lettuce, smoked chicken and topped with honey chilli dressing. It was a perfect accompaniment with the Sangrias. The next in line were home-made Nachoswith grilled chicken & cheese sauce topping. This was the cracker of a dish and a big respite from those industrial nachos served elsewhere. The sour cream dips served with nachos was a perfect compliment. Next one was Las Albondigas (Albondigas is Spanish for meatballs), which was Texas style meatballs with chilli tomato sauce on a crispy tortilla. We found it a bit salty and the meatballs little dry. Garlic Pepper Steak with Blueberry Juswas served medium rare and had perfectly balanced in flavors. Lamb Shankswas a bit under cooked.

The next dish was a superstar and we would have ignored it if Ankush hasn’t suggested it. The Johny Walker™ Burger. 80 ml JW Black in a huge 180gm patty, topped with onion relish, & grainy mustard, sandwich between a soft home-made buns. The first bite of this juicy burger had transported me to heaven and I would rate it the best burger in town. Served with fries, green leaves and the dip made of JW black. Priced at Rs. 445 plus taxes, it is a killer. In the desserts section, we had Churros with Chocolate Sauce and Toblerone Shot. Churros, a fried-dough pastry referred as Spanish doughnut, is very popular in Spain, France, Philippines, USA and in the former colonies of Spain and Portugal. They were crunchy and had a nice flavor of cinnamon. Toblerone Shot was a superstar desert. With a deceptive look of chocolate mousse, it had melted Toblerone chocolate mixed with baileys and grated chocolate on the top. It was so addictive that it left me wanting for more.

Maquina, which comes from the Spanish meaning ‘ machine’, initially sounded a bit unusual, but when I googled its meaning and usage and relate it to my experience there, I could only say
a la maquina!!!
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I am an adventurer, dreamer, marketer, musically inclined, traveler and foodie to the core. I believe food is one of the greatest gift from GOD. I have always believed in that theory and have been trying to improve my dining experience. I am learning to appreciate various tastes, and expanding my horizon. For me, a great dining experience will be something where the serving challenges the conventional taste and stamps its authority. Be it a lavish spread of a five star hotel or a plate from a road-side shanty, my taste buds should be able to experience every single ingredient in the serving and the heart should always allure for it.

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