The Hook’s bright yellow sign in bubble font is unmissable and a little mystifying, but we go along with the friendly restaurant manager anyway, who leads us up a dimly-lit flight of stairs to a table by the windows. Like the rest of Sector 29, The Hook looks out onto a parking lot surrounded by restaurants and street food stalls, teeming with camels and dusty horses. Ordinarily, the neon-colored dystopia would have quelled our appetite, but we’ve travelled to far dodgier spots in search of good seafood in this city.
Hops, No Scotches
Because The Hook advertises itself as a brewery as well as a seafood restaurant, we start with draught beer, cold lager and Dunkel that goes surprisingly well with all our fish. Wheat beer is funky in a not-good way, and even the bravest drinker at our table struggles to get through his pint. We comfort ourselves with an irresponsibly large order of appetizers, Thai basil prawns and crispy calamari, which we coat in addictive chili mayo dip.
The high point of our meal is Coco Con Mari, mixed seafood curry in a thick coconut sauce, served in a brown coconut shell that walks perfectly the line between gimmicky and charming. Unfortunately, everything that comes after tips over into the dark side.
The high point of our meal is Coco Con Mari, mixed seafood curry in a thick coconut sauce, served in a brown coconut shell that walks perfectly the line between gimmicky and charming.
Heaven Or Shell?
Tai-Chai lobster is gorgeously set on a bed of glass noodles but also brutally hollowed out, batter fried and doused in overwhelming Chinjabi chilli sauce. Our order of butter garlic crab is waylaid, and when it does arrive, we can’t help but send it back – it is heartbreakingly bland, tasting of… nothing, really. The contrite kitchen explains that while all their other seafood is fresh, the crabs have been frozen overnight.
Also rescued from the bowels of their refrigerator is chocolate mud cake, recommended by the servers, prettily dusted with sugar and cocoa, but ultimately dry and mealy.
Yet, we aren’t ready to give up on The Hook entirely. We’ll come back when our craving for home strikes next, cleverer this time, skipping the lobster entirely and doubling our order of prawns.
Getting there: Sector 29, Main Market, above Matchbox, Rs 5,300 for a meal for two.
Accessibility: There is an elevator that can take you up to the restaurant.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This story is contributed by Urvashi Bahuguna, a writer based in New Delhi.
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