When one thinks of Hong Kong, one thinks of dim sum, Michelin-starred restaurants, and a bar scene with a strong cocktail culture. We managed to experience all in one at Off Menu Hong Kong at The Peak Galleria, where one of the participating chefs was Palash Mitra, who also opened Rajasthan Rifles at the very same location on Victoria Peak. An exploration into the coming together of two cultures, this menu at this Anglo-Indian mess hall, too tempting to pass up even after a food festival, so we joined the fray at its ground floor space.

You’ll also find Chef Palash Mitra at tandoor grillhouse New Punjab Club on Wyndham Street

The charm of the interiors at Rajasthan Rifles is undeniable, even if the large patio outside is great for the view and people watching. Main materials of dark timber and brick contrast nicely with rattan backed chairs, white table tops, and footlocker bases on the patterned banquette seats. The service team in officer teamed uniforms moved around efficiently in the buzzy restaurant, driving the mess hall vibe home.

I have a weakness for samosas and I cannot lie. Served with tangy tamarind chutney, the large, flaky triangles (HK$78 for two) are clear winners with the savoury and well-seasoned filling of spiced potatoes and green peas. It’s easy to see how the residents of the Peak might just drop in for an afternoon snack (Rajasthan Rifles opens all day) and a refreshing cocktail like the rum-based Dutch Courage (HK$98), made with lime and peppermint tea.

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It’s unclear why Chef Palash changed the protein in the Beef Seekh Kebab (HK$248, it was previously goat) but the dish still works. Ground beef chuck short rib is seasoned with green chilies and roasted cumin, before being rolled with cheddar cheese and flash grilled in the tandoor. Though the kebabs were moist and juicy, we would have liked more charring on the outside of the kebabs for increased variance in textures and temperatures – would more cheddar cheese will do the trick?

Goat Seekh Kebab, the beef version comes slightly darker

With that question in our heads, we dug into an incredibly satisfying pair of savoury dishes – soft, puffy Garlic Naan(HK$38/48) and aromatic Butter Chicken (HK$218). Rajasthan Rifles’ take on every solder’s favourite chicken curry didn’t disappoint; the braised chicken tikka was tender but didn’t melt into the gravy laden with tomato and butter.

Even with a heavy dinner, it was Treacle Tart (HK$98) served with cool clotted cream for dessert. Golden and gooey, it might be my first time trying this classic British pudding, but I don’t need to be a connoisseur to tell you that it was the short crust pastry that smashed it out of the park.

The quintessential Butter Chicken

Dinner is just the tip of the iceberg at Rajasthan Rifles. There’s a bar snack menu with grub like Poppadum and Masala Fries, as well as a breakfast menu (weeknds and public holidays) stocked with the likes of Rifles’ Rolls – naan with spicy cheese and tomato chutney filled with your choice of protein – and three-egg Masala Omelette. One thing’s for sure, many restaurants at The Peak might market themselves as pricy destination dining spots – but Rajasthan Rifles is not one of them, and we hope it stays that way.

Rajasthan Rifles is located at G/F, The Peak Galleria, Hong Kong, p. +852 2388 8874. Open Mon-Thu 12pm-10pm, Fri 12pm-10.30pm, Sat 8am-10.30pm, Sun 8am-10pm.