With a name meaning ‘chilled out’ and ‘carefree’ in Hindi, Bindaas arrived in Hong Kong with a clear purpose from the get-go. Filling a niche in the city’s dining scene, this modern Indian restaurant and bar offers all the familiar comforts Hong Kongers have come to love about Indian cuisine paired with a unique, buzzing atmosphere.
Sanat Patel is one of the driving forces behind the concept. Having fallen in love with Hong Kong upon visiting in early 2015, he decided to return and open a restaurant. Sanat, being an experienced restaurateur, teamed up with a talented crew, supported by Chef Mrigank Singh and Karnaraj Sinh, a Hong Kong resident for many years. Together, they have created a dining experience that would do Sanat’s native country proud.
Bindaas occupies the gap in the modern Indian culinary market. The eye-catching decor and central location make Bindaas well placed to draw in wandering passers-by, lured by the aromas of freshly baked naan and slow-stewed curries.
Gone is the kitschy decor of typical Indian restaurants; instead, the restaurant boasts a vibrant, stylish interior outfitted in flashy mirrors and colourful, geometric patterns. The bar area is the main focal point, crowded with high-topped stools and tables where revellers gather over cocktails and bar bites.
Bindaas’ menu is a mix of classical Indian dishes and modern fusion mash-ups – the latter most evident in the NaanZa, a pizza and naan hybrid featuring a variety of toppings. As Head Chef, Mrigank leads a talented culinary team as they unfold the rich and complex characteristics of Indian cuisine, crafting a menu that ranges from street snacks to fragrant curries.
While the spices and aromatics are as complex and fragrant as any you’d find around town, it’s the execution and attention-to-detail that really sets Bindaas apart: the breads are perfectly soft and pliable, the meats tender and well cooked, and the authenticity of dishes validated by indigenous Indian ingredients and recipes that have, luckily, found their way to Hong Kong.
With all dishes made for sharing, the pao is a good place to start – soft and fluffy rolls baked to a light golden-brown. These work as wonderful vessels for scooping up the minced goat meat in the keema, or smashed seasonal vegetables and potato in the vegetarian bhaji.
Meanwhile, the chaat, or traditional savoury Indian snacks, make for excellent finger food – there’s sev puri with fried chickpeas and boiled potatoes, lentil dumplings, and crispy potato patties with green peas and chutney.
Curries are rich with a depth of flavour, from tender goat meat stewed with spinach puree in a garam masala-scented curry, to pork vindaloo in a spicy red sauce. Green, red or yellow, the curries pack a fragrant punch, loaded with aromatic Indian spices and fresh ingredients that shine through their heavy sauces. Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians will applaud the choices on offer, with some of the best dishes starring vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers and fresh peas.
With an excellent playlist and friendly service, Bindaas is certainly somewhere you can chill out at the end of the day, winding down with several cocktails and a palatable menu of Indian snacks.