This August, Black Sheep Restaurants opens New Punjab Club, a boisterous 40-seat tandoor grill house harkening to the liberated era of post-Colonial Pakistan and India. This is the group’s 15th restaurant and most personal project yet as co-founder Syed Asim Hussain, a proud Punjabi, brings the best interpretation of his heritage to Hong Kong.
In some ways this is probably the restaurant I should have opened first; but it took me this long to build the confidence that I could do the cuisine justice,” says Asim. “Indian food is misrepresented across the world, in the same way that other cuisines such as Italian and Mexican are. Diverse, regional fare is lumped under one umbrella. There is no such thing as ‘Indian food’.
The restaurant pays homage to The Punjab Club, the venerable private social and athletic club of Lahore where Asim spent his childhood, and is also a nod to Asim’s father who owned The Mughal Room, a Hong Kong hotspot in the 80s. The restaurant flourished for 20 years on Wyndham Street and, true to restaurants of the era, it lumped all the Indian sub-regions into one cuisine and featured ethnic uniforms and live sitar music. Asim grew up in the restaurant and helped his father, progressing from helping tidy the bathrooms to waiting on tables before he left for college. Asim has even salvaged and restored the original tandoor ovens from The Mughal Room for New Punjab Club.