New Punjab Club was recently named Hong Kong Tatler’s Best New Restaurant but the team was doubly honoured that night as they were also awarded Best Service in the city. With party season around the corner, we spoke to New Punjab Club’s captain Sandeep about his tips on looking after your guests in award-winning Punjabi style.
Sandeep: For us, great service is all about warm, exuberant hospitality. Punjabis are loud, proud and full of life, plus we’re known for throwing the best parties. Sure, we want to be the talk of the town and we’ll spare no expense to make that happen, but Punjabi hospitality really stems from wanting to take care of people. We want everyone in the room to be happy, so whether it’s a close friend, an acquaintance, or a complete stranger, once they arrive at your party, they become part of the family. If you can go into a hosting situation in that mindset, your guests will feel immediately welcome, relaxed and able to let their hair down.
In Punjab, we dress up for occasions. Men just as much, or even more so, than women. We like to peacock, and while dressing up in your own home can feel weird, when you look good you tend to feel good too. Going into service, putting on my uniform is like donning a costume, and no matter what kind of day I’ve had, I become the host with the most as soon as I button up that jacket.
Very important! We believe in full glasses at all times. It is hard to go wrong with bubbles upon arrival and having bottles of wine out that people can help themselves to takes the pressure off you a bit. You are never going to be able to please everyone, so just get a lot of what you like as it is better to have too much and end up having leftovers, which you’ll enjoy getting through, than to run out. And get as much ice as think you’ll get through, and then double it. In Punjab, no party is complete without countless bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label. We drink more than any other region in the world and I can personally attest to its prowess as party fuel.
Delicious and plentiful are really the only things you need to worry about. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cook everything from scratch, in fact, do whatever you need to so that you aren’t locked away in the kitchen. If that means ordering pizzas, do it. Your guests won’t be relaxed if you are stressing out, so don’t be too ambitious, but more is definitely more in Punjab so pile it on thick when it comes to food, decorations, candles and so on.
Setting the scene
In Punjab, when you are throwing a party it is commonplace to blast your music all over the neighbourhood, which is usually fine because all your neighbours are invited. With Black Sheep Restaurants, it’s never a party until the police try and shut it down. Prioritise a great playlist, put away your breakables and be the first on the dance floor. Bhangra dance has its roots in Punjab and the word literally means to be intoxicated with joy, which we hope is the mantra of all your parties this season.
Looking for some more party tricks? Here’s how to sabre a bottle of champagne.