There are broadly only two categories for drinking out in Gurgaon – An Ahaata (BYOB concept meaning Bring Your Own Booze and order food from the joint) and the normal Bar. In my opinion there isn’t much difference unless the bar tender is skilled to serve some exciting cocktails. Bars are happy selling straight drinks as it saves their time and bring in quick money.
Gurgaon is evolving. Not only does it have people who are adventurous but also a large section is coming out of ‘Whiskey’ syndrome and have started to enjoy different alcohol mix and even Cocktails which till sometime ago was like venturing into a woman’s territory.
Luckily for Gurgaon-ites now there is a place where one can go and enjoy their drinks in a friendly neighbourhood bar which come with no pretence attached. Cocktail and Dreams Speakeasy is a bar done in speakeasy settings (1920’s concept in US where alcohol was prohibited and one had to use contacts/password to get booze) but within its heart, it remains the next door bar where one would love to go back post office hours for a relaxed and comforting drink. I have learnt many of my cocktails from Yangdup Lama who is an authority and when I was told that this bar has been started by him, it was a pleasant surprise. I knew beforehand that the drinks would be amongst the best; however I was as doubtful about food as at any other place which serves alcohol.
Yangdup was behind the bar and post general chit-chat, comes my first drink – Twisted Old Fashioned, a refreshing mix of mint, kaffir lime, hint of lemon grass and scotch. Needless to say it was a good beginning. Vegetable Croquette (200) topped with orange roasted pepper sauce was comforting. Then came a highly recommended dish from one of my friend – Pig in a Blanket (250; Bacon wrapped sausages topped with honey mustard mayo). Well cooked sausages and bacon is a treat, and this one was made so well that I finished almost entire plate on my own.
I was falling in love with the comfortable and homely atmosphere and made friends with the couple sitting next to my table. They ordered for Fish and chips and I got lucky to taste that too. Soft from outside and crisp from outside, I would haveloved it if it hadn’t been tad overly salted and by the time I got to taste it, the fries were on the verge of getting soggy.
Yangdup was candid about sharing that he always had an idea of a friendly neighbourhood bar, but Speakeasy concept came when they found the place where restaurant would be in the basement and kitchen on ground floor due to logistic difference. He finds normal bar boring where one goes, sits, have his beer and go back. His idea is where all people come as a stranger and leave as friends. What a lovely thought!
My next drink was Coffee-Caramel-Chocolate-Martini and I couldn’t think of anyone else other than my wife who would love this cocktail. Made up of Vodka, Kahlua, White Chocolate, Apple juice and crushed ice, this is certainly one drink I will soon make at home.
So while the live music from the 80s kept me entertained, I decided to order my main course. There aren’t many good options in Pork in Gurgaon and given the availability, I ordered for Roasted Pork Chops (350). Cooked to perfection with lovely balsamic reduction and served over cinnamon scented mashed potato, it was love at the first bite.
I wasn’t in a mood for a dessert, but again Shveta at the next table coerced me to join her, and who can refuse a lovely lady. The rum-raisin filled bread pudding was out of the world; the best I have had in ages. Finally I know of a place where both excellence in food and drink seems to be the order. Cocktail and Dreams Speakeasy is strongly recommended.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.5 | Drinks: 5.0 | Ambiance: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 |Overall: 4.5
Meal for Two: Rs 1500 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 5 PM – 11.30PM
Address: Cocktail and Dreams Speakeasy Pub, SCO-23, Part-II, Fab India Market, Sector-15, Gurgaon | Phone: 0124-4116070
– Pawan Soni