The recently concluded food bloggers meet at The Dirty Martini at the Olive, Qutub was different and refreshing. Different because there was no pre-set agenda, and refreshing as it allowed fellow bloggers to meet in a comforting environment where exotic food and drinks freely flowed throughout the extended evening.
As we alighted, the beautiful hostess served us warm and delicately spiced mulled wine. True to the inspiration of The Dirty Martini, Speakeasy (An illicit liquor store or nightclub during the time of prohibition in 1920’s in US), we were given a back door entry through the kitchen and the night started out with immense promise.
The décor was totally of 1920’s with the fringed chandeliers, dim lighting and chintz sofas. We were served a green tea based cocktail, ‘South Side’ (Gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup); served in beautiful cup & saucer, it almost took many blogger’s heart. The look from many blogger’s eye conveyed how badly they wanted it. I hope all of these tea cups are still safe 🙂. This was followed by a tall wine glass with a cherry wood smoked gin-tonic cocktail! Topped with the calling card of the establishment and an amuse bouche. Everyone had a second look at the cocktail, which not only had a mysterious look but the smoky flavors got deeply ingrained in the drink which could be enjoyed for long. And then there were highly potent Jello Shots masked like a watermelon and orange.
As expected, the food took a back seat and conversation and meeting with the bloggers overtook. It was a pleasure to meet Arvind Passey and his wife. Arvind wore the hat of a true brand ambassador of Samsung, and left no opportunity to slyly showcase the brand’s new phone and camera. He has amazing knowledge and is an inspiration to all the upcoming bloggers. I wish to learn nuances of Twitter from him soon. There were bloggers whom I have met earlier like Anupama Saha, Sangeeta Khanna, Somdeb Basu, Deeba Rajpal and few others apart from new bloggers like Mukta Varma. Mukta’s husband, who is an ex-serviceman, knew how to keep party lively and was a great fun to be with.
Hors‘d oeuvres were served at a keen pace. The big boss toast a lively combination of Goat’s cheese, chilli jam and berries, followed by the Sheeben sandwich having harissa artichoke with feta pate and apricot chutney. Amazing blend of flavors!
Meanwhile AD Singh joined along with his team of Chef Saby, Chef Dhruv Bhatia, Astha and Noor. Amongst all the fun, I did try to take few tips for healthy living from both AD Singh and Saby who are absolutely fit despite their long stint in hospitality industry where both food and drinks are available in plenty. I wish to follow those simple tips, but given my previous track record, I am very-very wary.
The Dirty Martini chicken was crisp and crunchy. Smothered with chipotle mayo it sure hit a sweet spot! The winner was the blind pig belly which married sweet and tart flavors with slightly over-cooked cooked pork belly!! Another excellent snack was the gangster slider which had a well done tenderloin patty and grilled onions. The squeaky squid (ribboned squid with a spicy black pepper sauce) was crunchy from outside and soft from inside. Still wonder how many went in my stomach.
The main course was served in country style cups where vegetarians had the Seven vegetable stew which had a myriad of flavours. Some bites reminded you of a robust Thai. The “Starving Mafia” was a slow cooked lamb goulash with chunks of meat and potatoes. Very hearty and wholesome!
Not to be outdone the dessert was freshly made churros dusted with cinnamon and fine sugar. Shot glasses of liquid molten chocolate accompanied date sinful churros as a luscious dip. Though I was already full, but could still feel that it wasn’t signature Olive preparation, and Saby agreed. He informed that this is Spanish way of preparing where castor sugar was used instead of icing sugar. Nutty Auntie was the dirty martini’s version of mini apple tartlets filled with walnuts.
Overall we had a great time bonding with fellow foodies. Chef Dhruv Bhatia who recently returned from Spain was the man behind all the amazing goodies being served to us. Wishing him and The Dirty Martini great success.
Address: Olive Bar & Kitchen, One Style Mile, Mehrauli, (Behind Qutub Minar) New Delhi-30 | Phone: 011-29574444
– Upasana Mahtani Luthra/ Pawan Soni