Cafe Ludus Revisited: Molecular Drinks Special

[Rated: 3.0/5]

Gents WashroomI am intrigued with the term Molecular gastronomy which now a days seems to be a growing fad amongst Delhi restaurants, not so much in food as much in cocktails and drinks. This is my second invite to taste molecular cocktails within a week, which ratifies my observation.

Ladies Wash RoomI arrive in time at 7.30pm where few other journalist and bloggers are invited to sample drinks at Café Ludus made by young bartender Clayton Gracias, who also happens to be the consultant. This is my first visit to Café Ludus and I was impressed with the school theme (Ludus is a Latin word for school) which has been implemented well. From Chemistry Lab (Bar), to library and class room type seating, it has everything following the theme. The staff insist I peep into both gender’s washroom while no one is there to notice the funky mirror they have used. I am most impressed with the outdoor seating which is a great place in the evening to unwind with friends.

DSC06551As expected not many people were on time, and we used this opportunity to chat with Clayton who seems to be thorough in his job. Almost one hour later, the event began. I ask Clayton the meaning of Molecular Drinks, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the explanation offered. With resolve to go back and research on the topic myself, I sit back and focussed on the drinks. The first drink Clayton offers is Gin Basil Bash, an excellent gin based cocktail with fresh lime, cane sugar and basil. My doubts on how this is classified as a molecular drink were put at rest, when I learnt that this is only a part of signature drink list at Café Ludus.

Molecular Gastronomy is a subdiscipline of food science that seeks to investigate, explain and make practical use of the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur while cooking, as well as the social, artistic and technical components of culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general. Molecular gastronomy is a modern style of cooking, which is practiced by both scientists and food professionals in many professional kitchens and labs and takes advantage of many technical innovations from the scientific disciplines.

DSC06554Toasted Marshmallow Martini was certainly innovative, but it failed to strike a chord with me. Overnight infused marshmallows in vodka and shaken with cranberry juice and served with toasted marshmallow could not infuse its aroma. However, this was my first time when I tried toasted marshmallow and I loved that slightly burnt and melting flavor.

Before we ventured into deconstructed cocktails, Clayton’s secret blend of scotch in Smoked Whisky Sour was presented. Undoubtedly it was the star of the evening and my favourite too. Secret malt was shaken with fresh lime, sugar and dash of fresh egg white, a simple yet potent and flavorful drink.

DSC06561Amongst the deconstructed drinks, I was neutral to the Expresso Nutty Martini (Martini, Vanilla Vodka, Expresso shot, Hazelnut foam and Kahlua) for which I could get only a sip given the crowd building up. There were just too many ingredients in my view to appreciate in one sip.

The best of the evening was the gyaan session by Clayton. I have tasted Blast-52 earlier and I wasn’t too keen to try it again. After all, how much fun is it to have further chemicals added to your drink and turning liquid into soft spongy solid ball which will burst into one’s mouth to release all those liquid flavors again. However this time the ravioli’s did pack the punch and were much softer than my last time, and provided an exciting concoction mixed with chilled triple sec.

Molecular Mixology is the term applied to the process of creating cocktails using the equipment and techniques of molecular gastronomy. These methods enable the creation of greater intensities and varieties of flavour, flavour combinations and different ways of presenting drinks, for example using gels, powders, foams, atomised sprays etc., as well as affecting the appearance of the cocktail. The spherification is one of the techniques applied to molecular mixology, is the culinary process of shaping a liquid into spheres, they can be small like caviar or larger like an egg yolk.

DSC06564Method to make Baileys and Kahlua ravioli:

–          Mix 1ml of Solyalegenate (SL) with 100 ml of Liquour

–          Take another bowl take 1gm of Calcium Lactate (CL) with 100 ml of chilled water

–          Take a small spoon mix of SL with water and drop it in CL Mix for 30 seconds approx

–          Take the mix out which will now be a small ball and give it a 30 sec wash in clean chilled water.

–          Ravioli is ready. Use them within 3 min for best results.

DSC06548The drinks were much better than the food. The options in food were limited and quality kept deteriorating with each passing minute. Pizzas which were initially good became thick and chewy without any substantial topping of cheese and vegetables/chicken. Some of the pizzas looked like they were re-heated and sent back. How many potato wedges can one have with the cocktails, and hope the experts at restaurant knows chilly chicken will go well with beer, not cocktails. Finally we decided to have our dinner else where and left remembering some of those lovely cocktails we just had.

Rating out of 5

Food: 2.0 | Drinks: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 2.5 | Overall: 3.0
Meal for two: Rs. 1800 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12.00 noon -1:00 am

Address: Cafe Ladus, 24 & 25, 2nd Floor, MGF Metropolitian Mall, Saket, New Delhi | Telephone: 99995-70434


Food Critic and a Marketing Wizz who had a high profile career with leading MNC’s like HSBC, GE Capital etc, Pawan Soni comes across as a quintessential corporate employee. He left behind his successful career as the Vice President of a MNC... all for his love for food. He a WSET Level II wine connoisseur and a foodie who loves to eat anything under the sun. Besides being a food and travel writer for various food forums and magazines, he is the Founder and CEO of Indian Food Freak. As one of the initial bloggers who started his blog almost a decade ago, his website is currently one of the biggest food and travel blogs in the country. Pawan also conducts highly successful restaurant awards and recently concluded the 6th edition of The Big F restaurant awards. He won the best influencer awards in India by BBC Food Food Awards in 2018

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