Barrels, Priya PVR Complex, Vasant Vihar, Delhi

InteriorsMy popular hangout place during college, The Priya PVR Complex, at Vasant Vihar has lost its sheen. It is difficult to say that crowds went missing first or the good restaurants, but what can be said with ease is that it is no more the coveted market which used to draw attention on the very mention of its name. I am here to check out Barrels, which as per the owners is the first thematic Pub in the country.

TBarrelshe 45-seater pub with no source of natural light is also kept deliberately dark. The graffitis and sculptures depicting life and women liberalisation may be liked by some, but it fails to ignite any positive emotions in me. Perhaps it reminds me of a haunted house theme. Barrels has a theme for sure but for that one will have to draw away attention from drinks and the conversation to be observant of the surroundings. I prefer a simple, well-lit, carefree setup to unwind.

CocktailThe starters take time, and I complete my initial two drinks without anything to nibble. The only saving grace is that the cocktails are interesting. The signature cocktails seem to be expensive at Rs420 per drink and no happy hours offer, but I soon realise all of these use imported alcohol. This realisation makes them look much more reasonable. ANS’WER, made with Jack Daniel, drambui, and peach schnaps leaves a honey after taste. CASHEW’S NUT with absinthe, darkrum, tequilla and triple sec is potent. I do not like the beer based cocktails which are too watery and lack the fizz.

Peri Peri chicken skewersThe menu has cuisine from all over the world but would they be able to do justice to it is still to be seen. Peri Peri chicken skewers are nice but without much embellishment. I missed some salad or mashed potatoes to go with them that would give it more depth. Mozerella Phylo Triangles is another interesting dish on the menu but takes over 40min to come to the table even though we are the only guest at that time at Barrels.

Malu PaanThai style omelette is flavourful with aromas of galangal and lemon grass. The two things that are as good as perfect in the starters are devilled eggs and Malu Paan, a Srilankan dish is like a baked patty but not so flaky. Malu Paan is absolutely fresh baked and retains all aromas and flavours except that it is normally with fish filling and here they have used chicken mince.

Fish mealFor main course we order whole fish meal which is grilled pomfret with rice. The fish is so much overdone that it has become all pasty. It is replaced with juicy grilled chicken but it again takes time to be delivered. Perhaps other restaurants who keep the stuff half-done have reduced my patience levels. Fresh preparation is always better but if it is sustainable in a pub where guest wants something quick to nibble is a question.

Rum BallsRum balls is like an old monk shot and I love it while tiramisu lacks cocoa on the top, otherwise it is also made well.

Food and drinks takes time to deliver. Service is polite but orders are missed. Our butterfly wanton never come.

Barrels is opened by four young partners who are first timer into F&B business. They lack experience but make up for it through their passion and energy. It has only been two months and the learning phase is still on for them. I want new people to taste success but giving honest opinion is also important so that can cover the grounds. I just hope the learning is faster and people who visit are willing to give Barrels a second chance.

Ratings (out of 5)

Ambience: 2.5 | Drinks: 3.5 | Food: 2.5 | Service: 2.5 | Overall: 2.5

Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Meal for two: ₹1800/- (Inclusive of 2 drinks)

Address: Barrels, 1st Floor, Building No 5, Basant Lok Community Centre, PVR Complex, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi | Phone: 011-41075881


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. Pawan also conducts highly successful restaurant awards and recently concluded the fifth edition of The Big F restaurant awards. Apart from that he has recently launched a gourmet app that gets its members huge benefits in participating restaurants and hotels besides giving those venues a huge traction.

  1. Hi Pawan,

    The four guys who started Barrels seem to have moved up the learning curve finally…the place is a little more busy than what it used to be when it started. I visited Barrels recently and could find some souls (not more than 4-5 tables though) gulping beer merrily. Yes, it does give a haunted house feeling but on a hot June afternoon, the darkness was quite a respite from the cruel sun. You seem to have tried exotic dishes at the place while I went in for something simpler – “Is that a burger?”

    And that wasn’t a burger for sure…it was a meal in itself. What’s more the chilled Budweiser was a perfect match! The food did not take long as well…guess the guys have read your review and fixed a stopwatch in the kitchen 😉

    I have read in the event listings that they have started organizing events too. I personally feel that despite some flaws that can be easily ignored like the rear entrance and dim lights…the place has as much potential as the enthusiasm of the young owners. People will take a liking to the graffiti and figurines. I personally liked the place though the music was more angrezi than what I am…wish they could play some Indipop but then…if wishes were horses, Vikram would ride and ride and ride !!!

    1. Dear Vikram,
      If the efforts of the young and ambitious promoters is bearing fruits, it is certainly a happy moment. I am glad for bringing this to my notice.

  2. Just realised its a new PR agency trying to build a base for them. This comment above followed by few positive comments on our FB group goes on to show that instead of doing anything tactical to cover the ground you are just trying to pull people by fooling them. I am sure these comments by different people are not coincidental.