United Coffee House Rewind, Cyber Hub, Gurgaon: Back to the future

Nostalgia doesn’t even begin to explain what I feel about this place. Born and brought up in Delhi, Embassy, Kwality, Volga, Gaylord and United Coffee House are some of the iconic jewels in Connaught Place where I grew up eating. Thinking down memory lane, I would be the third generation customer in this restaurant so I feel a strong emotional connect. I can still picture umpteen family outings with my grandparents, parents and cousins here.

So actually, Gurgaon is really lucky when United Coffee House (‘UCH”), running successfully since 1942, opened on the first floor of Cyberhub. A place which has withstood the test of time has had to have done something right.

As soon as you enter UCH, you get visually arrested by the huge floor to ceiling bar facing you and a wine rack used more like a partition between the seating and the restroom. The wooden interiors are done in soothing brown and blue giving one the feeling of luxury and comfort at the same time. The full length of the wall facing the Cyberhub is all glass capturing good natural light. This fifty-six seater has some seats outside as well which is perfect to catch the winter sun.

Service is almost perfect, again something you associate with a vintage place. The waiters who actually grow old with the restaurant can run through the menu even in their sleep, help you order and happily customize it for your taste. In UCH CyberHub, even though some are young waiters, they are fully trained. A place where I’ve seen on each visit (am guilty of already being here 5 times before the invited review) that the manager is readily clearing away dirty dishes. I cannot help recall another restaurant which I’m still frequenting since childhood with family where the waiters still call me “baby”.

As I hum along with the handpicked English and Hindi retro music, I can truly understand why UCH is called “Rewind”. Leafing through their huge menu almost covering all cuisines, I am left wondering whether they will be able to do justice to all dishes. And all my doubts are soon put to rest.…

Dak Bungalow Mulligatawny soup was a thick lentil based hearty soup accompanied by two mini vadas and some lemon rice. The addition of lemon rice in it was a pleasantly unique experience.

Daryaganj “Giant” Samosa, one of their signature dishes, was a letdown though. The outer covering, as most samosa lovers would agree as being the main reason for eating a samosa, was way too thick and it’s inner part touching the filling a bit raw. Even the minced meat filling though loaded with dry fruits, was dry. The only way I could eat it was by putting lots of chutney to moisten it and removing the inner part.

They undoubtedly have a fabulous Oriental chef and the next two dishes are my regular orders – Darjeeling Roast Chili Pork and Crispy Honey Pepper Chicken. The double cooked pork wok tossed with shallots and capsicum is a pork lover’s delight and the deep fried chicken balls with a crunchy exterior and soft inside tossed in a thick sweet sauce with freshly crushed pepper can’t make you stop at just one.

Beetroot and Goat Cheese Aranchinias is a ball of rice with a savory stuffing, crumb coated and fried. These crumb coated balls were really yummy and definitely a must try.

Chicken a la Kiev was one of the best that I’ve had so their continental chef is also amazing. A huge chicken oblong cutlet sitting smugly on mashed potatoes with a side of pan sautéed vegetables and fries. The cutlet had a loaded buttery big filling which on being cut oozes out onto the mashed potatoes drenching them. I could only lap up the deliciousness of this dish and be in food coma.

Fried Mutton Chops were my Dad’s favorite in UCH so I just had to try them. Two huge chops with the amazing onion relish, fries and sautéed vegetables. Thin, crisp, well seasoned, big mutton chops – what more would anyone want. I could see after the first bite why my dad loved them.

Lahori Meat was their version of dal meat but in chana dal and was a lovely blend of mutton and lentil flavors.

In desserts I tried the crème caramel which was slightly overcooked and had too much custard powder making it dense. The tutti fruity ice cream had too much berry sauce in it but was otherwise nice. They have a good bar tender dishing out some amazing cocktails.

I must share that the helpings in UCH are quite generous and big.  I have had on earlier visits some dishes which are must tries like their Mac and Cheese, Thai Chicken Red Curry, Calcutta Chili Chicken, Buffalo Chicken Sliders, Korean Chicken Wings, Lamb Lasagne and the Chicken Pepper Steak which is to die for. Another thing when you go there is to have what they are most famous for – their freshly brewed Cona coffee and cold coffee.

The food takes you on a high, coupled with awesome music, comfortable ambience and ready to please, attentive servers. All these reasons have already made me a regular there.

And don’t forget to enjoy 20% discount on alacarte bill (including alcohol) at United Coffee House Rewind and many other outlets by becoming a member of The Big F Club.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.5 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for Two: Rs 1500 ++ | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes

Address: United Coffee House Rewind, 1st Floor, DLF Cyberhub, DLF Cybercity, Gurgaon.

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.

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