The Gourmet Studio 3.0 … it is becoming a habit!

When I was first introduced to the Gourmet Studio, I had my reservations regarding how much value can the nearbuy (by Groupon) and DGC (Delhi Gourmet Club) team pack into a meal which is approximately 50% of the price what you would normally pay at the restaurant. But, after 3 sessions with them (I missed the first one), I have come to realize that these guys really love food and love the people who live to eat even more.

The Gourmet Studio 3.0

The Gourmet Studio 3.0

The 3rd in the series of #TheGourmetStudio and this time the clincher was the Olive at Qutub. A restaurant that needs no introduction and which has also been instrumental in kick starting the careers of some great chefs, was no surprise when I was informed that the young Dhruv Oberoi would be curating a six-course dinner for this series of the Gourmet Studio. The Mediterranean ambiance of the place and the variety of guests you see here transcends you to a place which sometimes seems extremely detached from the hustle and bustle of our city, and probably that is the reason one finds it hard to score a table even on a busy week night.

The ambiance at Olive matches the food if not surpasses it!

The ambiance at Olive matches the food if not surpasses it!

Chef Dhruv Oberoi ... charmed us with his enthusiasm and of course his food!

Chef Dhruv Oberoi … charmed us with his enthusiasm and of course his food!

Not my first meal here, and the service standards remain impeccable, I was among familiar faces and privileged to be invited to sample Chef Dhruv’s menu. Olive has always let the guests be at leisure and even the service is relaxed and not over bearing or like an express train. Sit back, talk and eat throughout the evening and I have never had a meal which lasted less than 3 hours here. One might assume since The Gourmet Studio is part of a promotion and a much discounted rate the service would be otherwise, but I was pleasantly happy to observe that the Olive staff was having fun like usual.

Olive is about style!

Olive is about style!

Settled down, a served a welcome drink we were party to a holiday experience at an island of a fellow diner. So hungover was he with his holiday (and not in a pleasant way, mind you) that everytime a guest joined us at the table, he narrated it again. And, then we were rescued by the humus and the crackers and stopped pulling his leg. The way the humus was served speaks of the style with what Olive does it dishes and along came the Chef to tell us briefly about his thought behind the meal and how he is excited to reach out to many more people through this initiative.

Of food and conversations ...

Of food and conversations …

A fixed menu and the servers took a note of our preferences, most importantly along with a note of any food allergies. I of course (those who read my posts often know) took the all non-vegetarian choices along with a note that I am allergic to veggies. A smile from the server and I was confident he got the message.

Chef’s Special Hors D'Oeuvres

Chef’s Special Hors D’Oeuvres

I can talk about the food, but will try and let you sample the dishes I had through the pictures I took. However what stood out for me was the Belgian Pork belly in aromatic red wine stock served with mashed potatoes. Slow braised pork belly in aromatic red wine stock and served with pickled piccalilli purée, sautéed kale & potato mash, if you are a pork lover this one is for you. The other options are mentioned in the menu and you can check them out on the Menu link when you book through nearbuy.

Cured Tenderloin Tonnato - Inspired by “Vitello Tonnato” an Italian classic; thinly sliced tenderloin carpaccio served with tangy tuna & anchovy dressing

Cured Tenderloin Tonnato – Inspired by “Vitello Tonnato” an Italian classic; thinly sliced tenderloin carpaccio served with tangy tuna & anchovy dressing

The Mango Ginger Palate Cleanser!

The Mango Ginger Palate Cleanser!

Stone Bass, Prawns - A fish preparation grilled to perfection, served with romanesco & accompanied by shrimp and squid salsa!

Stone Bass, Prawns – A fish preparation grilled to perfection, served with romanesco & accompanied by shrimp and squid salsa!

You gotta love the breads at Olive!

You gotta love the breads at Olive!

My Star ... the Belgian Pork Belly!

My Star … the Belgian Pork Belly!

And I could skip to the dessert and recommend Chef’s signature Tiramisu in a coffee macaroon sandwich served with coffee ice cream & salted coffee crunch, unless you are a panacotta fan. The Tiramisu would not be anything like you’ve tasted before and the presentation is something I would leave for you to experience first hand.

Tiramisu V:3 - Tiramisu in a coffee macaroon sandwich!

Tiramisu V:3 – Tiramisu in a coffee macaroon sandwich!

Now there is a good part and the sad part. First the good (or the best) part is that the whole 6-course meal (including one soft beverage) is 1300 bucks per person for lunch and 1550 for dinner. The sad part is that this edition of The Gourmet Studio ends this month on October 31. So I’ll be a little helpful and leave a link for you to book the meal (Click here to book the experience).

A meal which would be specially curated for the Gourmet Studio guests, whether you are a meat or a veggie lover, this one sure is a steal. I might just go back again for the Pork Belly.

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Food Festivals … where food is a religion!!!

Delhi NCR, a city which considers “Food as a Religion” is going to witness a surge in food festivals during the penultimate weekend of October 2015. Delhites truly believe in the motto, “we live to eat” and the fact that these festivals (irrespective of the fact that they share the same dates) are being planned on a massive is a testament to this phrase.

The 3 major food festivals ... though I suggest you visit them all, read on to choose what catches your fancy!

The 3 major food festivals … though I suggest you visit them all, read on to choose what catches your fancy!

To cut a long story short there are three major food festivals happening in Delhi NCR on the weekend of October 23rd – 25th, 2015, and though I would suggest you visit them all, here are a few pointers that can help you decide.

10 Heads Festival … October 22nd – 25th, 2015

Venue: Dhanchiri Camp, Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, (Next to Old Toll Plaza)

The 10 Heads Festival like the name suggests is based on the ten key interest areas, ranging from music to food, fashion to the arts, even shopping and technology.

‘Band Baaja + Bass’, the music festival, ‘Foodistaan’ the food fest which promises more than 30 cuisines from across the world, ‘Toddyfest’ for the alcohol lovers with varieties of beer, wine and delicious concoctions, all to compliment the food, while ‘Dramarama’ will bring to the stage a spectacular musical!

In addition to that the ‘Jaadunagari’ will be India’s first ever festival of magic and illusion, curated by Karan Singh, and The ‘Great Indian Bazaar’ as the name suggests will be a chic fashion flea market, curated by Cosmopolitan magazine.

Personally, I think 4 days won’t be enough!

For more details (click on the link) …

Asian Hawkers Market … October 23rd – 25th, 2015

Venue: Select City Walk, Saket, New Delhi

Asian cuisine has always been close the heart of us Indians and when the best Asian restaurants of Delhi are gearing up to showcase their fare at one location, how can a food lover miss them. An initiative of four well-known food impresarios — Sid Mathur, Director & Head of Food of the phenomenally successful Social and Food Consultant for My Square, Select Citywalk’s food court; Atul Sikand, creator and curator of Facebook’s busiest Indian recipe-sharing group, Sikandalous Cuisine; Tanveer Kwatra, Executive Chef, Le Meridien Gurgaon; and acclaimed restaurant critic and food blogger Sourish Bhattacharyya – one can expect food of top-notch quality at the Asian Hawkers Market.

Some of the names participating include Neung Roi (Radisson Blu Plaza, NH8), Royal China, Mamagoto, Guppy by ai, Pan Asian (Sheraton New Delhi) as well as the ever-popular Jade (The Claridges), dimsumbros, Asia 7 and En, the reinvented Sampan, and newcomers such as Yum Yum Cha (the offshoot of the trend-setting Yum Yum Tree), Chi Ni (Dusit Devarana), The Fatty Bao, Wow Momo and Chi: The Asian Cookhouse.

Plus the venue, SELECT CityWalk mall by itself would be a great puller, which promises music, entertainment and of course shopping. If you like Asian you definitely need to be present at this one.

For more details (click on the link) …

The Grub Fest 2.0 … October 23rd – 25th, 2015

Venue: Ambience Lawns, Gurgaon

The first Grub Fest in April, 2015, was a roaring success, despite being a novice and curated by young lads. Now they are back wiser, focussed and on a much grander scale. And as they say it, it is time to #GetGrubbed again. The Grub Fest, a brainchild of young entrepreneurs – Aman Kumar, Arjun Jain, Chaitanya Mathur & Manveer Singh Cheema, promises to be the destination for food lovers, restaurateurs, FnB industry professionals and entrepreneurs in the food space.

A personal favourite and the “be all and end all” of food, this massive food fest promises renowned names like Punjab Grill, Zambar, Olive Bistro, SodaBottleOpenerWala, Social, Indigo, Indigo Deli, Royal China, Fio, Townhall, Smokeys, À Ta Maison & PCO, Urban Pind, Dao Dimcha, Koyla Kebab, Holy Smoke, B Bar, The Backyard, Zizo, Zerzura, Room Service, amongst others.

In addition to the food, the fest is getting ready to keep the visitors engaged through interactive classes with Chefs & mixologists, Fine dining experiences in the Luxury zone, Food trucks and also giving an opportunity to small businesses, start ups, blogs and tech savvy entrepreneurs in the food space to showcase their products & skills. Like I said, the grandest of them all!

For more details (click on the link) …

So, if you have not yet planned to attend any of the food festivals on the weekend of October 23rd – 25th, 2015, you still have 10 more days to plan it. I really have a craving to visit them all and try the amazing food signature to each one.

A piece of advice however, Be ready to walk a lot, Eat a lot and Party a lot and then Eat some more again!

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Talvar … is the sword of justice getting rusted?

“Reality is stranger than fiction” and when that reality is depicted in a fictional medium like cinema, the result can leave the audience aghast. Aghast is what I was when I saw Talvar, the movie depicting the true life incidents of the murder of Arushi and the family’s domestic help.

Our legal system and the law enforcers can come under so much pressure from media and hearsay that even a murder case can be subjected to the whims and fancies of investigating officer, egos of the top brass of the highest investigating agency and just pure carelessness of the first law enforcer on the scene. Over and above that convicting someone just because you need to convict someone because it makes news.

Did the parents really kill her?

Can a father really kill his daughter so clinically?

Can a mother really be an accomplice to dress up her daughter’s murder scene so that they are not suspected?

Could parents really murder a daughter? A question we need to ask ourselves when we look at our children!

Could parents really murder a daughter? A question we need to ask ourselves when we look at our children!

These questions perhaps forever will remain unanswered, but the movie does show how the cops botched up the whole case due to pure slackness and then fabricated a story based on hearsay (from a employee who probably was involved in the crime) to save their own skin. The real investigation which pins the most probable killer is covered up due to personal egos and hunger for promotions and the parents are subjected to a media and law trial which would have broken any parent for a fact.

Irrfan Khan ... plays the Investigating Officer who cracks the case and is asked to leave to cover up for others slackness and personal egos!

Irrfan Khan … plays the Investigating Officer who cracks the case and is asked to leave to cover up for others slackness and personal egos!

The parents are still in jail, as most of us know from facts … but has justice been done. A parent who was not allowed to even mourn the death of his 14 year old daughter and then subjected to continuous scrutiny! Talvar is extremely disconcerting and exposes the far from perfect over-burdened legal system, slack law enforcers and the over eager parallel justice of media.

It also tears apart our middle class society (which depends on domestic helps, drivers, servants, office boys, watchmen for their daily chores) and the great social divide between the employers and employees. A blind trust on them to the point of never scrutinizing what staff is upto, can be both detrimental for the employer and employee. A constant watch and letting the employee know that their actions are constantly monitored can go a long way in preventing such situations.

I did not want to write a movie review but pen down the disturbing thoughts that have entered my head after coming out of the theater. The actors are as close to reality as one can get and I think Meghna Gulzar has done a superb job in casting as well as keeping it close to the real life incident.

The clincher would be if someone sees the movie and realizes that maybe justice was not done and revisits this case without a bias from previous investigations. What I believe is not of consequence and would suggest if you followed this case closely do watch the movie. One of the best I have seen in a long long time.

The cinema has really done its job this time!!!

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Ek Bar … A Gastro Story!

The air was heavy and the night warm he had to stop for the night. With the air-conditioning of the SUV on full blast and music in his ears he drove on the near empty roads of Delhi on this Sunday night. The destination was new but the curators old who had stood the test of time. Hence, the story of this food ‘n’ drink journey started like all others with “Ek bar i.e. Once upon a time”.

The SUV turned the block and there she stood in the doorway, the hostess welcoming guests. The hostess smiled like the warm red coloured walls of the staircase and ushered us up those walnut balustrades adorning the steps right through the door which opened out into a space that was welcoming and screaming attention. A fluid bar (no pun intended) made out of wooden planks which extended to a length right to the point where the food magician with his infectious smile was gladly waiting to unveil his newest creation to the pouring crowd. The quaintness of the place and the loud graphics all amalgamated to tell him a story so innovative, he beamed at the Chef and as he turned to walk towards an empty table, a smart eager mixologist cut into his path with hand-painted chinaware.

Ek Bar ... combining the traditional with the modern!

Ek Bar … combining the traditional with the modern!

Everyone wants to address the Elephant in the room!

Everyone wants to address the Elephant in the room!

The Royal Indian Punch, the words hit him in his ears, though unlike a real punch these were more welcome. The mixologist still taken in by his bewildered expression, announced grandly, “Sir, welcome to Ek Bar and I am glad to present to you this welcome drink which was introduced by the Indians to the British in the early seventeenth century.” The chinaware and the kettle reeked of Royalty and the mixologist transported him into an era of the Raj standing right there in the twenty first century. A mix of Whiskey, Kahwa (Kashmiri Tea), Grapefruit and some mystical spices the drink hit him with the first sip and he was there at his table sipping and enjoying it like a royal from the 17th century India but gaping down through the picture window of the restaurant at the 21st century traffic zip by. Some would have called it confusing but he found it surreal.

Cocktails with a story ... the stars of the story!

Cocktails with a story … the stars of the story!

He gazed up to see familiar faces and spotted some in the faint glow of the subdued lighting until a server appeared without any fanfare and introduced him to the Fish and Seafood Platter. He saw the server mouth the word Prawn Sausages (among other seafood delicacies) while his peripheral vision noticed some friends and fellow food lovers join him at his table. A sausage down before the server finished the introduction and he closed his eyes to savour the taste of the wonderful prawn meat. Chef Sujan, the food magician was back and noticed the pleasure in his eyes and the satisfying grin on his lips. “Wait till you sample the line up we have for tonight,” the words said and “poof” the Chef vanished into the kitchen. Clearly he was a man who was crazy about his newest baby and leaving no stone unturned to make it a memorable gastronomical adventure for his guests.

Ek Bar is not just about drinks and stories ... Chef Sujan has managed to outdo himself and create some innovative dishes!

Ek Bar is not just about drinks and stories … Chef Sujan has managed to outdo himself and create some innovative dishes!

However, simmering underneath, much to his delight he noticed a competition between the bar and the kitchen and no sooner had the Chef vanished, the mixologist had appeared with a fresh story and a fancy looking drink. Mogito 6 (pronounced mojee-to-che) the mixologist offered and he sportingly holding the extra cold glass said, “But, I don’t speak Gujrati”. Amused the mixolgist offered his story, about how we Indian love to literally pronounce the words and a Mojito is always called Mogito. Though that was just the start and if Mojito was Indian made, more so made in the streets of Delhi 6 (Old Delhi), it would have had used local citrus fruit Amrak (Star fruit) with Rum, mint and again 6 spices from their secret spice box. A steel straw (he termed it the Pipe) which doubled up as a stirrer he did admire the potency of the drink and detailing that went into it.

Nitin Tewari ... the mixologist who takes pleasure in getting you drunk on his potent concoctions!

Nitin Tewari … the mixologist who takes pleasure in getting you drunk on his potent concoctions!

Clearly the bar was trying to get him drunk and he straightened and walked to another table to greet familiar faces but more to eye what they were eating. Chicken 65 Burgers, and he knew he needed to bite into one of those babies to satisfy the hunger pangs those cocktails were giving him. The Chicken 65 was well cooked and marinated, though way less spicy for his taste buds, between soft buns was enough for him to curb the craving after he had a server deliver it on his table.

Not even halfway through the burger, heads started turning, whispers became excited and eyes gleamed, making him look up with his mouth still full. The elephant mural with the over sized aviators stared at him and directly opposite the mural stood the man who started it all. The reason why they were there and enjoying this food ‘n’ drink journey. There stood Mr. A.D. Singh flanked by his Chef and partner in this innovative restaurant Sujan Sarkar and the glamorous hostess. Looking dapper in his red and blue blazer with some Indian graffiti, his clothes reflected the mood of the place and the place reflected AD’s sense of style. No alien to the hospitality industry, with a plethora of restaurants under his belt, Ek Bar has reinforced the fact that the man though a veteran knows best how to combine tradition with modernity.

The Men who made the story come alive ... Chef Sujan and AD Singh

The Men who made the story come alive … Chef Sujan and AD Singh

He believed this place was growing on him and as he greeted the man and his team, the mixologist magically appeared again by their side to offer him the Murabba Mule. A family recipe of a Mango Murraba (fruit preservative) combined with homemade Ginger beer and Vodka and things were getting headier. “Ek bar to har drink peena padega (Will have to try each drink once)”, is what he thought and gulp down this twist of the Moscow Mule! A Non Vegetarian platter came to his rescue along with a Chicken Liver and Bheja Paté.

Banana Tarte Tatin ... heaven!

Banana Tarte Tatin … heaven!

Such a selection of drinks makes a real man hungry and Ek Bar has covered both avenues well. A place which made him both happy and satisfied and still he did not want to leave. Neither did the Chef when he parked his dessert in front of him. The Chef called it Banana Tarte Tatin, he called it heaven! Served with Jaggery Caramel and Vanilla Icream, the jaggery left a toffee flavoured after taste as he stepped back into the warm staircase.

Walking down the steps, he looked back up and he promised himself another visit. As he powered up his SUV, the cabin filled with the lyrics from the famous song

…… “You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave!!!”

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Entrepreneurship … there is no finish line!

 “The Best way to predict the future is to create it!!!”

An entrepreneur is a leader!

An entrepreneur is a leader!

Entrepreneurs, start-ups, funding, venture capitalists, exit strategy … terms which have been in the business world for long but have suddenly become cool for the common man too and the current generation too. Businessmen preferred to be called Entrepreneurs and it is much cooler to call a new business, a start up!

An Entrepreneur is fighting a losing battle where he is confident of winning!

An Entrepreneur is fighting a losing battle where he is confident of winning!

Sun Tzu says in his book The Art of War – “Every battle is won before it is fought” … An Entrepreneur truly believes that.

The glamour quotient and initial adrenaline rush attached to a “start-up” is so magnetic that a lot of people are getting sucked into it and that is in fact a good thing. However, life is never hunky dory for an entrepreneur who sets out to do what he believes in. As a matter of fact you can compare it to fighting a losing battle against all odds and the best of the armies. A battle which if won will ensure you will never fight another one and that is the thrill which keeps an entrepreneur going despite all odds.

An idea so powerful, it fuels the passion 24 x 7, that for an entrepreneur everything else takes a back seat. From family to friends, from money to food, from start to the finish line, the sacrifices are ultimate and continuous. An entrepreneur is in love with his idea and how to accomplish it. I am not writing this blog to advise you on successful ways to go about your start-up, you would find innumerable blogs and articles on them.

Endurance ... a quality of a successful entrepreneur!

Endurance … a quality of a successful entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurs don’t wish for an easy life, they wish for endurance to tackle the life chosen. The agenda here is that as an entrepreneur you need to be ready to take on the world where you confront the daily challenges of running a business while handling the sacrifices and the pressures that come with it. An entrepreneur needs to be a multi-tasker and a leader. Like a General who leads his army, discipline and flexibility to adapt to a change in terrain come with the territory,

  • When the everyday business tasks seem mundane, they don’t lose sight of their ultimate goal.
  • When friends and family shun them for being selfish, they don’t falter in the steps ahead.
  • When time and money are scarce, they believe in themselves to create a solution from nothing.
  • And, the goal isn’t more money, the goal is creating a legacy and living life on their own terms.
There is no finish line!

There is no finish line!

That’s an entrepreneur for you. A person who would keep running even when there is no finish line in sight.

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The Gourmet Studio … extravagant food at affordable prices!!!

A Saturday afternoon and an opportunity to sample an Indian six course meal curated by Chef Harjeet at the Diya, The Leela, Gurgaon. The thing with Indian food is that we all love the tried and tested dishes and then we complain that we never get anything different. The Chef along with the founders of the Delhi Gourmet Club – DGC, seem to have foreseen this issue and created this menu which is both comfortable but tweaked with certain details to give it an innovative edge.

Chef Harjeet has curated a wonderful six-course menu and affordable prices!

Chef Harjeet has curated a wonderful six-course menu and affordable prices!

The Leela at Gurgaon’s Ambience Mall is one of the few luxury properties in the city frequented by business travellers, compulsive shoppers (with its proximity to the shopping mall) and people who just want to have a quick Staycation over the weekend. An obvious choice for celebrating a special occasion, though I have been to Spectra (the multi-cuisine restaurant) and Zanotta (Italian), this was a first for me to the Indian restaurant Diya.

Diya has been done up in a fusion of classical and contemporary interiors!!!

Diya has been done up in a fusion of classical and contemporary interiors!!!

Done up in a fusion of modern and classical interiors, Diya has the correct blend of fine dining etiquettes with a dash of informality along the bar. I spotted a performance area adorned with Tablas and classical music instruments, presumably for dinner gatherings. The hanging glass lantern lights, the silky smooth table covers, the comfortably cushioned seating and the fresh flowers on the table set the mood for customized meal.

The watermelon and rasberry shooter served in style!

The watermelon and rasberry shooter served in style!

... and an explosive start!

… and an explosive start!

The food was simple, honest and very rich. A quality which is unmatchable, the Chef was glad to be part of The Gourmet Studio, as he felt it would give him a farther reach, with value for money prices. From the Dahi ke kebab to the Baingan Katli (a first one for me) … the appetizers started tantalizing the taste buds but the pleasure came with the Gilawat ke Kebab and the Murg Malai Kebab. A Daal ka Shorba and a Tamarind sorbet which informs you to change gears to the main course is something one should look forward to midway through the meal.

Daal ka shorba ... the veggies lapped it up!

Daal ka shorba … the veggies lapped it up!

If I am having Indian it has to be non-vegetarian otherwise the meal is not complete. However, this time I was in for a surprise. What looked like a kofta and served to me in a rich masala, was the Bhune Pyaaz (onion) ki sabzi. A complete onion roasted and cooked in the spices, which blew me away. Lapped it up with a butter naan and this is a must try no matter how big a carnivore you are. Next to it on the plate was the Nalli Korma, a large lamb shank cooked up in Awadhi style with the meat ready to fall of the bones into the mouth. These two for me completed the main course along with some butter naan. But, being a guest, I did get to try the Tawa Murg with a thick gravy and the Malabar Seafood curry. The menu well balanced and a gravy dish with each of the meat, it is easier to choose depending on one’s choice of the meat.

The Star of the meal ... Bhune Pyaaz ki sabzi!!!

The Star of the meal … Bhune Pyaaz ki sabzi!!!

DGC and Nearbuy have curated a wonderful Indian meal which is second in the series of The Gourmet Studio initiative by the club offering food lovers to relish extravagant fine-dining experiences at unbelievable prices. So when I was told that this 6-course meal is available to a diner for Rs. 1500/- (all inclusive) on the nearbuy by Groupon website by clicking here on the link, I was sure this would be crowded soon by the food lovers of Delhi NCR. Sadly, the deal is for a limited period, which means I would be hurrying back for more.

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A Smokey evening …… Hot #Dogfight!!!

They call ’em Sliders … some say the term was coined by the US Navy (Maverick loves that fact) which meant a greasy burger small enough that slid in easily. Now the burger might be small but the passion with which it was made at Smokey’s was and always would be huge. Also they have taken it a step ahead and introduced Hotdog sliders with some amazing meats. And, the sliders pulled pork, grilled pork, pulled lamb, bacon hotdogs … And many more which I raided with my favourite foodie pirates from TDfc.

The industrial style interiors set the mood to party!

The industrial style interiors set the mood to party!

A Friday evening, hungry souls and amazing retro music is what Shivkaran (the man behind Smokey’s) promised us and right on dot, we landed to put the long hectic week behind us. A split level restaurant and one walks into industrial styled interiors, with exposed brick walls, MS framework combined with wooden panelling and flooring and high ceilings giving whole place a warehouse effect. The place gives a sense of history and Shivkaran did inform us that even though Smokey’s is an year old, Smokehouse grill in which he played an active part too, was one of the pioneers of real, rich American food with meats one could only fancy in our city before. Subtle ambient lighting, with yellow & orange hues peeking from behind the coves washing the recently painted white exposed brickwork puts one in the mood to party as soon as you enter. Minimalist wooden and iron furniture is functional yet never overpowering. The best part however, is the bar on both levels and the loud mouthed people we are, we chose the upper level.

Shivkaran Singh ... the man behind Smokey's

Shivkaran Singh … the man behind Smokey’s

The servers took over and each table was given the menu for the evening. And then the sliders started to slide out from the kitchen. Chef Babu made sure there was not a table which was empty among the 45 diners. A great chef is one who gauges the taste of his guests and Andhra Chilli Tenderloin dog along with the Bacon Wrapped Pork Sausage Hotdog just was what the company needed. Innovation in ingredients which enhances the taste of a dish is always a pleasure the above mentioned fillings in the dogs, though a far away break from the originals, did tickle our taste buds till they were satiated. But that was just the start and though we hardly have any in our group, the chef took care of the veggies too. The Crispy Veg and the Veg Cous Cous with some amazing sauces kept the vegetarians busy, some very busy.

Chunky Chicken Sliders!

Chunky Chicken Sliders!

Pulled Tenderloin Burgers!

Pulled Tenderloin Burgers!

But when we talk of sliders, how can we forget burgers. The Smokey Lamb with buttered Onion and the Pulled Tenderloin burgers were as messy as it can get. I only rate the burger with the degree of messiness it can create on my fingers and though these were small sliders, the pulled tenderloin had meat falling off from all sides as you bit into it and squeezed the buns, hope you get my drift. Curried Veg Burger in the Veggie series and one would feel they just bit into an Indian dish, with an American twist. When one has red meat, Chicken for me is as good as vegetarian, but I would recommend the Chunky Chicken, to the uninitiated or the cautious ones.

Andhra Chilli Tenderloin Hotdog ... you cannot return without having one!

Andhra Chilli Tenderloin Hotdog … you cannot return without having one!

The stars though, were yet to arrive, and arrive did they, in style. Someone spotted the larger than large Veg Cous Cous Hot dog and started screaming as if they just spotted a celebrity. Guess even the kitchen felt that they should not let the veggies in the group feel left out and sent in the huge Veg hot dog first. The sauces creamy and spicy and the cous cous fresh, the veggies and even the non veggies devoured this one in no time. Vegetarians taken care of the next in the line was the Smokey’s Super Boy burger. Super boy or more like an overgrown kid would be an ideal entry for the Man Vs Food episode and I doubt if Adam would have the superhuman strength to take on it singlehandedly. That night it was more of Men Vs Superboy and our men did good. A little over a minute and boy it was gone. The tenderloin patty which was slightly well done with no frills and some secret Smokey sauce left the foodies hungry for more. And then the lights dimmed and slid in the star of the night.

The stars of the evening ... the humongousaurus .... Veg Cous Cous Dog, Super Boy Burger, Pulled Tenderloin Hotdog!

The stars of the evening … the humongousaurus …. Veg Cous Cous Dog, Super Boy Burger, Pulled Tenderloin Hotdog!

The Smokey's Chilli Sauce ... hawwttt!

The Smokey’s Chilli Sauce … hawwttt!

The Humongousaurus Pulled tenderloin Hotdog and it was carnage till the end. Men & girls just jumped over each other for a glimpse before 2 overzealous meat lovers started on it from either side. Some of us just got a glimpse of it, but then there is always a next time. The thing about Hotdogs at Smokey’s are that they are so generous on the meat, it is falling from between the bread even before you lift it. The cuts enormous and the tenderloin chunky and well done, the meat chewy and just the way it should be. The best part, the chef, servers and our new best friend Shivkaran were all there egging us on to keep at it. The cocktails from Lock, Stock & a Smokin’ Barrel  to the Martinis & beers, are all great accompaniments, in fact necessary when you eat so much meat, but I’d rather have you try them than let the words spoil their actual “nasha”.

Dogfight starts!

Dogfight starts!

Man Vs Food

Man Vs Food

A dogfight is a term given to the mid-air battle between fighter planes, another naval concoction like the sliders. And the Hotdogfight we had though not as dangerous was equally exhilarating. The crispy buns, tender meat and the melange of sauces just left us gorging on one after the other.

Lock, Stock & a Smokin' Barrel  & Watermelon Mojito!

Lock, Stock & a Smokin’ Barrel & Watermelon Mojito!

The team at Smokey’s made sure we partied hard with their signature cocktails and good burgers have always been a ‪#‎TDfc weakness. But now Smokey’s has ensured that Hotdogs trumps our love for burgers and as a “friend of Smokey’s” I reckon you give it a chance too.

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