Blessed are those thirtsy souls who, in their genius best, thought of turning flora into alcohol. Be it vodka, bourbon, rum, tequila or scotch, all these are genius plant derivatives that we are thankful for. The Drunken Botanist, located in the Cyber Hub, Gurgaon is a tribute to all things alcohol and great food. Greatly inspired by Amy Stewart's bestseller 'The Drunken Botanist', this restro-bar is a beautiful combination of fun decor, great ambience and even better food and beverages. If you are going by the name, you might want to start off your meal with their range of beer from their micro brewery. The coffee-flavoured beer though packed a very strong flavour, was something different that I tried in a long time. Those with affinity for strong flavours may want to try this. I personally liked the very light Atomic Blonde.
I was halfway through my beer sampling when a gentleman approached our table with a deck of cards. The surprise card tricks left me giggling, or it could have been the mix of six kinds of their in-house beer. We'll never know.
Now ready for some food, we first tried the Vietnamese summer roll of pickled vegetables in rice paper sheet. There is no use being coy when eating finger food. The fun lies in gobbling up whole. The burst of different flavour is not something you'd want to miss by taking tiny bites. Same goes for laal maas ravioli--a surprisingly well-crafted Italian dish with an Indian twist, Californian roll which gave a sweet pop everytime caviar burst inside my mouth and, gunpowder chicken--crispy fried chicken in South Indian spices. Our appetisers ended with chole bhature tacos. Why mess up fingers when we can taco!
The appetisers were so interesting, I began to wonder how the maincourse was going to be. Their slow braised sesame pork belly just melted in the mouth. The sweet and tangy pork that saw hours and hours of kitchen time, lasted only few seconds in my mouth--isn't that the sign of a good slow-braised meat? The dish certainly won my appreciation.
I may have expected a lot from The Drunken Botanist but kuttu roti wasn't one of them. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Sri Lankan street food gracing our table. A mix of minced meat, bread, vegetables along with coconut chutney and mango chutney on the side was delicious. If not for anything else, try this dish for the mango chutney that comes with it. If you want to go Oriental with your meal, go for Udon noodles with miso chicken.
You can not miss out on desserts at The Drunken Botanist. Our favourite was the cheese cake with nolen gur and tres leeches--bread pudding on a bed of three kinds of milk.
The gastronomic journey that one takes at The Drunken Botanist is not something one conjures up in an inebriated state. It's the real deal.
Where: The Drunken Botanist, Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon
Timing: 12 noon-12 midnight