With a no-cooking weekend ahead of us, we entered Fantom Bar & Brewery at South Point Mall, Gurgaon. Walking past booths, high chairs, and decor that seamlessly shifts from casual to formal, my friend and I picked a table smack in the middle of the action with the game playing behind us and the bar right in the front. The dark decor surrounded a bar with a smoking room in front and a large wall-sized screen to the right.
The menu at Fantom leaves you spoilt for choice. It dabbles in several cuisines, and apart from being a brewery with in-house beers on tap, several cocktails and drinks, the food menu goes on for pages. If you are the sort of person who prefers wings and pizzas with your beer, they have you covered. If it is an Indian meal you crave after a few rounds of drinks, they have a host of kebabs, tikkas, and vegetable curries. The menu offers Continental and Asian cuisines too, and to our surprise, they serve both authentic dim-sums and our street-favourite momos—the best of both worlds.
The four beers on tap start with a German Wheat beer, which is balanced and is not bitter. The Blonde Ale is a slightly heavier choice, while the Dark Lager has natural herbs and tastes caramelised and malty. My pick was the Citra Pale Ale (which they only introduced this October). It was slightly bitter and somewhat crisp, and the lightest in colour.
When it came to food, we picked all things Indian, except for when we cheated with a pizza. No regrets though. Our American Fiesta came loaded with vegetarian toppings and was over in a few minutes. Light, cheesy and tangy, it hit all the right notes. As the server bought out pints of Dark Lager and Citra Pale Ale for us, the sliders were placed on our table, the first being colourful buns served with chutney and chilli. We dug in. My vegetarian Vada Pao slider took me all the way back to my college in Maharashtra. The melt-in-your-mouth patty was nothing like it is usually made in North India, and to say that I was impressed would be an understatement. The Butter Chicken Slider was another story. Strictly North Indian, my friend called it, and I quote, “one of the best Butter Chicken dishes I have ever had”. The trend continued with his non-veg platter, though the Fish Tikka emerged his clear favourite. For me, the Malai Broccoli (something I had never tried before) and the classic Dahi Kababs made the cut.
For mains, I had ordered the Dal Makhani, which came highly recommended. Out came a basket of Indian breads—we had got an assortment—and a bowl of Dal. It seemed like too much food for one person but this was the case with most dishes here. Their portions are hearty, and to be enjoyed in a group. The Dal was creamy and rich in flavour. My friend’s order was just the opposite. He had taken up a challenge. See, their Lal Maas is popular for its spice and is impossible to finish by yourself. The fiery bowl had nothing on my Dal and while I leisurely enjoyed my meal, he dug in to find it exactly how it was promised—hot, hot, and hot. Don’t worry though, because even between the long gulps of beer and smoke coming out of his ears, he loved the meat. He claims he would have been able to finish the whole plate had we not eaten so much before. For spice lovers, this Laal Maas is a definite try. In the end, we had no room for dessert. We watched the game, chatted and enjoyed great beer. Is there a better way to spend a Saturday, anyway?
Price: ₹ 1800++ for two including alcohol
Where: Upper Ground Floor, DLF South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon, +91 8800644877
Contact: +91 8800910063