Women Alone

Updated: Jun 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
It was 9.30 pm, and we were sitting in Suede, a pub in the PVR Anupam complex in Saket in New Delhi. Two young women walked in and claimed the corner table. I was surprised. Though pubs are proliferating in New Delhi these days, women walking into one without benefit of a male companion is still a rare sight.

But then, thats the USP of Suede. A waiter informed us that the pub gets many woman customers and many of them come in here alone. Its a matter of the comfort level that a woman customer feels in a pub and we have been trying to provide that comfort to our customers by attracting high-end customers and hiring well-behaved bartenders, says Sarika Pilot, who runs Suede jointly with her husband and brother. And yes, Sarika is the daughter of the late Rajesh Pilot.

The liquor list, too, seems tilted in favour of the fairer sex. Vodka, gin and rum seem to take precedence over whisky in the cocktails and shooters here. Though Ill admit that may be the bias (and disappointment) of a hardcore whisky lover. And Suede does offer some interesting cocktails.

Since my first love was not available, I settled for a B52 (Rs 200), a shooter with Kahlua, Baileys and Cointreau. It came recommended by the bartender. The syrupy sweetness of the Baileys and the tang of the Cointreau over-rode the bitter punch of the Kahlua to give the drink a silky smoothness.

I tried the Banana Rum (Rs 225) nextwhite rum, banana liqueur and ice cream. Though I dont usually like rum, I must admit this was a fantastic way of drinking it. And if you want to go through the roof, try the Vodka Chilli (Rs 200), vodka with green chilli. Ummm!

In case you thought otherwise, theres food, too. If you want to keep it light, try the Bar Bites. The Mushroom Duplex (Rs 125), cheese stuffed crumb fried mushrooms served with tomato sauce, is nice. Or try the Chicken Olive Rolls (Rs 150), herb-marinated chicken wrapped around olives, grilled and served with barbeque sauce. Its good.

If you are ravenous, theres a pretty extensive a la carte menu, too. The Spiced Chicken Combo (Rs 250), skewers of grilled chicken marinated in spices and cheese served with bread, vegetable salad and sauce, was delicious and very fresh.