A fortnight full of fun

From collab events to cool sundowner joints and tasting sessions, here is a showcase of the days gone by and the times to come

A fortnight full of fun
Two people toasting with mugs full of chopp

The last fortnight and the one to come seem extremely packed with all the makings of what we may categorise as fun. I started by conducting an experiment to understand what exactly is lost in home delivery of food. I ordered ramen, a relatively less transport-friendly dish. However, a day earlier, I tried the same dish at Mensho Tokyo (great spot, by the way) and I must say that the home delivery wasn’t the same 9/10 as at the outlet but it was still an easy 7/10 and that’s quiet commendable.

So, all in all, home delivery, even with complicated dishes, can be an acceptable compromise and Mensho Tokyo is dishing out some amazing ramen. I am told there is another lethally good service by the name of @ramen_donn (they have even collab-ed with Mensho Tokyo); so this gentleman, too, is definitely worth earmarking.

While still on delivery, PopThai was a decent Thai service. Now, it’s not entirely authentic but it’s cognisant enough to sit comfortably on the fence and was quiet delicious for local palates. So, that gets a commend too. And then in a delivery universe drowning in pizzas, one brand that passes the artisanal and yet delicious muster is Baking Bad—great bases,

quality toppings and enough choice to keep it fresh.

And finally when I did step out for a meal, it was to try the exquisite magic of Chef Avinash Martins from Cavatina Goa (his restaurant is one of the top three reasons to hit South Goa, the other two being Bar Tesouro and the airport). The Lodhi, as a hotel, is quiet unique in trying out things that most hotels would steer clear of. Which is why I always make it a point to attend their collab events. Last time, it was Grasshopper from Bangalore, another culinary super-hit. This time, they smashed it out of the park with absolutely amazing food and drink, the kind that Delhi rarely sees, even with visiting foreign chefs. It’s over now but put The Lodhi roster on your calendar for future events.

Another cool sundowner joint is Zooey, done up in what I can only describe as decadently delicious. Good drinks while the food is a smorgasbord of a few cuisines done acceptably well. With all the curtains and dim lighting it feels like sundown even at 1pm which is ideal to start some “early evening” imbibing.

Then, we organised a small event for the European Union showcasing the best of their spirits and brews. For a region which can be regarded the cradle of (almost) all modern drinks, you aren’t just sipping something, it’s a taste of history. Which is precisely what we were highlighting while also pointing out the strict safety and hygiene standards that accompany this effort to preserve traditions and culture of the liquid kind. Think of it the next time you sip something from one of their 27 member states.

En suite, I conducted a small tasting with the lovely wines of Berton Vineyards from New South Wales, shedding light on the fact that there’s nothing as “Australian wine”. Each sub-region in this continent of an island has its own unique wines. Berton Vineyards, with their metal label variants, is a good representative for the state of NSW and the approved FTA will soon make them even more accessible.

Meanwhile, American winery Daou is set to launch in India and breaking away from the Californian image of expensive cult wines, these are some superbly-made wines which show stylistic typicity at prices that aren’t eye-watering. We had showcased them at a USDA-organised event and it’s good to see them now hitting the Indian shelves.

For the coffee buffs, Woke (cold brew) coffee comes in cans with just that sprite of nitro to give you that velvety cascade. It’s really good coffee even if the cascade is not Guinness-like thick. Definitely worth stocking for those rushed mornings.

As a parting note, August 5 is International Beer Day and it was Erdinger and Simba who reminded me by stocking me up adequately. They are lovely beers (Dunkel by Erdinger and the Wit by Simba); so one isn’t complaining at all. And then, BrewDog is finally opening in Gurgaon and the NCR will have its first proper microbrewery and I just hope that the denizens of the ’burb aren’t too thrown off by the taste of real micro-made beers.

As BrewDog India CEO Karan Jain summed it up, “BrewDog has a beer for everybody. Working with local producers and ingredients, our farm-to-junk food style is a big hit.” Of special interest is The Wild Card Wheat, “specially developed for the Indian market”, and also by sheer virtue of cool name, the Elvis Juice. My biggest deal-clincher however, they are pet-friendly. So this coming 5th, you know in case you aren’t cracking one open at home, you know where to head.

The writer is a sommelier

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