Cuisine: craft beer with mostly small eats
Blurb: Pub with grub
Atmospherics: Brew Buddy occupies a prominent position in the crowded Sector 29 market, so that it has two frontages so to speak. The ground floor is for diners while the basement is for buzzing music, beer taps at each table and a cooler, more attractive vibe. If you like your craft beer (and this is rated fairly decently) do head for the basement. One word of caution: unless you like your music exceptionally loud, try and wind up your dinner by 10.30 pm. Also, don’t expect more than a certain basic level of service: I was given (unasked) a trial sample of four beers in stem glasses. Owing to an uneven table, the whole thing toppled over on my cellphone. I didn’t get a word of apology!
Table talk: It is the food that is the draw here. The menu has been rather well designed to include old favourites for die-hard lovers of desi food as well as a new twist on finger foods and South East Asian meals in a bowl. I visited on a rainy evening and enjoyed my sweet corn soup (Rs 145/155/165 veg/chicken/prawn) immensely. There was no vain attempt to gussy it up needlessly: it was just good ole sweet corn soup from one’s college days. The same could not, alas, be said of the deconstructed masala papad platter (Rs 175) that was a self-conscious mix of desi trying hard to be cool in a user-unfriendly plate with indentations for onion lachchas and cucumber batons. The Bombay bhelpuri salad (Rs 225) was an enormous bowl of a reworked version of the Mumbai favourite. A closer approximation to the original would have worked in its favour, with more coriander leaves, thin sev and puffed rice with tamarind and gur chutney. The one preparation I enjoyed most of all is the hearty Kathmandu Chicken C Momo (Rs 275) which consisted of large momos filled with minced chicken, steamed and wok tossed in a flaming red sauce of chilli, ginger and garlic paste with a hint of soy. There is a vegetarian version too.
Plus and minus: The perfect mix of familiar favourites from outside India and North Indian pre-plated meals for one person. The fumes from the smoking room enter the basement area.
Must try: Keema pao; basil chilli chicken; Malaysian laksa
Food: 3.25; Service: 2.50; Décor: 3.25
SCO 41, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Alcohol served; credit cards
Open from 12 noon to 12 midnight
Meal for two: Rs 1200 (without alcohol or tax)