Gurgaon is in for a treat
Serving: Peruvian inspired
Atmospherics: In the spacious courtyard of One Horizon, a particular doorway buzzes incessantly with activity, and that is Whisky Samba. Maybe it is the name – an intriguing blend of an alcoholic beverage and a Latin American dance – or maybe it is the glorious sight of the back-lit bar with several hundred bottles with their mirror images that segue seamlessly into a towering sight. The sleek, spacious interiors, the tan leather sofas that are interspersed with upright chairs, the outdoor seating, the vibe – the people behind the restaurant cum bar have gone into overdrive to make sure that it is a mixed use space: it is eminently appropriate whether you have a lazy Sunday lunch with your extended family, a semi-formal business meeting after work, a celebratory lunch with friends or a quiet evening at the bar with 140 labels for company. Whisky Samba works whether you want only food, only drinks or both in a mature and stylish (but never dull) setting.
Table Talk: The chef of the restaurant has just returned after a stage in Noma, but has kept his menu uncomplicated while pushing the envelope. Salmon carpaccio, green chilli, coriander, gari (Rs 500) has a Japanese appeal. There are plenty of vegetarian options to keep you going for a few visits. Truffle risotto with mushroom relish (Rs 850) is laden with umami appeal (you can order grilled pork belly or chicken as an extra). The grill section is the one to watch out for, if you are a meat-eater. In particular, the red meat section with its baby back ribs (Rs 1200) and braised buffalo ribs (Rs 1200) are outstanding for how the meat has been cooked to retain its juiciness, with the marinade subtly counterpointing, yet never overpowering it. Don’t miss the potatoes either: slow roasted and lightly sprinkled with orange peel, they are a masterpiece.
Plus and minus: For the sheer feel of dining at an international destination, a trip here is worth it. However, the kitchen is known to crack under pressure. Don’t be tempted to order the horrendous duck tartare! Also, there is hardly any whisky in the food, as a sauce or marinade: it needs to be remedied in the forthcoming menu. Also, there is a single ceviche.
Must try: Black brioche of misfits; Pork belly skewers; Whisky sour ice-cream,
Food: 3.50; Ambience: 4.00; Service: 3.50
Horizon Plaza, One Horizon Centre, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
Tel: 9999566232, 9971773535
Open from 12 noon to 12 midnight
Meal for two: Rs 3,500 (without alcohol)