Dontelmama: A bond over Salsa, Tacos and Cocktailsby Opinion Express September 6, 2019 0 comments
Dontelmama scores both hits and misses. While it would let you bond over salsa, tacos and peppery cocktails, it might make you question some of your choices, says Ayushi Sharma
Usually we hear of Bollywood nights, live music and sufi nights at gastropubs. But how often have you heard of one celebrating salsa and that too at a pub? Do you wonder if that would create the right vibe? However, my recent outing at Dontelmama, South Extension II, put my questions to rest. The blue lights all across its walls, the levelled-up dancing floor, jazzed-up music, garnet maroon, lapis and navy blue velvet chaise-lounges around, would do the same to yours too. Even though the salsa began late in the night, it added the charm to the place’s already-vibrant ambience. The pub was sprawled across three levels, which gave off a rich vibrant feel. And the rooftop, which was further segregated into a lower section with a cool laid-back vibe, was complemented by the lush green and soft warm lights. A third ‘bird’s eye’ level, gave a 360-degree view of the city. The smoking area was perky and exuberant and had a spectrum of colours that lended it a quirky aura.
Well, what could be better than enjoying such an evening (and spoiler alert: finger-licking food) with your mate? The place offers a mix of different cuisine including fusion. A staff member suggested that we must begin our meal with their signature chaat platter. As I had it, I realised that while the right amount of flavours in the tikkis left a mark on one’s tastebuds, the sweetness of the gol-gappas, on the other hand, might make one not opt for it. They were too sweet. I am one of those for whom the tanginess of the chaat is intrinsic to the dish and makes me relish it. Nothing like a spicy stuffing made out of potato-chickpea mash and tangy water, liberally infused with mint leaves. Even though I tried the gol-gappas with the tangy water or the khatta paani, that too tasted sweet. Or rather, failed to tingle my palate.
So from Indian, I decided to dash across continents and order tacos, something that I had been eyeing since the very beginning. However, we couldn’t order it at first as we followed the chef’s suggestion. Peas mushrooms tacos were the ones that we opted for. With a name like that, we expected it to be a mix of the two vegetables, but it turned out to be a thick paste where both the ingredients were blended together. But having said that, it was a delightful mix. And who says tacos are just for Tuesdays? These were way too good to eat just about on any day of the week.
It was the time to make a trip to the European subcontinent or rather try the Vilayati subz pasta. The very first bite made me wonder why we ordered something that sounded like a mish-mash in the first place. However, gulping it down somehow improved its flavours. At first, it tasted sweet due to the thick, butter tomato sauce. It was only later that the peppery flavour hit home.
I wasn’t satisfied and decided to taste another pasta of a different flavour. This time I went with the basil with spinach and corn sauce. It’s very name was enough to raise the bar of my expectations. It was laced with goodness of spinach, packed with flavours of garlic and sweet corn, surely making it the best dish of the evening. To accompany it, I ordered their signature cocktail — Cinnamon whisky story. With a base of bourbon whisky, it was blended with lemon juice and honey and a cinnamon stick to top it with.
Moving on to the main course, they’ve hit upon a great idea where they serve combo meals. This obviously saves time and prevents confusion as most people usually end up ordering only starters in a pub. We went ahead with Paneer tikka ajwaini masala and Dal makhani with Lachcha parantha combo. We were so full by the time that we asked them to lessen the quantity. The paranthas were crispy outside and buttery soft inside. The deal breaker? Dal makhni loaded with unnecessary amount of cream and fat. Of course, as the name suggests it should have a certain amount but it doesn’t have to be practically drowning in them. However, the Paneer tikka ajwaini masala just had the right amount of everything.
The night ended on a good note with people rejoicing and bonding over salsa, tacos and peppery cocktails. Well, so did we.
Writer: Ayushi Sharma
Courtesy: The Pioneer