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PROLIFIC restaurateur AD Singh has gentrified the central idea of Gurgaon’s AHATAs and Kerala’s Kallu Shappus and created an open-in-the-evenings-only “Indian cocktail bar” where a quirky décor dominated by a bespectacled elephant complements a deliciously experimental menu crafted by Sujan Sarkar, who returned from London last year after successful stints at Michelin-star restaurants, hangouts of high rollers and The Whistling Shop, rated by Zagat as one of London’s best cocktail bars.My favourites are the masala taftan served with a jar of chicken liver and bheja (brain) pate, the oddly named Punjabi Poboy Burger with batter-fried soft shell crabs (not quite a Punjabi speciality, but one you’d like to get your teeth into!), and the unputdownable jhaal moori granola bar with avocado, imli gel and micro greens served, like a marriage made in heaven, with a Vineet Bhatia-inspired dahi bhalla sorbet. The cocktails by fresh-from-Melbourne mixologist Nitin Tewari come with refreshing twists and no off-the-shelf syrups and canned juices. The must-have ‘Mojito 6’ is a cool combination of Bacardi, starfruit juice, honey water, Ayurvedic six-spice mix and mint leaves. It’s an “Indian cocktail” without being outlandishly so.
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Ek Bar is an all-new bar dedicated for drinking along with some munchies in Defence Colony, Delhi. Owned by AD Singh, also owner of the Olive group, replaced by Diva Kitsch, the bar aims at providing an experience that would leave you thinking about it for days post the visit as to what went into your dish. Ek Bar gives vibes of a fest or a carnival from the time you enter to the time you leave the place. Talking about fun, there is a giant merry-go-round right on top of the bar. The spiral staircase leads to the rooftop bar, with a funky chandelier and vibrant décor. It is basically a conglomerate of several things tucked into one which are the vintage pictures on the walls, the elephant mascot, and addictive music.
Chef Sujan Sarkar has brought together varied unusual recipes and preparations that fall under the category of modern Indian fusion. The food and drinks have an Indian touch to them. Some of the drinks include Sher Singh, murabba mule, platform @ CST and more with a blend of ingredients such as amrak, murabba, and other Indian spices. Some of the dishes that can be tried include khameeri pizza, veg and non veg thali, Ek Bar – granola bar, Andaman tuna papdi chaat, baked mushroom chilla and Hyderabadi keema fettuccini. For a sugar rush, you can try baked saffron yoghurt, Auroville chocolate brownie and kubhani cheese cake.
As you enter the bar, you can watch the bartenders performing a welcoming shaking jig for you. Upon that, as the place is new and the menu concept is new as well, the staff graciously attends to every guest and bids them happily with a smile.