Today I am reviewing Holy Smoke, a restaurant that dedicates itself to bringing the tradition of authentic Barbeque style cooking to India. Inside Gurgaon’s most happening location – Cyber Hub, the restaurant is located on the first floor, right next to Hard Rock Cafe. The open terrace in front of the restaurant overlooks the amphitheatre and the DT Cinema ticket counter.
I was met at the restaurant by Saumya, our host for the evening. He is a large Bengali with a larger heart and a lot of warmth. During the night, he made an extra effort to visit our table and suggested some really good items from the menu. Towards the end, he also spent few minutes with us to discuss his life in the culinary industry and we realised that he is someone who takes a lot of pride in the menu and in his job.
The interiors of the restaurant have been done up in a very unusual fashion and some might say that the restaurant bears a gothic look. As soon as one enters, one can see graffiti on the left wall that attracts one’s attention. It shows a man in a suit sitting down to have a steak, the twist being that he has the skull of a horned animal for a head.
The chairs in the restaurant (and also on the graffiti) have the design of pork ribs on them. The walls, the sofa, and the tables are black in colour. And they have an open kitchen, separated by thick glass. You can see how your food is being cooked, and how it is being prepared to be served to you. On the right hand side, they have displayed some of their wine collection and immediately after that the bar is located.
Before I say anything about the menu items that we tried, let me say that this place is heaven for meat lovers. You can see that just from the menu. They have meats ranging from the run-of-the-mill chicken, lamb, pork and seafood to the more exotic ones like crabs, steak (buffalo) and Quail.
This does not mean that they do not have options for vegetarians. They have taken good care to ensure that there are plenty of items on the menu for vegetarians as well.
We were also presented with a Sliders menu – this consists of small sized burgers served in a pack of 3, 6, or 9. This is what we decided to go with first. We ordered a pack of three, and chose three different ones – the Chicken Confit, the Magic Mushroom, and the Heart Breaker. The burgers were brought to us on a wooden pan and were served with a side of French Fries, accompanied by tomato ketchup and mustard sauce.
The Chicken Confit Slider, as the name suggest was cooked in its own juices and flavoured with Honey Mustard and Barbeques sauce.
The Magic Mushrooms Slider didn’t have the psychedelic properties of the thing it’s named after, but the combined flavours of Chipotle, Honey Mustard, Mushrooms, and Swiss cheese would have a similar effect on foodies.
The Heart Breaker Slider consisted of lamb meat balls covered with parmesan cheese and caramelised onions. It was a great combination that lent a wonderful twist by the caramelised onions.
Along with the Sliders we ordered LIIT. The drink, I felt, was a little heavy on the rum but I guess a strong cocktail is much better than a watered down one.
After the Sliders, we were recommended to try the Belgium Pork Belly – one of the good suggestions given by Saumya. The dish consisted of cubes of pork belly cooked on the Barbeque and served with a side of sautéed onion and green capsicum, all of them covered with Barbeque sauce. The pork was cooked well and was quite soft and tasted good.
Next we ordered the Australian Lamb Shank – which was lamb shank cooked in red wine and served with a thick red gravy. The lamb shank came with a side of sautéed vegetables and Potato Gnochhi. The lamb was bursting with flavours and we took no time in polishing it off.
Along with the lamb, we ordered the cocktail Macua – a combination of white rum and Guava Juice. This did not turn out to be too good a choice as it was a bit too sweet for a cocktail and the flavour of the Guava juice overpowered the alcohol. Order this only if you have a sweet tooth.
Talking of sweet tooth, the menu leaves a little to be desired in terms of the desserts. The only option that we could see were the Waffles, which were part of the all day menu entitled ‘Breaky All Day’. We chose to order Smores – because it promised us a combination of Nutella and Peanut Butter filling on the waffles – two ingredients that are the embodiment of indulgence.
The waffles were served to us with a topping of a scoop of vanilla ice cream and charred marshmallows. The waffles tasted really good and it convinced us that if they added more desserts to the menu, they would be able to do justice to them too.
10 Second Summary: Holy Smoke should be your first choice if you are after a genuine Barbeque experience. Make sure that you try the Sliders and go with an empty stomach.
Review Credit: Arjun Budhraja