After hearing a multitude of great things about Molecule, I finally got the chance to visit it for lunch. They are a microbrewery in Gurgaon’s Sector 29 area. Once you take the lift up to the fourth floor you are welcomed by massive gates with a ‘transformers’ type vibe. The interiors of the restaurant are quirky and have a lot of wooden elements with gears. Not to forget the chemical equations and organic compounds painted on the glass windows to instill the feel of something gastronomical. Well I have never been a fan of chemistry with it being my least favourite subject but hey, chemistry in food…I could learn about this for days! It’s really intriguing to see how variations in food are coming up to keep the customer delighted with little hints of dry ice or the use of liquid nitrogen, you can transform simple dishes to intriguing ones.
They have a seating with a bar and one upstairs on the rooftop as well also with a bar service. It gives you a great view of the Gurgaon skyline and is great place to hang out in the evenings (provided the weather is good). Else I choose to happily sit in the luxury of air conditioning and enjoy the live performances they have from time to time. They have done a good job with the lighting inside where it isn’t too bright but yet dim enough to give you some privacy. As you sip on their craft beer and make conversations with your pals, there’s enough going around in the interiors be it the walls or the ceiling to give your eyes engaged. You have to put this on your MUST VISIT list if you are in Gurgaon.
We were greeted with an amuse bouche of Roohafzah lassi shots. They were ferried to us on a little truck.
Get Set Gobble:
~ Life at the bar – This is a microbrewery so obviously my first choice was to try their wheat beer. I did like it but my friends vouched that the dark beer was far better. Well, to each his own! Panni as the name suggests is a drink that literally came in a panni. It was placed inside a bucket with a side of popcorn. We also tried the Khula pinjra that had a metal bucket full of the booze with long straws and placed inside a pinjara (cage).
Soch-aalaya (yup, that’s what it’s called!) had a unique presentation with a tub containing the cocktail and a crushed can of ginger ale on the side and a lot of foam. Can you guess how Dimag ki batti was served? Well in a light bulb of course!
Make in India was a tasty concoction that came in a cocktail shaker served in a metal tea pot. It was like a kala khatta flavoured LIIT..yumm! They have a drink called Mocking Bird and yes it’s served in a bird shaped glass.
The Sangria is served with a chuski to keep dipping into your drink. Great for summers! We did try a few mocktails but with drinks like these taking the forefront, it’s very very hard to remember mocktail names 😛 I just remmeber a drink called Virgin Mary being served on a cycle. All in all there are some really quirky presentations on their menu so go and give them a try.
~ Dragon popcorn – Freshly made popcorn, tossed in a spice mix is served in these metallic pineapple containers with a stream of dry ice smoke oozing from them. I tried the caramel popcorn but I am personally not a fan of this flavour so I tried the Pav bhaji masala one and it was quite nice. I especially loved the hint of playfulness as the popcorn made its way from the plate to the mouth! The liquid nitrogen provided a mystical element to the dish and the smoke escaped from your mouth as you bit into them. I bet I looked like a little dragon 😛 Also do watch out, the containers are suuuuuper cold and can leave your fingers feeling numb for long if you happen to touch it by mistake (see the thumb prints where I tried to grab the bowl and suffered the consequences :-P).
~ Molecular puchka shots – These golgappas were served with masala potatoes in a little cooker and 5 types of water in test tubes- pineapple, cola, orange, beetroot and jaljeera. It also had two syringes filled with a green chutney and imli chutney. So if you are up for a little mock kitchen scenario, go ahead and start breaking and constructing your golgappas. Though it is a lot of fun to be playing around with all these elements, I have found myself saying no to this when I’m in a drinking mood. I tend to get a bit lazy and have to conserve my energy so prefer to order something pre-prepared and plated that’s just ready to pop in my mouth as is.
~ Re deconstructed tokri chaat – This was another molecular gastronomy version of a papdi chaat. It had yoghurt spheres, spiced potato mix, green and imli chutney, pomegranates, crunchy sev and some foam. It’s quite tasty when you put all the elements together in your mouth. DO TRY
~ Veg biryani arancini – These little crisp balls are served with dehydrated onion, raita sphere, pink peppercorns and salad crème. Super crispy on the outside and spicy on the inside, these balls were truly amazing! The biryani inside is flavoured with bold spices and the raita just helps in cutting those down. It is a well-balanced dish and looked beautiful as well with a topping of micro greens. MUST ORDER
~ Air bread – These are little puffed breads served with Quattro Formaggi sauce with Achari chicken or Paneer tikka and green chilli caviar. Its super light and is served as a good bite sized portion so I do like to order these when we have drinks on the table. The topping of chicken was super yumm and spicy and the paneer was no far less. MUST ORDER
~ Vada pav sliders – With a portion of 4 vada pavs served in a metal plate/container with a green chilly sticking on the top and green chutney on the side. These are great appetizers and the vadas had a good spice blend with the potatoes.
~ Paneer tikka two ways – Peri peri paneer and pesto paneer served with roast tomato and mint chutney. What’s not to love; be it the presentation where its served on a small grill with some foam on the side or the succulent pieces of paneer itself shining with flavour. MUST ORDER
~ Ghee roast keema matar – No visit to Molecule is complete without ordering this dish. I am quite capable of mopping the whole thing alone coz it’s just that tasty! It is served with mini parantha presented on hooks hung on the top of the tray and a lachha radish salad. This would probably have to be the best item on their menu and maybe the best keema matar I have ever eaten…apologies to you mom :-D. My mom is the best cook I know but this preparation just blew my mind away. The meat was tender and tossed in spices that made your taste buds dance with every bite. There were 3 of eating this and we made our way through atleast 3 portions of these platters. It is insanely yumm. MUST MUST ORDER
~ Slow cooked makhmali chicken tikka – The tikkas were as they were described, like makkhan (butter), so soft and tender that they seemed to melt in your mouth. It’s served with a habanero sauce. This is a great dish for those who do not like a lot of spice in their food. MUST ORDER
~ Creamy parmesan pasta – White wine and parmesan cream, jalapeño and confit cherry tomato tossed with some penne pasta and served with garlic toast. The pasta was a little too al dente and felt it could have been cooked just a bit more. The creamy sauce enveloped the pasta and veggies and tasted quite good.
~ Mutton main combo meal – I quite enjoyed their dal makhani and mutton preparation. The pieces were tender and had a slightly spicy gravy. Mopped up this deliciousness with a lachha parantha.
~ Imitation of Ras malai – This is a very apt dish to provide a theatrical end to a gastronomical meal at Molecule. The chef comes out with a table full of ingredients and cooking equipment and cooks the whole dish in front of you. Some of the items I remember were the rasmalai sponge made with condensed milk, rose syrup, wasabi, paan candy floss, vanilla pod, pistachio dust, chopped mangoes and blueberries. It is a mesmerizing experience as he dips things into a nitrogen bath or creates puffs on a cold teppanyaki in front of us. He creates a beautiful piece of art on the plate only to be destroyed at the end..yes! Coz he instructs you to take a spoon and smash all the elements together for the flavours to mix before you can bite into it. What fun! MUST ORDER
Molecular Gastronomy. Fun filled dining experience. Intriguing dish presentations. Feast for the eyes and the tummy.