Picture Prohibition era, picture Speakeasies. What plagued the past (remember crime peaked during Prohibition) is being celebrated today. Skeeter was delighted to have been invited to one such party that revisited the past. Sabyasachi Gorai or Chef Saby as he is lovingly called along with his team – chef Dhruv Oberoi (who has returned from his stint with Ferran and Albert Adria on one of their projects), Noor Al Sabah (who comes from Dubai to follow her passion-food), Astha Mittal (who loves to work around food), Harish (at the bar) hosted us.
The Dirty Martini at Olive Qutub, which is a Speakeasy-inspired bar recreated blast from the past. Speakeasies used to be illegal bars that thrived in the US in 1920s when there was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol. The entry to these bars was through a lesser known path, often a dirty dingy alley and a clandestine entrance which required passwords to let you in. Since there are no dingy alleys at Olive Qutub, we were led through the kitchen and ushered in through a shabby looking door. A welcome drink called The Chai-Wala (Mulled wine in a mitti ka kulhad), warmed us up to the evening. And as the evening rolled South Side (cocktail made from gin, lemon, sugar, mint) was dished out in intricate tea cups, ideally suited to a High Tea. It was served to keep with the Speakeasy theme of The Dirty Martini. Next up was an excellent Cherry Wood smoked Gin tonic served in a wine glass topped with an Amuse Bouche.
Then came the wicked jello martini shots. Real fruit was scooped out and skins were retained to be filled with jellied martinis. Skeeter is a sucker for gorgeous looking food and always has a hard time thinking of destroying (read eating, okay drinking such glam things). Beer came hidden in brown paper bags and a lovely Sangria made Skeety’s evening.
The vegetarian bites that were served with the drinks included Dive bar croistini (Ratatouille and gruyere), Big boss toast (Goat cheese, chilli jam and berries), the Rum runner (Mushroom burger, manchego) and a lovely Sheeben sandwich which was a Harissa spiced artichoke with feta and apricot chutney. It was Skeety’s favourite from that night. Godfather’s stew was a seven vegetable stew served with country style bread. Vegetables could not get better.
The evening ended with Nutty Auntie, a sublime baked apple and walnut tart with a dash of maple syrup and The Smoked Cigar which was live Churros served in paper cones (A Spanish deep fried party served with molten chocolate). Interestingly, the first time Skeeter tasted Churros happened to be at Olive itself. It may be a breakfast/snack item in Spain, but ended our night on a toothsome note.