There's nothing like a good cocktail to add spice to a good conversation. We were recently at The Hungry Monkey, a restobar in Safdarjung Enclave, for their event "The Theatre of Cocktail". And I was prepared for an impressive show at the bar, but what I wasn't prepared for was the awesome afterparty and one of the most interesting conversations I've had in a long time. The place, The Hungry Monkey, contributed too.
Done up tastefully with wooden interiors and quirky decorations, entering the restobar was like stumbling upon a hidden treasure. We were slightly early and still had some time in our hands before the event would start, so we took a seat and were immediately served one of their signature cocktails The Moscow Mule. Served in a copper mug, this magical concoction of vodka, cucumber, lime and ginger ale was the perfect refreshment.
Other guests in the meanwhile had started arriving. My husband and I shared the table with Anasuya Basu, Director - Marketing Communications at Le Meridien, and Sid Khullar, the founder of Chef at Large and a million other wonderful ventures. And nothing about our fellows at the table could have warned me about the deep, soulful (quite literally) conversations we were about to have, albeit after a couple of drinks. It started with the mundane discussions about each others' career choices.
In the meanwhile, the bar was getting ready for a spectacular theatre of cocktail, a show to be conducted by none other than the Master Mixologist, Arijit Bose. He demonstrated several interesting cocktails, including The Moscow Mule, Pepperdine (made of Absolut pepper vodka, with lime juice, ale juice, and sugar, served with gingerale) and Lou's Lucky Leprechaun (Jameson shaken with Melon Liquor, fresh lime and egg white). But the star of the theatre was Old Fashioned, the classic cocktail made of whiskey, sugar and bitters and served with an orange rind. Arijit went one step ahead and smoked the cocktail inside an old wooden kartoos box, transforming it into a legend, the cocktail we would discuss for hours later.
The show was over within 20 minutes and each time Arijit demonstrated a cocktail, samples were passed around the tables along with some of the most delectable appetizers. Perhaps it was all that booze that made us hang out at the restobar for hours after it and get into discussions about the topic that invariably comes up every now and then. Yes, you got it right. Paranormal. As soon as Sid asked if any of us was interested in spirits and ghosts and stuff, hubby dear pointed at me, though I suspect he is equally interested. The discussion moved quickly from spirits to spirituality and auras and soon we were discussing the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Rig Ved.
The Hungry Monkey, in the meanwhile did its best to keep us at it. As soon as he learned of my preference for vodka, one of the owners even got a Blue Meth specially concocted for me and that was all the fuel I needed. By the end of it, I had simply run out of words and queries I had been bombarding Sid with and we all fell quiet. And then right in time, we were served the restobar's killer burger. It was a big mean burger, one that made us go silent with respect.
By the time we started back, we were happy, and not only alcohol-happy, happy at heart. I would recommend The Hungry Monkey to anyone who wants to unwind after a hectic day at work. But if you are headed there, please make sure you book a table. And don't forget to ask for an Old Fashioned to start your dinner with a bang.