20 June 2014

Interactive Cocktail Making Session at Pangaea, Hotel Ashok, New Delhi

A fun interactive cocktail session was what was organised by Pangaea. A session where people could learn the technicalities and nitty-gritties of cocktail making, could learn a trick or two, and have a fun afternoon indulging in all this.

Having been to Pangaea only at night, an afternoon here gave me a chance to look at the interiors. Oh my, what crazy interiors! A lavish glass work, a magnificent bar at both ends of the place, beautiful chandeliers and a really impressive space for the DJ! The place has its interiors totally in sync with its brand name.

The event started off with Pangaea's head bartender mixing up some kickass watermelon based cocktail along with a few others. He was quite patient in adding all the ingredients one by one, gave everyone enough time for noting down the recipes, and gave an impeccable display and presentation of these cocktails. For someone who would be able to stir up cocktails even in his dreams, it must have been pretty painful for him to be so slow because of his audience. Nevertheless, the guy knew exactly what he was doing, even if it was at our speed.

The session then moved to a devoted bar for people where they could witness each of the cocktails being prepared right in front of them. They could test the skills of the bartenders and ask them to make any quirky, interesting drink that they could think of, and enjoy those drinks while watching everyone have a great time trying their own hand at making cocktails. And finally, trying their hand at making cocktails as well.

The bartender made some delicious Litchi Martini for me, another martini with Kaffir Lime as the base, and a third very refreshing, very exotic Basil and Lime Martini. Their bartenders sure as hell know their drinks. The reflex with which they reach out for that bottle of the right syrup, the way they pluck the fresh leaves, the way they shake your drinks - everything with so much flair! The drinks were absolutely delicious! The flavor, the punch, the hit - spot-on!

The 'making your own drink' was the best component of the afternoon for me. Some green chillies, watermelon, syrup, ice, and all of this being shaken well, with the green chilli infused right into the drink, I was so proud of myself for doing such a great job! The love for chilli based drinks strengthened that day! The patience with which the bartenders helped people make their drinks - very very courteous!

Mojito, the quintessential refreshing stuff was also something that I tried. The mint leaves could have been more dominant, but the drink was nice nonetheless.

A Mausambi Martini and a special something he stirred up for me with the ingredient 'orange', as I really wanted to have something refreshing and summery, both the drinks simply outstanding! Not too sweet, the zest and the flavour of the orange and mausambi simply bang-on, and just yummy drinks that are for the soul! Full points to the bartenders for this!

While the drinks are their forte, the food is what took me by surprise. You sure won't expect Pangaea to give you the choicest of dishes during their peak night hours, but getting something made by the chef in the afternoon was a real challenge for a place that only thrives on its music, gigs, night life and drinks.

Their Grilled Chicken was an absolutely gorgeous dish! So delicious that I finished it till the last bite. Full of flavour, bangs and bangs of flavour! 

So was the case with their Vegetable Spring Rolls. Crisp to perfection and served with a sweet chilli sauce, the spring rolls were really really nice! No excessive oil, and a very decent filling.

Fish Orley served with Tartar Sauce - really fresh fish, very soft, an absolute -melt-in-your-mouth dish. The tartar sauce was a star!

The chef also served some steamed fish with one of the most outstanding sauces I've ever had!

Chilli Paneer and Crispy Vegetable Salt 'n' Pepper - the Chilly Paneer was really really nice, but the Salt 'n' pepper was not good. Pretty average fare with just bland vegetables in the dish.

The main course had Fish in Lemon Garlic Sauce with Vegetable Hakka Noodles, Vegetable Fried Rice and a Chicken dish. After having such stellar appetizers, the main course came as a disappointment.

The fish and its gravy was really flavourful but very watery, the rice was very average stuff for me, and the noodles were too bland. Being Hakka Noodles, I can't crib too much here. They're Hakka Noodles so they cannot be spicy, but they sure can be flavourful. The taste of both the chicken and the fish main course dishes was nice, but it's the consistency of the gravies that really put these two dishes down.

An educating session for the skills of preparing cocktails, and an extremely fun afternoon for people. The staff was courteous and the service was prompt. If Pangaea ever opens up for lunch, I would be really intrigued to know what this place could present in terms of it's food offerings.

When in doubt, go for their Watermelon Martini, Basil and Mint based Martinis, and the Mausambi Martini - the drinks that stood out for me!

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