The rains had delayed me. I also missed the turn to The Cult House in the process. I was received by Zahid the person who manages all. A pleasing personality, and has been in the hospitality industry the last 12 years. He has worked at Villa 69, F Bar (Mumbai), Bling Lounge and Bar at the Leela Hotel (Mumbai), Ras Al Nasa Group of Dubai, Vie Lounge and Deck. He has worked at Hotel Asoka. He is associated with Masala Bar the only science lab cocktail bar in Mumbai, and many more. You know that you are working with the Best. He comes with vast knowledge in the food and beverage industry.
I had been to The Cult House on the day of the launch, however, there was a multitude. I was unable to soak in the ambiance. I had now been invited to give some of my feed back on some of their exquisitely served dishes.
The invitation I could not anymore refuse.
Zaeed organized a table for me out in the Cult Terra a spectacular al fresco dining area that was well lit amidst the greenery of the city of Pune.
The Cult House of course is the party area inside. Ultra modern, The Cult House is a one stop destination for all music lovers where there is also a dance floor for all dance lovers to shake a leg.
Fatigued, as I had already worked all day I decided to go in for a drink at first.
Joel the bartender at The Cult House served Whiskey Shikanji, normally served with whiskey; however, I wanted vodka and he made it with vodka. It had a beautiful blend of cumin powder, black salt, lemon, and some sugar syrup. It was chatpata and I fell in love with the cocktail. The black salt gave it a very pleasant flavor. It acted like a teaser. You wanted to keep sipping at it. The surprise element was the way it was served. Now this was a customized serving dish! It was charming kinda antiquated…a bucket and a tap above it! It added style and character to the drink. THE CULT TAP. The picture will tell you more. This is going the extra mile for the customer. There is more in store.
I was hungry as I had just got back from having trained some individuals. Goswami, the steward who attended to me all the time I was there was quick to bring me a novel starter. A Deconstructed Rajma Chawal. I looked at the dish in amazement. I expected to see rajma as rajma. Here were small rajma tikkis served on rice tikkis, and actually looked very appetizing. It was a little ‘hatke’ as you say it, and very filling. The flavours were subtle, just right as a starter. You don’t want the flavours of the starters to drown the taste of alcohol! The roasted gram chutney was the right accompaniment and not the regular mint chutney one is served with kababs and pattice. This is progressive Indian cuisine.
Another surprise was the dish it was served on…again specially thought over. My my must say Rishu Baweja has gone all the way to not only serve quality food but to serve it well…the specially selected plates and customized so that it is pleasing to the eyes, takes you by surprise.
Next on the menu was the Caught Salad a special house salad, again very beautifully presented in a bowl that had dry ice in it. It looked mesmerizing. The taste …muaah …divine. The salad is a mixture of all salad leaves which were crispy and fresh, all in the right proportion with some chicken, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and not to forget the bocconcini cheese all tossed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. There was definitely an unidentifiable flavor my taste buds could not recognize; however, it was out of this world. I could live on it. There was a slight crunch to it as the salad had roasted almonds in it. Must say it was a wonderful blend of flavors and greens.
I would recommend this salad to those who are on a diet and even to those who aren’t to make it a regular inclusion in their meal. It is wholesome and after a hard day’s work nothing like this to make you feel good.
Grilled chicken in a sauce made with mutton bone marrow and mushrooms. It was the regular plating here with chicken breasts, sautéed vegetables. and mashed potatoes with of course the sauce sprinkled across. The smooth velvety sauce added to the flavor. It was deliciously thick and creamy, well seasoned with a hint of pepper that gave it a mild peppery spicy touch. Oh so flavorful, you wanted to pour all of the sauce on to the chicken and down it. The mashed potatoes took me down memory lane. It was not the ready-made stuff you get nowadays. It was a well-made mash of boiled potatoes, butter, and the works. The vegetables had the crunch and did not feel raw. They were cooked to the correct texture. Did I enjoy them!
Another surprise in store! A green parrot cocktail. It was a white rum based cocktail, a blend of kiwi and coconut that added a smoothness to the drink and a hint of lemon. What made it interesting was the glass which was in the shape of a parrot and green in color. The glass has been specially customized to add an ornamental look to the drink. What mindfulness to keep your customer happy and satisfied. Can you imagine the creativity, the innovative idea and of course the expense to it!
The main course arrived. Bombay Tiffin Gosht. Mutton curry, ghee pulao, mutton kheema and masala aloo. Bombay masala, and a few other Indian spices is what this gravy is made of. I am sure it is going to be one of the most sought after dishes. Baby lamb of the best quality is served. The meat was soft and succulent. The combination of rice in ghee and the mutton curry was lip smacking good, so was the mince.
I had had my fill. I could not really have another morsel. Just then Joel the bartender decided to serve me another signature cocktail to wash down the heavy meal. Culting Aroma is the name. the presentation was out of the ordinary. Once again it was served on a bed of dry ice. The dry ice comes in a fish bowl and the drink is served in a cut martini glass…custom made once again. Wow!
The cut martini glass is placed in water in the fish bowl and you can smell the aroma of clove, cinnamon, and kafir lime. The base is vodka, blended with pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, juice, and sugar syrup. And the fragrant aroma added to the drink.
Now such an exquisite meal could not end without sweetening the tooth. Mud cake and orange cheese cake were served. The orange cheese cake supposed to be a winter dessert was perfect for the evening.
The rains had brought in the cold, and soft breeze caressed your hair and skin.
The cheese cake came with some cream and orange syrup which only enhanced the flavors.
What an amazing way to end the evening! Sweetness all he way.