Raasta – The Caribbean Lounge had opened its second outpost in DLF CyberHub a month back. It has allegiance to the Rastafarimovement, which has over a million followers. The Rastafari movement is a spiritual ideology that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica. It is sometimes described as a religion, but is considered by many followers to be a “Way of Life”.

Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as God incarnate and the Messiah who will deliver the Promised Land  to the believers. Members of the Rastafari way of life are known as Rastas, or the Rastafari.

With the presence of Bob Marley, the signature colors of the Jamaican flag, Djembe, Raasta has tried to capture the Caribbean theme in its true sense. The décor is fresh, spacious and reflects the comfort factor of the Caribbean islands. The founders, Rahul Kundan and Joy Singh, are an ardent fan of Reggae and Dubstep music and they could not find any lounges playing it. That gave them the idea to come up with a place dedicated to Caribbean culture, music, and food.

We went to  Raasta at DLF CyberHub last week for a cocktail mixing session. The mixologist stirred Bacardi based Strawberry Delight, Vodka & Green Apple based Raasta Frappe and spicy one Mango Chilly Mohito for the attendees. There was an interesting twist to the session when Joy Singh said that they are launching some special cocktails which will be served in Bongs, an apparatus used for smoking cannabis, tobacco, or other herbal substances. They have named these cocktails as Bongtails. We all were thrilled when we got two Bongtails for trial. I found the concept innovative, appealing, and in-sync with the concept of Raasta. In the Caribbean, bongs are commonly used for smoking.

After the session, we sat down to try Caribbean cuisine served at Raasta. Caribbean cuisine is a mélange of African, American, European, Indian, Arabian and Chinese cuisine. The food is spicy, full of flavors and the use of garlic, turmeric, onions, nutmeg and ginger is quite prevalent. We loved Afrobian Corn & Jalapenos Cigars. They were like crispy rolls in the shape of cigars with a filling of goey cheese. The Red Snapper Escovitch, a popular Caribbean preparation was also served with pea rice. In desserts, Cuban Flan was an another interesting  preparation, which I liked. It is a Cuban style caramel custard with the flavors of Cinnamon and Vanilla.

It was a fun filled afternoon where we had a gala time learning interesting cocktail recipes and also enjoyed the Caribbean flavors. I also tried my hands on Djembe, to my surprise I was able to hit the right beats.

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