Ek Bar is not only one of the best cocktail bars of the capital but it also featured in our list of Delhi’s 10 Best Restaurants published in May 2017. The Mixologists and the Chefs here do not want to restrict themselves and therefore you’ll find an experimental and imaginative streak in every cocktail or dish featured in their menu. They take traditional recipes as their base and transform it into something sensational
Their North Eastern pop-up ‘Tribal Gourmet’ is on till 5th December. Chef Tanisha Phanbuh, better known for her participation in the Food Truck reality show Femme Foodies, hails from Shillong and is highly daring when it comes to introducing bold north eastern tribal flavours into the Delhi pub culture. Her husband, award winning mixologist Nitin Tewari has added his magic to the menu through his North-East inspired cocktails by infusing flavours such as Bhut Jholakia to ‘Bloody Mary’ and smoked pork to the whiskey based ‘Old Fashioned’.
Most ingredients of the dishes featured in the ‘small plates’ menu curated by Chef Tanisha have been sourced from Shillong. Through these dishes I experienced many new and different flavours, and venturing into these unknown territories was fun, exciting and unique.
My favourites were ‘Alu Muri’- a Shillong Version of the classic Jhal Muri, being surprisingly less spicy than the traditional version, ‘Chayote & Sprouts’- fresh chayote (squash) slices served with sprouts and a superb masala made with perilla seeds, ‘Momos’- first time I had momos that were firm, al-dente and I simply loved the fillings of ‘banana blossoms & perilla seeds’ and ‘smoked pork & bamboo shoot’. But the dish that completely blew my mind was ‘Bhut Jholakia Chicken Wings’. No prizes for guessing that it was extremely hot, but the hotness was perfectly balanced with the sweetness of honey. It was perfectly crispy too.
I would say that the boldest dish in the menu is ‘Tungrymbai on Toast’. The smell of Tungrymbai, a paste made from fermented soyabean is extremely pungent, not something that will go down well with everyone. You really need to be too adventurous to try this.
For non veg lovers, the menu also includes dishes made from buff and pork belly. I would suggest you to bring out the curious child within you and just try out some of the dishes in this pop-up menu. You may find your palate struggling for familiarity but sometimes the wanderer in us needs to walk down the paths less taken.