From meticulously crafted interiors to delectable risottos and crab cakes, this European café in Gurugram will surely transport you to a different world
Do you remember the last time you ate pasta at an elegant Italian café? and wondered how would it feel to have that the same pasta somewhere in Europe? The experience of eating a thin crust wooden fired pizza on a quaint streetside cafe in Rome or Venice would surely leave a dent on your pocket, but there’s one smart and cheap way to have a similar experience. Right in the heart of our own concrete jungle — Gurugram.
Brick N Bean Cafe Kitchen is one such place when it comes to having that complete European food eating experience. Nestled in the ultra-urban South Point Mall, Brick N Bean seems like a bookstore at first, but as you open the heavy green door of the cafe, you’re transported to a place screaming of European architecture and colours.
The second branch of the first outlet by the same name, Brick N Bean serves European cuisine with the tagline “creating an authentic blend of European flavours and ambience.” They try to keep the flavours original, so much so that the manager told us that the restaurant gets its canned tomatoes straight from Europe.
The ambience leaves you awestruck with how meticulously the colours have been chosen for every corner. The restaurant has two tables right at its entrance and then a narrow lane, which has a trail of tables one after the other, ending with a large window that boasts of indoor vegetable plants.
And as you walk towards the end of the restaurant, the wall adjacent to the tables has a makeshift white balcony, giving it true Mediterranean vibes.
Marveling at the grandiosity of the interiors and the green and yellow walls, we were welcomed by the owner and manager of the restaurant, along with the head chef.
Although we were sitting in a European restaurant, there was an urge to start off the evening with some smooth hummus with some crispy crackling lavosh, a Middle Eastern spread. Meanwhile, we thought to give our stomachs a practice lap by ordering a Mocha Frappe (Rs 215) and an Americano coffee (Rs 145). The restaurant serves the exquisite coffee of Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, a chain hugely popular for their exciting variety of coffees.
The rusk that was served complimentary with the Americano was neither too sweet nor too sour, just the perfect blend of salt and sugar, which went perfectly with the hot cup of coffee.
As we were looking at the indoor plants, our reverie was interrupted by a beautiful plate of lavosh and hummus spread. The way each lavosh cracker was placed on the plate, gave a sense of uniformity.
The hummus dip was enveloped by a black olive and bits of coriander leaves. The flavour gave us a feeling of a classic hummus spread, which usually is very creamy and doesn’t have too many spices. Though, a bit of olive oil would’ve enhanced the taste further.
But, that didn’t stop us from consuming every ounce of hummus that was left in the bowl. Right after this, we thought to try another dish from the appetizer section — Manhattan Crab Cakes (Rs 395).
This dish felt like a true blessing to the taste buds. Five cakes, cooked to perfection, placed on a plate which looked like an iron bed. The cake literally explodes in your mouth, yet again proving the point that cheese can do wonders to a dish.
The crabs tasted quite fresh and melted in the mouth like a hot cookie. They were so fluffy that they can give the soft momos we love to relish, a run for their money.
These five cakes were so fulfilling that we had to walk a little to make some space for the Grilled Pork Chops (Rs 545) — a plate full of happiness. Some mashed potato on one side and ratatouille on the other, getting fused together with the help of the tangy sauce at the bottom.
At first, we felt the pork required more cooking, but it was so delectable that we managed to look past that after a bite or two.
The ends were just a bit hard, while the main part, the holy grail of the dish, was the right amount of softness.
Soon two other beautifully cooked dishes followed — Lamb Goulash (Rs 545) and Seafood Risotto (Rs 645). Both amazingly delicious in taste, the Lamb Goulash came resting on a bed of Kodo millet with a mix of bell peppers and some parsley leaves.
The lamb was quite soft. The added flavours and the white mayonnaise on top acted like an active ingredient.
The Seafood Risotto was one of the most perfect risottos I’ve personally ever had. Not very spicy, but also not bland, a perfect mix of butter, onions and cheese. It was a mouthful of surprises as we kept getting little chunks of prawn, sole and salmon. One big prawn, which was the star of the dish, felt as fresh as a sunny morning near a beach.
The last food item that we ordered – a chocolate brownie — was quite simple, and that’s a good thing. It wasn’t like the fancy brownie variants we get to see nowadays, but a piece that had just the right amount of chunks of chocolate and a not so sweet chocolate sauce.