Carefully curated drinks at this lounge in Olive Bar and Kitchen are a great pick-me-up after a hard day of work
Right beside Olive Bar and Kitchen is Serai — a culinary cocktail bar with couches that beckon you to lounge on them for hours on end.
Almost a year old, Serai at Olive is for people wanting a drink or two (or more) in a casual environment that pulls you in after dinner at its chic neighbour.
The ambience is like a drawing room — with nature its main theme, right from the cushions to the walls. We loved the little touch with a bowl of jasmine on the table – so much so that by the end of the evening it found its way into our hair.
The space has a good amount of comfort thrown in with cushions. For those who prefer high tables, Serai gives you that option and the bar is also a good spot to park yourself.
They have carefully curated drinks which have been made specially for Serai. The favourite among the patrons are the Sorbet GinTos (Rs 525) – which gives the classic gin and tonic a twist. Each glass is presented beautifully with flowers.
The drinks are a huge hit, says mixologist Harish Chhimwal – the creator of the cocktails – jokingly admitting that it is their No. 1 beverage after water in terms of popularity. And it’s no surprise that it is. Because it’s a very refreshing drink with summer flavours of lemon, passion fruit and berries. For those who like their cocktails with a kick: Don’t worry, they have it sorted with a fair amount of alcohol.
Right after we walked in around 6 pm we were served the Lemon Sorbet GinTo which was a welcome relief from the humidity and oppressive heat outside.
Before you take a sip, do pause and take in the aroma of the gondhoraj lebu — a strong fragrant lemon from Bengal. Chhimwal suggests one swirl the glass constantly to get all the flavours in. Those who’d like to bite into their drink can ask for a spoon to taste the sorbet.
Don’t be disappointed in the first few sips if you taste only the gin and tonic as it takes time for the sorbet to blend in. Later all the flavours come together, complemented by the fragrance that keeps pulling you in for more.
Going perfectly with this drink was the well-presented Nibbles Platter (Rs 650). This has edamame and quinoa, which was our favourite, along with honey-glazed fried almonds and cheese fondue served with crackers.
For our second round, we had the Passionfruit Sorbet GinTo. Again, it was everything it should be. Just when you think your olfactory senses have experienced their best for the day, comes in passion fruit. Sourcing 30 kg of passion fruit from Kodaikanal every Monday, the sorbet is made at the restaurant, thus flavours are fresh and full.
We had this drink with Kimchi Chicken — char cooked kimchi-marinated chicken with Korean chilly cheese fondue. While the chicken seemed a little dry, the fondue helped the texture and the taste.
As night sets in and more people walk in, the music picks up setting the mood for a perfect starter to the weekend chill mode.
A little tipsy, we were ready for our third cocktail — the Berry Sorbet GinTo. Chhimwal says he saved this drink for the last for us since it was his best among the GinTos. The berries served in the drink keep changing, and this time we got raspberry.
People who are into berries would love this one, we on the other hand were not the biggest fans. However, it would grow on you as you reach the last drop and the sorbet has melted completely into your drink.
With this we were served the Chilly Fish Fry with chutney and gondhoraj lemon. The pomfret was fried to perfection with the right amount of spices. Don’t go by its name, it’s not a spicy dish. And for fish lovers, this is a must have.
We ended our happy high with the melt-in-your mouth desert Cacao Colada. It’s 70% dark hot chocolate, white rum, coconut ice-cream, almond nougat and small gooey chocolate balls. The dark chocolate went perfectly with the coconut served in tiny clay cups.
If you want a pick-me-up after a hard day at work, then you can head straight for Serai as they have a little something for everyone.
Address: Olive Qutub, One Style Mile, Mehrauli
Patriot reviewers visited the restaurant on invitation