Plato once truly said that "he was a wise man who invented beer". These hallowed words are given a new meaning at The Old School Brewhouse which makes its own beer and says its brew is more of an experience than just a good ol' mug.
Variants of beer -- currently serving six and plans to add 24 more by this year -- which would make most salivate and food that accentuate some of that lingering delight in your mouth is what this brewery, located in Gurugram's hip Sector 29 thrives on.
"Our name says 'old school' and this is what we aim to achieve. Our beer is brewed in copper barrels instead of the steel ones, we serve our fish and chips in a mock newspaper and sometimes our wood oven pizza is square just like the way it was done in olden times before modern technology came into being," General Manager Tarun Raj told IANS.
Besides the copper barrels, they have one more item that looks like a part of an old European kitchen, a grill smoker, which, according to sous chef Sahil Arora, gives their food a unique taste and makes their meat melt in the mouth.
The decor is quite minimal with vintage movie and music posters. The extensive use of wood along with an open bar gives it a very English pub feel. It has a seating capacity of 170 - 70 indoor and 110 on the terrace, ideal for big groups.
To begin with, I was served three samples of beer: altbier, wheat and premium lager. All three were very easy on the throat, smooth and not bitter at all. My favourite was definitely the altbier since it had a lingering taste and it was everything a dark beer should be.
Curated by a South African beer master, The Old School Brewhouse in a few months will also serve a beer mixed with vanilla and chocolate -- manily targetted at the female clientele.
For the menu, Chef Arora added more finger food, ideal for a pub, over large mains and desserts.
"Nobody comes to a pub for fine dining. Pub food has to be finger food, something you can enjoy with your drink," he added.
I was served fish and chips (for obvious 'pub' reasons), bhut jolokia pork belly skewers, zucchini chips, non-veg wood oven pizza and charcoal mutton ribs.
The first item is served all over, but this one was hands down one of the best I have ever come across. The fish was crispy, fried to a delectable golden brown and on the inside, it literally melted in my mouth. The best part of this dish was the fact that it was non-greasy. No trace of oil on your fingers either from the fish or the chips. A must order.
The second dish sounded familiar to me because the bhut jolokia or the ghost chilly comes from my native Assam. According to the chef, this item was actually an experiment that made it to the final menu. The taste was exquisite. The meat was very tender. However, people who can't handle spice, please do not order this.
The pizza was thin crust, baked to perfection. The smokiness of the meat toppings definitely added the stand-out factor.
The last dish definitely was the star of the show. The charcoal mutton had a perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and sticky. It was cooked in the barbecue grill smoker which made the meat fall off the bone. Served with a side of potato wedges and a salad, this dish has the capacity to bring back people, even from as far as south Delhi.
I was served one more cocktail called the Wasabi Mug, a vodka based drink mixed with lemon juice, ginger and wasabi. Ideal for a summer afternoon and for anyone who loves citrus-based cocktails.
"With both our beer and the food, we want to make this experience not just about eating and drinking but to take people to the past and educate them about how things were done in the olden days. Something very new taken from something old, a gastronomic discovery," the General Manager concluded.
Where: SCO 56, 4th Floor, Sector 29, Gurugram
Meal for two: Rs.2,000 (with alcohol)
Timings: 12 noon to 11.45 p.m.