When The Wine Company first opened at Gurgaon's CyberHub four years ago, it was a big hit within a short while. Given its prime location and its wine cellar-like interiors, locals were quick to lap up the wide range of food and wine served here. The basic premise was to introduce the concept of wine tasting, dining and celebrating with wine at the restaurant. Founded by Ashish Dev Kapur, who also runs popular restaurants like Antares (Goa) and Whisky Samba (also in Gurgaon), The Wine Company recently celebrated its 4th year anniversary, and to mark the occasion, the founders decided to give the menu a whole new spin. Enter Sarah Todd, MasterChef Australia contestant and celebrity Chef, who has brought her signature touch to the new menu. There are a number of small and large plates to order from; however, what's most interesting is how the flavours of every dish or course, have been carefully crafted with a wine in mind. Yes, it's a wine bar, so having a large selection of wines on the menu is obviously no big deal, but Sarah Todd and Ashish Dev Kapur have done a great job of combining their wines with the food, pairing them in a way that at no point does one steal the thunder from the other, but in fact complement each other perfectly to elevate the overall dining experience.
These are the 5 must-try's from Sarah Todd's new menu at The Wine Company, CyberHub.
1. Cheese Platter
You cannot enjoy wine without a large platter of good quality cheese. The Wine Company promotes a number of local artisanal cheese makers through this platter, so if you want to get a taste of what fabulous job local cheese manufacturers are doing, you must start with this.
2. Goat Cheese Churros
This one is another interesting take on the classic dish. Usually made with all-purpose flour and dusted with sugar, churros are a popular on-the-go snack. This one is a more sophisticated avatar, made with goat cheese and served with truffle cream and chilli dip.
3. Flambè Kashmiri Kalari with Pepper and Chives
Yes, it might seem like a bit of an overdose of cheese, but what better way of enjoying a range of wines than with a wide selection of cheese. Wine and cheese is, after all, a match made in heaven. Kalari is a local Kashmiri cheese; some even call it Kashmiri mozzarella. The Wine Company does an on-the-table flambé; to give this dense cheese a nice crusty exterior.
4. Soft Shell Crab Pakoda
There are quite a few interesting street-food inspired dishes on the new menu. The soft shell crab pakoda was my favourite amongst these. This is served with a Thai dipping sauce and pomelo salad. Other dishes to try from this section include the Tom Yum golgappas and the sun-dried tomato kulchas.
5. Madras Curried Lamb Tortellini
Tortellini or other stuffed pastas are tough to do, especially when you are trying to introduce Indian flavours. The very subtle flavours of the lamb here shine through. The pasta itself was cooked really well and did not mask away the delicate flavours of the south Indian-style lamb stuffing.
The little pink welcome drink served at the restaurant is quite appealing. That's the Frosè, a slushy, trendy drink that's an odd combination of rosè wine, sugar, lemon juice and a little vodka. Oh, and also make sure you close your meal with a little piece of Lamington pie or the S'mores ice-cream sandwich, the top two desserts in the new menu.
Tip: Make the effort to ask the servers for wine recommendations when you go here next. You will be surprised at how even moderately priced wines when paired right with food can make the overall dining experience so much more exciting.