After recently completing 11 years of his cricketing career, breaking several world records and being the only Indian athlete to be on the Forbes World's 100 Highest-Paid athletes list, Virat Kohli has added another feather to his cap. With his beloved brand One8 reaching new pinnacles ever since the time it was launched in 2017, it has now moved towards the hospitality industry with the casual dining bar One8 Commune.
Located at the buzzing new party address of Delhi NCR, World Mark Aerocity, One8 Commune is owned by Ankit Tayal, who is also behind some of the most happening party venues in town such as Mango, Auro, Summerhouse, etc. It has a sprawling space spread over two floors and an outdoor seating that exudes a chic yet casual vibe with a modern touch. It is one of those places that you can easily relate to the kind of personality Virat Kohli would have, classy yet modern. He has translated his cool factor that appeals with all age groups into a place which appeals to all. Everything about the place, from its menu, ambience and décor, is based on the singular aura of togetherness, a powerful connection that brings people of varied tastes, interests, and backgrounds into one space, thus standing true to its name. With a massive community table for hosting epic feasts, it can be a place for corporate dinners and turn into a party hotspot in no time or be a great place for a Sunday brunch or breezy and intimate get-togethers at the outdoor space. It truly resonates with the experience of fine cuisines, partying and spending time with your loved ones.
With a huge wall glistening with the autograph of Virat Kohli right as you enter and equally huge bar on its left, you know you are in for a grand experience. Yet everything else about the interiors at the dining bar is quite subtle and unpretentious with a gorgeous plum dominating the hues of the place with gold-platted finishes. And no, contradicting to much of your expectations, there is nothing sporty about the place except a lit-up score board on the second floor that shows scores of sports that ranges from tennis to badminton and, of course, cricket. Apart from the statement autographed wall, the staircase has golden round lamps hanging asymmetrically from the ceiling that makes for another eye-catching yet subtle piece of art.
Besides the comfy vibe of the restaurant that caters to all, the menu of the place also goes on to prove how seriously they take the 'commune' in their name. There is a sense of inclusivity of communities in the huge spectrum of their menu as well as the way they serve it - in sharing portions or platters. The menu that takes cues from Kohli's personal food experiences around the world is curated by Chef Sabyasachi Gorai along with Chef Pawan Bist's execution, it boasts of an array of multi-cuisine dishes that caters to a global palate. We sat down for a globetrotting experience that began with Superfood salad from Virat's favourite section from the menu. With crunchy roasted seasonal veggies, watermelon cubes and some greens, the salad had a light citrusy dressing of vinaigrette. It was followed by a host of delectable sushis that gave a befitting tribute to cricketing classics such as the Power Play, which that comes with a crispy chicken stuffing laced in a fiery sauce besides the Indian Spin vegetarian sushi that perfectly packed the tangy Indian flavour of spicy and tangy bhindi. We also liked the subtle flavours that Pretty Pink salmon sushi had with a burst of creamy chipotle mayo.
While we were still hung on the sushi, the fish and chips came along that definitely stood out for the variety of chips it had. From plain chips to potato fries and even banana chips made its way to the basket, staying true to the concept of fish and chips. We also tried the succulent mock meat tikka and coal grilled black chicken. And just when we were starting to think light, a loaded Mediterranean platter graced the table. It is perfectly placed under the community dining since it consists of six dishes. From chermoula fish, harissa prawns, hummus and pita to chicken skewers it had it all along with a refreshing bowl of salad and pickles. We ordered the chicken curry bowl meal for main course which is just the perfect portion for about two people sharing the meal, a hearty bowl meal which is sure to satiate a foodie's soul. The pizzas and pasta menu is also an elaborate global take on everything from classic mac and cheese, lasagna to reinventions of the staple pizzas. The menu is an expansive, global treat where you can find everything from Chingri malai curry to kasundi malai tikka or a healthy quinoa bowl and also many vegan options. The dessert menu is short and sweet with options such as brownie, cheesecake and mud cake.
And not to forget, the bar has a lot to offer. They have a huge menu for cocktails itself that offers everything - from the old age to disco age to the millennial age. We tried the One8 Desire cocktail that was a strong concoction of absinthe, which can be found in most of their cocktails, tequila, kahlua and espresso. It is not for the lightweights and can be a great pick on the weekend's when you can let yourself go!
One8 Commune is the first of its many outlets planned across the cities. With the flurry of restaurants opening across the city offering exclusivity with themes, menus and what not, One8 Commune simply creates a space for an audience that go out to spend time with their loved ones. While the place's USP might be the brand value of Virat Kohli, it is the vibe of the place which will take you back.
What: One8 Commune
Where- 8, World Mark 2, IGI Airport, Aerocity, New Delhi
Price- INR 2,500 (approx.)
About Aanchal MathurAanchal doesn't share food. A cake in her vicinity is sure to disappear in a record time of 10 seconds. Besides loading up on sugar, she loves bingeing on FRIENDS with a plate of momos. Most likely to find her soulmate on a food app.