Barrels came into being out of sheer passion of five friends, who have no background in the gastronomy industry. I love it when people turn their passion into reality and take their fair share of risk. In the end, you have to love what you do! Priyanka, Amar, Debashish, Keshav and Akshay have built this space to crystallise what they all stand for—downright foodies! A space housing interesting graffiti work, 3D sculptures, great music and a very diverse culinary platter, I’d say, you must step into Barrels for some eccentric dining experience.
Décor- On a sunny, rather scorching Delhi afternoon, I was quite relieved to step inside Barrels—darkly lit, with hints of pop art here and there, this place is not for the mellow lot. What caught my attention the most was the unusual 3D art installations—a half body of a naked woman purging out of a wall, overlooking a dinner table with a Mercedes logo engraved between her breasts and to top it all, she sported handcuffs too! Kinky, eh? Well the idea, owners actually want to convey is—women’s liberation.
The place brought forth splashes of neon palette placed in a chaotic manner on all the walls. For me, chaos means energy; so I quite like to be surrounded by pop-coloured messy walls. Not to forget the random messages, written here and there on the walls; for instance—‘Chase a dream not a girl’, ‘Corruption?’ etc… The interesting part was the smoking area; completely hand painted in a very edgy way by one of the owners, Priyanka Sharma, this place was all about hilarious one liners, hanging ashtrays, and streaks of shocking pinks, oranges and greens. Lastly, the washroom took me by total surprise. As I walked in, a gorgeous man, confined in a huge poster (almost half the size of my body) stared right back at me. And the man was Richard Gere. Need I say more ladies? *Sigh* that was quite heart-melting.
Food- I tried a couple of dishes; what really lingered on my mind till late evening were, the achari chicken, cigar rolls (stuffed with corn and cheese), cheesy potato balls, and the super delicious tandoori Pomfret. A special mention has to be given to the Pomfret as it was served with a very quirky dip—mayonnaise blended in mustard. Being a Bengali, I love mustard (kashundi– as we call it). Main course comprised of chicken biriyani and raita—it was nothing extraordinary. However, the desert had a twist to it—vanilla ice cream was served with dollops of chocolate sauce and a hot gulab jamun. I loved the way they bended genres.
The menu is very diverse and cuisines range from Asian, American, and European to African. The owners have hand picked their army of chefs from different corners of North India and they are doing a pretty good job.
Alcohol- They are pretty well-stocked with the beverages bit. As the name of the restaurant suggests, beer options are galore. However, I never really developed a taste for beer, so I laid my hands on a couple of cocktails. Interestingly, few of the cocktails are named after the owners; for instance, my first drink was called ‘Akki Mashed Up’ named after, Akshay Ohri (one of the five owners). In fact, this drink was quite nice; it comprised of vodka, tequila, rum, gin, ginger-ale, grenadine and lemon. I also tried, ‘Cashew’s Nut’ that had dark rum, tequila, absinthe, triple sec and tonic water mixed in an interesting way. This was a very very strong drink. And since I am a big fan of absinthe, I give this cocktail a full ten on ten.
Special pointer– This restaurant gives budding musicians/bands a platform to showcase their talents. I love the concept of advocating fresh talent. Also, they have a huge bank of music videos starting from classics to rock, retro to EDM and more. The best part is, on a Sunday afternoon, I was quite happy listening to Pink Floyd and watching their live concert videos on one corner.
A meal for two should cost about INR 1800/ (Inclusive of two drinks)
Address: Barrels, 1st Floor, Building No 5, Basant Lok Community Centre, PVR Complex, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi | Phone: 011-41075881