New Town's Ministry of Booze has the smoothest whiskey sours, cheesiest pizzas and unbelievable happy hour deals
Kolkata's newest watering hole is a gastro delight
With a name like Ministry of Booze, you’d expect a resto-pub to be all about its liquids; but New Town’s newest watering hole proved us wrong and spectacularly so. Very rarely do we see a gastropub focus so much on the ‘gastro’ part and take pains to fine-tune their recipe to cater to our adventurous taste buds.
The nine-month-old eatery has an easy uptown brick-walled interior which was bustling with people during a weekday lunch rush - something that doesn’t happen unless the kamikaze is as smooth as the Kung Pao chicken. Of course, MOB’s exceptional bar is what gives it its edge, and we don’t say this without evidence. We started things off with the Ultimate Cosmopolitan, a breathy fruit-toned drink with a long finish made with vodka triple sec, lime and cranberry juices.
“We wanted people to be able to come in after their work and have a good time, without having to spend too much. You’ll see we have put a lot of thought into our menu and we work very hard on each and every detail,” Abhishek Chamaria of MOB tells us. MOB has been designed to offer an interesting ‘after-hours vibe’ where overworked IT professionals can unwind over the surprisingly cheap happy hour booze selection as we found staples like Old Monk at Rs 49 and Kamikaze and Whiskey Sour shooters at Rs 75. You’ll also find very economical shisha options.
But what really made our afternoon was MOB’s impressive range of pork pizzas, something which is only restricted to one or two varieties at most gastropubs. Their menu has five different kinds of pork pizzas, the signature being The Sin, which features ham, pork sausages and bacon with cheese - an ideal cheat day bonanza. MOB’s pizzas come in two sizes, 12 inches and the convenient 5 inches and are prepared with two kinds of cheeses, mozzarella and cheddar.
“We wanted to make the flavour profile more interesting, so we have cheddar which is a salty cheese to balance the richness of the mozzarella,” we are told. This also makes their pizzas incredibly creamy, so much so, that even the vegetarian pizzas had us floored.
The Murgh Angara Kebab is MOB’s fiery speciality, a delightfully hot appetiser, featuring generous cuts of juicy, intensely-seasoned skewered meat. “We actually sent our chef to the Southern parts of India to master this recipe, as we wanted something really surprising, something that you don’t taste very often,” Chamaria informs us.
The Tandoori Bharwan Kumbh is a tender, farmhouse-style tandoor number made with succulent stuffed mushrooms. The Chicken with Chilli Plum Sauce was one of our favourite entrees, a slow-cooked marvel which makes sure the dish only retains a subtly sweet aftertaste from the sauce and no syrupy hints.
MOB’s Chicken Biryani also surprised us with its uncomplicated relish; perhaps the least greasy biryani we’ve had this season, it’s a wholesome number on all counts. We ended our stellar lunch with a beloved dessert - hot chocolate brownie with ice cream; the cake is luckily not too dense so you can easily binge on a couple of servings and actually go back to work! Price for Two: Rs 700