The friendly ambience, the symbolic windmill on the terrace, and the great combination of delectable food and quirky cocktails, make for a great combo. Ritika Lall Chakravartty experiences an unusually innovative dining experience, that too without burning a hole in her pocket.

My recent rendezvous with Varun Puri, who is a proud owner of many successful restaurants in the capital, introduced me to his yet another impressive standalone brainchild, Duty Free Bar. It is one of its kind and is based in the midst of hundreds of restaurants in Sector 29, Gurugram. The beauty of Duty-Free Bar despite being surrounded by hundred popular joints looks like a pageant winner. One can locate Duty Free Bar from far by the symbolic windmill on its terrace. The Gurugram Duty Free outlet is a 4-storeyed bar designed with bright artwork, sleek metal and wood furnishings, complemented by quirky yet classy marble flooring and chandeliers. Apart from its exciting interiors, Duty Free is also pocket-friendly and has an extravagant and delectable menu. The friendly ambience, the symbolic windmill on the terrace, and the great combination of delectable food and quirky cocktails, make for a great combo. Ritika Lall Chakravartty experiences an unusually innovative dining experience, that too without burning a hole in her pocket.

Romantic deck

The highlight of this new outlet is the open-air romantic space called “Vayu Bar”. This romantic deck has a tinge of love in the air with natural lighting in the day and candle light in the evening. This space has been designed in tons of white and green with beautiful private cabanas, live music, an open and picturesque view. The place speaks for itself and throws you in a contemplative zone. Whether it’s the upside-down hanging mannequins that shake hands or the splash of colours that soak or the aromas of delectable dishes that waters the mouth, Duty Free Bar is taking everybody bystorm. I visited Duty Free Bar on a busy weekday, when they had just launched their outlet in Gurugram. I was zapped by its quirky look and welcoming environment. Each floor designgives a distinct feeling. Hence, after the soul-searching reccee, I wanted some soul-stirring food. Though, I started the journey of delicacies with some crackling food,it was quite an unusual experience and to say the least, a ‘good- one.’I was offered parmesan pops cone as a welcome dish, which felt like a bustling cracker in the mouth. I was wonderfully amused by this playful welcome act, which instantly infused me with their energy. This super gimmicky act was very innovative and funladen. The energy of the place is too  infectious.

Unthinkably low prices

With crackers bustling in my mind I sank in the couch, making myself comfortable and flipped the menu. The menu was as exciting as the place and prices had me jumping with happiness. The joy of unthinkable pricing of such exclusive dishes was overpowering. The indulgence was elaborate and very satisfying. I started with some finger food, samosa chat and vol-au-vent and paired it with the most hyped cocktail “Pahua.’’ “Pahua menu,”is a quirky take on the characters from B-Town. This menu includes Pahua drinks like Majnu Bhai, ChuCha, Baburao Ganpatrao Apte and many more. Not only its interesting visually but tastes great too. Though one can easily bank on Duty Free Bar’s Bar, its fully stacked with the finest liquor and most interesting cocktails to boot. Post the wonderment of Pahua Cocktail, I ordered Billionaire and again they floored me with their presentation. Billionaire looked rich in style and royal in taste. Billionaire was made using bourbon whiskey, Jim Beam and perfected to the fineness. In the interim I was treated to the most amazing green apple pizza, crisp corn salad, and a variety of dumplings. Dumplings are a must try especially along with variety of freshly baked pizzas too.

Anything organic is quite a hit these days, and when you are offered Turmeric infused Rum, then who would say no. It was quite a drink to experience, that lingered on the tongue for long. I was quite intrigued by the process of the drink. Turmeric infused Rum is preserved for 5 days before its offered and its delicately balanced with other Indian spices. After this fine spicy indulgence, I wanted something mild to try and I was served Bosses’ Day Out, a dish made with Basafish, extremely light and tremendously flavourful. This delicate flavoured dish took my breath away.I loved each morsel and its aroma.

Aroma Therapy

I didn’t want the aroma and feel of the dish to go so settling for another dish was out of question, but I was comfortable with another cocktail, so ordered Gate Pass, a cocktail made with Vodka, elderflower, litchi juice and sour mix. This drink looks very feminine and delicate to even hold. The catchy ambience was growing on me beautifully and especially after being so satiated by such innovative and delicious servings I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Duty Free Bar looks bright and radiates happy and cheerful vibes, but the best part is it can accommodate all age groups, and everyone can find a fit for oneself. So, go ahead lose yourself, swim free, fly high and party hard. And finally, free yourself from the duties at Duty Free.

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