June 11, 2014
Outback Bar & Grill
By Aarohi Narain & Karan Subarna
Away from the constantly abuzz Cyber City corporate hub and milieu of malls that Gurgaon has come to be synonymous with off late, this weekend we ventured into the now neglected area of Old Gurgaon. Although you’re likely to get lost seeking the Outback Bar and Grill located in Sector 14, it’s worth putting your navigational skills to the test for. The ambiance is ideal for a relaxed lunch or dinner especially during the winter months, but can easily work for parties too, with its low plush seating, large television screen and well-stocked bar.
In terms of appetizers, the eatery offers grilled delicacies for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The French Herbs ka Tikka was a little bit lacking in French flavor and made for an average dish. Nevertheless, The Pepper Fish Satay more than made up for it, having been grilled to falling-off-the-skewer tenderness. The Shikampuri Kebab, a stuffed minced mutton patty, was well seasoned and succulent, and the Sunehara Jhinga, consisting of deep fried prawns, was truly golden in both taste and texture. For the vegetarian foodie, the Malai Broccoli and Thai Mushroom Kive stole the show. The Malai Broccoli gives a full bodied twist to the plain-Jane healthy vegetable, while the mushrooms are simply delightful and make for a great snack. Paired with superb beverages like the lemon margarita, ginger cosmo, and the green apple and cinnamon sangria, all in all, we saw Outback’s strength in its starters.
As the meal progressed, we ordered portions of the Dal Quraishi, Imli ki Macchi, Subz Rampuri Biryani and Hyderabadi Gosht Biryani. The Imli ki Macchi delivered on the tamarind quotient, but could have done with perhaps a hint of lemon and coriander to add that extra zing. The Dal Quraishi aptly represents the simplicity yet innovation of an everyday pulse-based dish in Indian households. The usage of Hari Moong ki Dal lends an aspect of freshness to the average Indian menu. Meanwhile, the Hyderabadi biryani was delicious, with al dente rice and spice-infused chunks of mutton. Drawing on the substance of the Pulao and the essence of Biryani, the Subz Rampuri Biryani satisfies every vegetarian’s desire for a good Biryani.
Outback does not offer too much variety to satiate your sweet tooth. Even so, the two dishes we sampled were truly amazing and scored high on quality. The Gosht Halwa and Pan Kulfi, both presented subtle sweetness, with the latter being a balanced union of cooling flavors suited to a summer’s day. The Gosht Halwa was highly innovative and interesting in terms of the consistency and taste that mirrored the everyday Ras Malai.
On the whole, we left Outback with a full stomach and a keenness to return. In a desert of mediocre takeout options and limited joints to cater to experimental young palates, Outback is a real oasis.