What’s the food trend in Gurgaon? A microbrewery and if budget allows then a space at Sector 29. The new name to be added to the ever growing list of eateries in Gurgaon is Ninkasi at DLF Star Mall. Ninkasi’s sister concern, 7 Degree Brew House, is one of the pioneers of microbrewery in Gurgaon, but with Ninkasi the owner’s made a conscious decision of staying away from the crowd of Sector 29. The owners say that it is a strategic decision. Only time will say how wise is the decision, for now the question is why should one visit Ninkasi’s brewery and what’s special about its food?
One of the owners Amit Kapoor says that their brewery stands out because unlike many breweries that go for Chinese manufactured brewery plant, they have opted for a Belgium one, which has an old beer tradition. Since I am not a liquor person, I will give weight to Amit’s answer.
Now let’s talk business, I mean the food, which is my first and only love. Ninkasi’s menu is simple and classic. The menu is broadly divided into Indian, European and Oriental. The varieties under the European and Indian sections are exhaustive. It is understandable to have an exhaustive Indian section, but why the European section is exhaustive is because it also incorporates some of the popular world cuisines such as grill, sausages, pasta, burger and sandwiches.
Before I get to dissect the food, many of you by now may be wondering what’s with the name Ninkasi? Well it’s the name of a Sumarian Goddess. Amit throws more light into it, he says, “Sumerians were incredibly fond of their beer, so fond that they called it the key to a joyful heart and a contented life. They had a patron goddess who brewed a mean drink. She went by the name, Ninkasi.”
The owners and developers of Ninkasi have put in a lot of thought and research in developing the brand’s value, my only viewpoint is that there is scope of improvement for the décor to match the restaurant and brewery’s Sumerian brand value. Perhaps there could be more wall art depicting Sumerian brewery culture. Nonetheless, the place is grand, and suitable for all kind of affairs.
Ninkasi’s food holds a lot of promise, the Indian section include more of sumptuous North Indian dishes such as shorba (soup), tandoori platters, kebabs, tikaas, and gravies. The few dishes from other parts of India such as Mangalorean Pepper Fry, Malabar Fish Curry, Goan Prawn Curry and Laal Maas from Rajasthan also don’t let you down. It is sheer luxury for someone at Delhi to sample tenderloin strips blended with Coorgi spices in rawa tawa style in the form of Mangalorean Pepper Fry. I have to also say that Ninkasi has got the basic spices in most of its Indian gravies correct. Case in point is the Malabar Fish Curry where I found kumkum star which is authentic to the southern states of India. Even Ninkasi’s Rajasthani Laal Maas also leaves you teary-eyed; these are the tears fromthe spice of Mathania chillies, with which Laal Maas is made. Along with the gravies, there are also three types of biryani that’s available at Ninkasi.
The list of dishes at Ninkasi goes on and on, there are a host of Oriental and European dishes to sample, but it’s not humanely possible for a reviewer to sample them, so that has to happen someday else.
Another added feature of Ninkasi is that there is a play centre for kids called Dora Dori attached to it which allows guests to keep their children engaged while they enjoy some moment of togetherness.
Address: Ninkasi, 201 – 204, 2nd Floor, DLF Star Mall, Sector 30, Gurgaon