ETC - Eat Talk Chill is part of UKI - United Kitchens of India launched recently with some mind blowing cocktails and mocktails spun by Killer Mixologist Mr. Sharad Arora. This newbie has been in talk ever since its launch day for its innovative drinks right from the idea of inception into execution all the way through presentation. Some places are planned for dine and some keep teasing you. This place has been in my hit list for a long time ever since fellow foodies and reviewers went gaga over its drinks and said how they are a class apart. Similar was the case with UKI Visit and it had to be forced to be ticked off.
As usual my dear foodie friends decided to meetup for a week day early dinner and finaly we zeroed in on ETC and snap - we forgot to book our table. Mr. Sharad Arora was kind enough to arrange us a table at the last inute for us to still visit ETC and enjoy a beautiful night.
Ambiance (Decor & Interiors):
UKI has been known for its clasy n massy setup and attracts foodies with different styles of dining sections from inner fine dining, cabannahs, bar side setup , and of course outer dining space as well. Since A private party was hosted in ETC, MR. Sharad arranged a corner cabannah for us to have more privacy and man it was refreshing and relaxing to laze out and relish the times of freeness. The place is much known for its vibrant ambiance and nothing much to complain. I personally felt the sofa cushions coulda have been more aligned to the table height as every time for tasting I had to come front and bend over which is not so much trouble but definitely not 100% relaxing.
We mostly went with Mr. Sharad's recommendations on the drinks as we felt the Master Cretor knows his creations and WOW us and I should say He did nail it with perfection.
Cocktails & Mocktails (Drinks):
Lotta - Coconut Infused White Rum , Basil, Passion Fruit and Classic Mint Julep . It was served on a lotta vessel and packed up with dump of crushed ice. Rock Solid n Strong n Amazing Flavor - 5/5
Sufiana - Desi Twist on Absinthe Liqour - Played with Vodka , Kiwi,Fennel, Sweet & Sour Mix - Presented in one of the most unique ways I haev ever seen in a light bulb arrangement and laid on top of a glass with dry ice and water - creating a smoky effect - Amazing Flavor, Again stong but not WOW strong , smashing Drink - 5/5
Charminar - Home infused tequila with spices, curry leaves & Fizz. Creativity at its best and star anise in it was a killer surprise. Strong, providing desi flavour and to remind you of strong spices in Hyderbadi Briyani and hence the name Charminar - 4.5/5
Gin Fizz - Gin infused with Lemon Grass, tonic water and lemon sorbet - Not too strong was little subtle for me (may be after the strong ones like above) but flavor was awesome and definitely another amazing drink - 4.5/5
Ms. Spicy - Vodka, Tabasco, lime juice served on shot glass and toppelled inside beer served in belgium shoe glass - Presentation was pleasing and man BEER + VODKA does the magic on first sip. Strong but yet not too kicky - 4/5
Ms. Jito - Beer tossed with fresh mint leaves, lemon juice, lemon chunks - Basically a beer as the base for a Mojito - An innovative try but didnt work much for me but overall liked it - 3.5/5
Tea Toddler - Mocktail for a change Cranberry Juice infused with green apple slices, Chopped Olives, and hibuscus seeds blended - More of a cranberry sangria adaptation - Loved the subtleness and the olives providing strong adaptation over green apples - 5/5
Twisted Mojito (Raw Mango) - Mocktail that was absolutely strong with raw mango juice, jal jeera extract, and topped with crushed ice and lemon juice (sweet & sour) nfused . Man it was a bomb of flavors on first sip. Heavely strong and definitely a clear shot palate cleanser - 4.5/5
Virgin Mojito - Strawberry variant and was definitely refreshing with a big twist in the form of black salt infusion - Amazingly refreshing as well- 4.5/5
Starters & Main course:
While the drinks blew us away notches above ground in terms of flavors, creativity, presentation and experience as such, same couldnt be attribute towards the dishes we had either in terms of flavors or aroma or quantity or quality. The dishes were inconsistent and definitely not on the WOW section. For me, UKI food first time disappointed me not by miles but guess could be high expectation as well.
Red Chilli Fish - Awesome flavors, spot on sauce and perfectly cooked sish - marriage was perfect but unfortunately the only WOW dish of the night - 5/5
Murgh Angaar - Tandoor chicken marinated and served in a huge tandoor pot like setup. Chicken was good very good and was soft and juicy but lacked flavor. Nothing was screaming in terms of aroma or flavor - 3/5
Tala Gosht - Stir fried mutton with coriander and red chilli poweder. Mutton was not properly cooked a bit hard and flavors was very good but quanity for the price was a bomber - 3.5/5
Cilantro Grilled Chicken - A good dish overall with some awesomely cooked chicken and nice cilantro sauce infused inside the meat. Quantity was again a dampaner - 4/5
Lal Maas, Kosha Mangsho, Murgh Kurchan - All curries were OKish in terms of quantity and of course flavors were there but meat pieces were very little and even if so were bones and fellow foodies felt too disappointed on the main curries being served as side chutneys in terms of quantity . Flavors were of course above average - 3/5
Naans n Lachcha Parattas - reuiqred softness and nicely made - 4/5
Sambhar Rice - Finally a dish that looked good in terms of quantity and when we took the first spoon, boom, too much ghee and literally a north indian try out on a pakka south indian classic. Too much ghee plaied the spoil sport and as such the richenss and tanginess of typical south indian sambhar rie was lost in the battle. This was served with Masala vada which was again OKish on the flavors but not perfectly cooked and was too soft. Overall an OKish affair- 3.5/5
Overall I felt disappointed in terms of food while Drinks delivered SPOT ON. Food was either low on flavors or quantity or quality or aroma. Something was missind in each and every dish which bothered all of us. Finally with a huge Service Charge of 10% our pockets went in for a toss but for the DRINKS, any day anytime I would shell out as they were IMPECCABLE CREATIONS.
Service & Hospitality:
Getting seated and taken care by the Man himself Mr. Sharad, what else we could ask for , instead of it being a super busy day and filled with maximum crowd, he ensured we were attended on time every time and his recommendations on drinks highly respectd of course the creator himself handpicked drinks for us and none of them failed us. The other support staff was also courteous. The only concern from my side was towards the meal ending where they were rushing to clear our plates and get the placed cleaned off which kind of irked couple of us and felt we were being rushed and sent out . IT aint so bad but aint good as well. Something they should note down.
Overall ETC satisfied us and even its not hyped to say bowled us over on the drinks part but sadly dropped us dead down on the food front and adding to the scratch was the high priced dishes. But Mr. Sharad's hospitality and his amazing creations were saving grace for us and I would go anytime for them absolutely without a second of thought.