What are the essential ingredients for the perfect Friday evening? Of course great food (assuming a high likelihood of a foodie reading this) and good liquor, music which brings with it promise of a joyful weekend, interesting company (preferably, of the other sex) and a place to contain it all.
On one of those Fridays, passing a huge metal door which I would otherwise have mistaken for a fire exit in Ambience mall Vasant Kunj, Underdoggs Sports Bar and Grill offered me all of it. Well, almost.
To start with, the place looked beautiful – with a world of its own, and a colorful, crowded and peppy one at that. For company, I had Shashank – the other sex, no. But interesting, definitely. About the food and the liquor, I am going to be a little more verbose.
|My 'interesting' company for the evening.|
Unlike our regular dine-outs, we started with a soup bowl called the ‘Lamb Hot Pot’, and what a treat to the senses it turned out to be. It tasted as delightful as it looked, served in a classy huge black bowl, almost inviting one to start sending spoonfuls down one’s throat. And the flavor of the perfectly minced lamb rolling around the tongue with the tanginess of tomato was pure temptation, to say the least.
|Lamb Hot Pot|
Then followed ‘Rucola Celery and Apple’ Salad, full of rocket lettuce tossed in walnuts, red apple, celery and parmesan cheese. Nothing extraordinarily special about the preparation, but the combination of all of it must have been a genius’s brainchild.
|Rucola Celery and Apple Salad|
We decided to top it up with a cocktail each – ‘Victory Lap’ for me which contained Americano, Kahlua and Bailey’s (before you start wondering how it is different from B-52 shots, the answer lies in ‘triple sec’) and ‘Chin Check’ for Shashank with Tequila, Absinthe and Beer (yes, you read that right).
By then, we were already high on the food, and I must admit our expectations had hit the sky. And even though the drinks looked promising, we were disappointed with how they tasted – ‘regular’ would be the word I’d choose to use.
Next in line were ‘Calamari Salt n Pepper’ and ‘Non-veg Mezze Platter’. The Calamari tasted just right, with the perfect blend of chewiness and crunch. The Mezze Platter, unexpectedly, was a disappointment though. The Mutton Kibbeh and Za’atar Chicken, though perfectly cooked, lacked flavor. The only saving grace was the Shish Taouk with the Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Tabbouleh. What deserves a special mention here is the promptness and the knowledge of the waiter serving us – how often do you come across one who knows his accompaniments down to the ingredients.
|Part of the Mezze Platter|
|Calamari was served with white sauce|
To help the food down the throat, I ordered a ‘Varial’ (Gin, Vodka, Dry Vermouth, Beer and Red Bull) and Shashank a ‘Superman Punch’ (Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Blue Curacao and Strawberry) out of the never-ending list of cocktails. And we were in for more surprises, when the average looking strange concoction of God-knows-what-all, Varial tasted delightful and smooth, with beer and red bull dominating the flavor. On the other hand, Superman Punch, which was a treat to the eyes – so much so, we spent half the evening trying to click the ‘perfect picture’ with it – tasted like, umm, alcohol and more of it. As they say about the drink, we didn’t quite see it coming.
|Gorgeous looking but ordinary tasting 'Superman'.|
Next up were the recommended ‘Chicken Kabaddi’ (just when you forgot it was a sports bar), and the ‘Texas Rodeo Burger’. However forgetful the Chicken was, the burger was what I would go back to the place for. The perfect melt-in-your-mouth beef topped with jalapenos and barbeque sauce was pure lust, and the flavor was unforgettable. For the fans of Burger King’s Whopper, this one is definitely close competition for your money.
|Texas Rodeo Burger - One of meanest, juiciest, Beef Burger you can have.|
I am not very certain if our oh-so-full tummies are to be blamed for the biased opinion, but our next round of alcohol (a shot of Scotch and Baileys called ‘Crash Dive’ and gin-filled ‘Watermelon Smash’) were not any better than the ones we had earlier.
And then came our favorite part of the day, the one where we order desserts. Before you even ask, yes we did have space for that, we always do. We ordered Tiramisu (trivia time – the menu told us it means ‘Pick Me Up’) and Summer Berry Pudding (Stewed Summer Berries encased in a bread shell, served with Vanilla ice cream). The Tiramisu was one of the best I ever had, reminding me of my favorite Italian chain – ‘Little Italy’ with just the right degree of sweetness and the perfect bitterness of coffee. And the pudding was, in simple words, heavenly. Yes, that is exactly the word I believe defines it well.
|Super Delicious - Summer Berry Pudding|
|Tiramisu- One of the better ones|
Worth a mention here, is the ambience, which was a nice blend of tastefulness and informality, of vibrance with a class of its own. It is difficult to be succinct about it but if I were to define it, I would call it a ‘classy sports bar’. A place to unwind or one to hang out with friends and try one’s hand (literally) at foosball, a place to enjoy a good football match with a sumptuous meal or one to just go and get sloshed in, Underdoggs can be all of it.
|Loved those figurines ...|
|The place certainly had a Brilliant Ambiance|
|More Drinks, Desserts and Shots.|
The next time you’re in doubt about where to head after a tiring day, don’t think twice before choosing Underdoggs. You will definitely not be disappointed.
PS : This is an invited review, service is not taken into account.
Text & Pictures by Shubham Khurana
Underdoggs Sports Bar & Grill
F 38, Level 1, Ambience Mall,
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
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