Doing the Rumbar

A Latin American-inspired bar flirts with the Caribbean through its tapas menu.

Written by Shantanu David | New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2014 5:38 pm

rumbarAmong portmanteau,it’s certainly an enticing one. Rumbar is a new “rum and rhumba” bar in Hauz Khas Village,and early sightings seem to indicate an agreeable place to winter in. Located on the village-market’s main lane,Rum Bar,while still in the process of finishing decorating its main dining section,boasts of picture postcard interiors in its split-level bar section. It houses a seating area,a small stage and most importantly,the dance floor. Shaded in bronze and turquoise,the restaurant has walls with tango instructions,done in pop-painted footprints,serving as instructional guides for the nights. In its few weeks of existence,the bar has hosted a number of Latin,jazz and tango live music acts,peppered with impromptu dance lessons from Cuban experts in the field,er,on the floor.

Pleading two left feet and a general lack of coordination we escape to a table and hide behind a menu. While the final menu is still under construction,there is a Tapas menu,fortified with some desserts. The Tapas selection sail largely around the Caribbean and the Latin American belt,a diverse cross-section of seafood,empanadas,chowders,salads and platters,priced between Rs 250-550 a dish. While the liquor license is in the horizon,the bar gets daily licenses for key days.

We order the Green Papaya Gratin,a West Indies speciality,and Chicken Wings with Homemade Rhum BBQ Sauce,cooked a la plancha (a Latin American style of cooking,on a metal grill plate or pan). The former comes accompanied with a salad,and comprises layers of desiccated green papaya covered with a thick layer of gratinated cheese,the characteristic smokiness of the papaya and the sharp,smelted cheese make for appreciative mouthfuls. The wings come spicy without being piquant,with a crackling crust. The accompanying sauce has treacle-like consistency.

Dessert includes Churros with Chocolate Sauce and the Crème de Mais,a ‘rhum based Zabalone Sauce and Brown Sugar Flambe’,essentially a crème brule from the Antillaise. The Churros were textbook (one can envision a Caribbean Betty Crocker-type persona cooking them smilingly over a stove) while the crème de Mais is a boozy affair,which could end up leading you to the dance floor,if the Rum Punch doesn’t first. “Deh Man”!

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