It happened. And we didn’t even have to sacrifice to Great Cthulhu. Holy Smoke,which just raised shutters in Gurgaon, gives us the meaty mainstay we have been waiting for. The space is explicitly carnivorous, from the butcher hooks hanging from a faux rail to the monumental bar supported by moulds of very real goat carcasses to the severely industrial abattoir interiors. The entire scene is dominated by a massive mural of an eldritch bull, attired like a Texan tycoon and dining on a bounty of its brethren, and an open kitchen, complete with “Walter” a smoking oven, capable of holding four suckling pigs. Essentially it’s our Daliesque vision of heaven.
The menu is as brawny as the surroundings with vegetarian options appearing as mere extras in a cast which is a medley of meats red, white and pink as well as piscine. There is an elaborate sliders’ menu, boasting around 20 variants, available in er, slides of three and six apart from a slew of starters and mains. The liquor license is just about to lurch in, with a sheet of shakes acting as the filler.
We start with the sliders, a set of three: The Classic Cheeseburger, Sloppy Joe and Char Su. It would be superfluous to try and qualify the flavours captured thus; suffice to say there is no way back from this slide. Whether it’s the debauched pork in the char su or the well-ground beef patty fortified with apple smoked bacon, grain mustard and ketchup which makes up the cheeseburger, the sliders more than compensate for their stature from a sheer exuberance of taste.
The Buffalo Wings are mammoth and the colour of a San Antonio sunset, with a flaming spice index well-tempered by twin oasis’ of blue cheese and ranch dressing. These are easily the best of their kind in the city and our future benchmark for all things buffalo.
Then there are the ribs; the mainstay of any BBQ establishment. They come on a slate-like slab, looking almost dry and prosaic. And then you bite in; leading to a supernova of flavours in your mouth, better than Nolan could capture it in 3D. The pork is charry and firm on the outside and melting and fatty on the inside with an insidious taste of smoked apple. The apple doesn’t dominate the dish so much as meld into it, leading to R-rated sounds of appreciation. If the hallmark of a good meal is the silence accompanying it, Holy Smoke delivers an experience similar to a meeting of Trappists.
Meal for two: Rs 2,500 (including taxes, excluding alcohol)
Address: First floor,
Cyber Hub, Gurgaon.