You know that feeling at a concert when the crowd shouts “encore” and the band actually listens and plays another one of their classics? You know that feeling of ecstasy you experience from hanging on to what you love for 2 extra minutes? Well, seems that Delhiites gave a shout out to The PopUp group and they listened because they are back at PCO for Round 2, and Team DSSC were the first diners and got an exclusive peek into the menu and the oh-so-famous cocktails.
The PopUp at PCO is being organised by charming restaurant aficionado, Vidur Parashar with uber-talented Chef Jatin Mallick and Chef Julia Desa. They’ve got two additional friends on board this time – ace Australian DJ and mixologist, Nathan Ford, and The Josper! Scratching your head what that is? It’s a state of the art barbeque grill oven which is a must-have chef’s toy and is priced at…hold your breaths for this…£18,000 (almost ₹17.5 Lakhs INR). Everything on the carefully curated menu for this Pop Up is cooked on this bad boy, and the results smash the ball outta the park.
We started our evening with killer cocktails and frankly, we don’t expect anything less from PCO. Nathan left us shaken and stirred with The Jaffa – which draws its inspiration from the chocolate-orange soft sponge biscuit, Jaffa Cake, which had so many nuances we didn’t know could exist in a cocktail. There were subtle yet expressive flavours of coffee, orange and chocolate perfectly brought together with Grey Goose vodka. Although The Jaffa took the top spot for us in terms of cocktails, Vanilla Ice came in a strong second. Nathan put a twist on the classic mojito by adding summer flavours of fresh mango, vanilla syrup and ice-cream.
The PopUp team complemented these awe-inspiring and innovative cocktails with a line of tapas-style dishes. Hands down, our favourite of the night was the lemongrass marinated Tuna on a cold mooli salad with a ponzu dressing and topped with crispy poppadums. The tuna was served tataki-way, where the fish is raw but seared from all sides to cure it slightly. The cold salad rightly off-set the warm tuna and to add texture were the poppadums, completed with the soy-citrusy sauce.
Polish Spinach & Cheese Khachapuri with jalapeno and tomatoes was another favourite of the night. The cooking method is similar (sort of) to making a pita, where you first bake the bread; slice it open to stuff it. In this case, it was generously stuffed with cheese and spinach and the pizza-look alike was topped off with a fried egg. There was comfort in every bite. P.S. We have to add here that a close friend, a.k.a Google, told us that khachapuri is in fact Georgian.
Another crowning glory of the evening were the Bacon, Mushroom and Cheese Doh’nut sliders topped with crispy bacon. At DSSC, we love sweet and salty combinations and this one was done down on the money. The donut was sweet, albeit in an extremely subtle manner, and stuffed with a cheesy mushroomey-ness which created a lovely and balanced sensation in your mouth. This was the kind of dish that you either want to have at the pub on a cold evening or in bed with your significant other.
Life, they say, is a full circle and this night surely was. It began with a boozy cocktail note and ended with a rather boozy dessert. We had the boozy Dark Chocolate Cremeux with Rum soaked chocolate sponge and Old Monk and Coke jelly. Every element on that plate was a delectable explosion in our mouth that we didn’t want an ending to. How else do we describe gooey chocolate served with rum and coke jelly and vanilla ice cream?
You must go check out The PopUp at PCO before they pop out. The drinks are to die for. The food is to die for. If you want to experience what dying and going to heaven feels like, then pop on over!
It’s taking place at PCO (D 4 Block Market, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi) from May 19th – 29th. Pop along.
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