DLF Cyber Hub is bustling with vibrance and life with many restaurants, the latest one being the Raasta – the caribbean lounge. Raasta already has its religious followers because of their maiden outlet in the Hauz Khas village. The restaurant is a brainchild of Joy Singh and his two friends and has its loyalty rooted in the Rastafari movement. Started in the 1930s on the lands of Jamaica, Rastafari is an ideology which propagates spiritualism and rejects materialism and oppression.
The world became aware of the Rastafarian culture only in the late twentieth century, mainly because of the reggae music and the famed singer Bob Marley. Delhi has all kinds of places but none which focuses on reggae music and the Rastafari way of living and this is what urged Joy and his friends to start a place like Raasta.
Soon after the launch of Raasta in Gurgaon, the owners planned a bloggers’ meet. It was all about the Carribean music, food and drinks, and celebrating the life of the island country. It all started with a cocktail mixing session. Strawberry and Green Apple blended together to make the Raasta Frappe, Strawberry delight was made with bacardi. Kiwi martini was another cocktail which caught got out attention and the last one was the spicy Mango Chilly Mojito. Each one of them has distinct flavours, without overpowering. The interesting thing came when Joy Singh introduced us to their concept of Bongtails. Bong, an apparatus used to smoke cannabis will be used to serve cocktails with one flavour at the base and another coming down from the top via ice and finally blending together. The cocktails were accompanied with Afrobian Corn and Jalapenos Cigars, crispy rolls filled with gooey cheese.
After the cocktail mixing session, it was time for the food. Chef Anil Pandey gave an insight on the Carribean cuisine. It can be aptly called the world cuisine as it is a fusion of African, Amerindian, European, East Indian, Arab and Chinese cuisine. The use of spices is quite liberal and green seasoning is used for a variety of dishes.
We tried the Socco peppery apple yoghurt salad and Carribean Oven Roasted Potatoes. Even if you are on a diet you can gulp in the salad since it was very light on flavours as well as calories. On the other hand, the roasted potatoes were filled with mild spices to tantalise the taste buds. Tangy Mango mushroom which were grilled mushrooms stuffed with a tangy mixture of green mango cheese and duxelle were also served. Cheese and Vegetable Empanadas were the Carribean version of India gujias. Empanadas stuffed with mozzarella, cheddar, peppers, croquettes and mushroom were served with garlic aioli.
Mushroom Off was another interesting dish which we enjoyed. Mushrooms in tangy and spicy coconut cajun sauce were served with garlic rice.
Ending the treat on a sweet note, we had the Cuban flan and the Strawberry cheesecake. Both had the perfect amount of sugar. It was a lovely afternoon with fellow bloggers.
Address: 2nd Floor, DLF Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon
Meal for two: Rs. 2000 approx. (with alcohol)
Text and cover image by Supriya Aggarwal