Prankster, Gurgaon: Review – The F&B Column
Prankster, Gurgaon is a micro-brewery & restaurant in sector-29 & serves fusion flavours. Located in the same lane as Swagath, it’s a couple of SCOs ahead and on the first floor. Can’t miss it.
A whole day of running errands on an oppressive July day, had me & my wife famished. Exhausted by the heat in addition to the hunger pangs, we wanted to find solace in a chilled beverage & some familiar food.
I tend to avoid sector 29, given the traffic related bloodbath every day, let alone weekends. Rowdy crowd with easy access to alcohol doesn’t help matters either. However at 5:00 PM on a Tuesday, it was all smooth sailing.
We initially landed at another micro-brewery, and lemme tell you this, even with my physical state of near starvation, I couldn’t get myself to stay. The whole micro-brewery/pub scene in Gurgaon (no, I will NOT call it gurugram, or whatever), has become SO inane. Same insipid beer everywhere you go. High on hops and terribly flat on nuances, it makes me prefer a bottle of crisp branded brew any given day, or night. Except KF Premium or Fosters. That stuff is revolting.
Yeah, so the beer was boring, and the offers on happy hours more so. We decided to figure options.
My wife told me of this place called Prankster, and it had a rating of 4.9 on zomato! What? I was screaming fraud, and bought reviews and all that, but then there were 1900+ reviews! How does that even work?
Prankster, Gurgaon it was!
Prankster, Gurgaon – The Setting
Why haven’t I been to this place with a 4.9 before? Sector 29 (obviously) and that with a name like Prankster, it’s placed next to a joint called Chull. That’s that.
Anyhow, we enter. Now, places designed for the evenings aren’t best visited while it’s bright outside. Something pretty depressing about entering a very dimly lit place after being in the daylight. I am sure that altered my opinion about the ambience of Prankster.
The place is massive. Has some very interesting seating ideas thrown about. Some decidedly in the vein of “that looks neat” and some for those who’d want to try something new at the expense of physical comfort.
Kitsch is spread across and honestly, doesn’t hurt the eye. Einstein bulbs aplenty, and some nifty ideas thrown about make for an interesting time checking the place out.
Prankster, Gurgaon – The Beer (and other alcohol)
Saw the menu. There was a mango beer. Mango + Beer? Okay. Sampler.
HOLY MOTHER OF YAAAAS!
My mouth’s watering as I write this. That good.
Honestly, I don’t even know if I can compare it with beer. Of the regular kind. It’s sweet, and fizzy, and heavy and delicious in a non-alcohol-y sense.
Decided to investigate. Met with Shantanu, who is the brewmaster and he told us that Prankster is all about forward fusion. They experiment a lot with flavours, and not just in the kitchen.
The mango beer is made of mango pulp with some added sugar to aid fermentation. No hops are added, since fresh and doesn’t require preservation anyway. No malt, so no head (no puns intended).
The beverage is a massive hit with the fairer sex, but honestly, something as delicious and as ingenious as this deserves to be tried by everyone. Well done Prankster!
P.S.: There might be a Belgian Chocolate beer coming. 😀
Note of caution: Like mentioned, the beer is heavy. Don’t recommend ordering any more than 1500ml per person. I can drink 4-5 liters of regular beer in an evening, but this had me struggling to finish the last mug.
My wife likes fruity cocktails. She ordered a Prankster Punch. It’s vodka based, very fruity, with guava and apple and what not flavours. She loved it. Insisted that I taste it. Honestly, I’m not a very sweet-cocktail person. But the wife insists…
I swear to whatever there is to swear on, it felt like being smacked in the face with a water balloon filled with fruit extracts, sugar syrup and questionable vodka. Yeah. Not my thing.
Prankster, Gurgaon – The Food
You know, a lot has been tried in terms of fusion food in Delhi NCR. I’ve been fortunate enough to sample bits here and bits there. From the heartbreakingly disappointing Norwegian Salmon Tikka at The Oberoi, to some brilliant innovation at Farzi Cafe, I’ve come to believe that the most successful form of fusion is not screwing about with the flavour, but with the textures and forms of various components.
As is obvious, I am no big time food critic. Hell, I don’t even claim to be a “foodie” (ridiculous term, that), but the places that have done well seem to have gone with this formula. Feel free to correct me and drop some suggestions in the comments if I am off the mark.
Now Prankster, from what I could gather through my conservative order, has taken this approach and then has manged to put all the flavours on steroids. No clue what wizardry has been used, but some awesome spells at work here.
Daal with butter soufflé – Super butter flavour on top of black daal, which is anyway delicious. The butter is in a soufflé form. Didn’t quite look like that to me, but heat isn’t a soufflé’s best friend.
Dahi Bhalla Papri cooked in liquid nitrogen – The liquid nitrogen bit is a little gimmicky. The rest isn’t. It’s scoops of ice-cream that is dahi-bhalla chaat flavoured, with all the other stuff strewn over and around.
Listen, the Dahi Bhalla Papri chaat that I eat at this famous shop doesn’t have enough dahi-bhalla flavour when compared to this ice-cream. What are these guys doing? Insane!
Mukherji Nagar Chili Paneer – Meh. Nice. But you’ve just served me the thing above. It’s perfect in every way, and delicious to boot. But Meh.
Sorry. My expectations have been raised.
Prankster, Gurgaon – The rest
I could go on rambling about how the music was great, that the sampler shot glasses were chilled, that the air-conditioning worked like a charm. But those are smaller delights that seem customary and de rigueur
to the team that runs Prankster.
Served by Saikat, who took real good care of us, we had a fantastic time here.
Although the flavours were a little OTT for me, Prankster deserves nothing less than a 5/5 rating for the innovation, the service, the commitment to serving great F&B and the sheer labour of love that it seems to be.
For those interested, my other reviews can be found on this page.