Verve Bites: Holy Smoke
Holy Smoke, Gurgaon
Holy Smoke, a restaurant and bar at Cyber Hub Gurgaon, by young owner Rohan Jaina, with an extensive background in risk assessment, trading and sales, has sought to recreate his culinary experiences while travelling in America. In the bargain, he has brought a unique concept to India, the Texas-style barbeque with its time-burnished, rich tradition of cooking meat slowly over a wood fire. This phenomenon referred to as ‘smoking’ offers a distinctive style and unique flavour.
The menu features T-bone steak from Australia, sirloin and tenderloin, BBQ chicken, roasted quail, pork belly confit, duck leg confit, to name a few. He has paid particular attention to creating a range of over 15 sliders. Says Rohan, “A slider is at once a hamburger and yet, something more. From a classic cheeseburger to a sloppy Jack, each slider has an history behind it and we want to showcase it.” Along comes ‘Walter’ the custom-built cast iron smoker which can smoke four suckling pigs at a time. As he explains, “A smoker just works on the basic combination of wood, fire and water. It is vital to understand smoke and meat and how they work together.”
What we liked: Bacon jam, arugula and pear salad, set of three sliders, classic cheese burger, sloppy Joes, char su, BBQ pork ribs and stone-toasted buns lathered with Nutella, liquid marshmallow and caramel.
Decor: An industrial grungy mood with two-toned flooring, a hand-painted mural, 28 goat carcasses holding up the bar and a suspended wine rack made of twisted rebars which can hold 210 bottles.
Highlight: Strictly for non-vegetarians. The meats are smoked or barbequed using four types of wood – pecan, hickory, maple and apple, each lending their unique flavour. Dry rubs, the blend of herbs and spices, impart the distinctive crust on the smoked meat.