Regular fare with flashes of brilliance

FOOD REVIEW

One may wonder about the name of this restaurant and by default connect it to the bulging cylindrical kegs that store wine, whiskey, beer and other alcohols. But Barrels in PVR Priya Complex, Vasant Vihar offers much more than what its name suggests.

Inside, the dark environs of this lounge-cum-pub  extends a warm welcome to foodies and guzzlers alike. Some enjoy a pint of beer while others indulge in their Hail ‘n’ Hearty mocktails and appetisers ‘From Around The World’. Each section in the menu is titled as interestingly as the interior of the place with legs, hands and other parts of human body protruding from different corners of the interior. Almost like in celebration of Halloween Day!

So much for the decor, but the food, quite regular apart from African Chicken Drums (more for their name) and Malu Paan (a Sri Lankan delicacy made from basa fish) effectively shuts us up.

Though there is nothing ‘African’ in the chicken drums starter, since it is simply boiled chicken inside crisp outer coating, yet the succulent pieces are worth a try. There seems to be something Sri Lankan about the finely minced basa that is filled inside criss cross buns in Malu Paan. Seasoned well with oregano, thyme by the bakery chef Mohd Shakil, the dish stands out among others.

However, another preparation by the bakery chef – Mushroom & Cheese Stromboli disappoints for a gooey filling of mushroom rolled in cheese gets stuck in a difficult-to-dig-in stromboli. Even the dessert, Classic Mud Cake is a little hard in texture, when served and the chocolate sauce in Ice Cream Sizzler tastes too burnt to be savoured. 

Meanwhile the fish slips out of Classic Fish Fingers and one finds it hard to locate chili in Peri Peri Chicken Skewers which are marinated and cooked in Goan seasoning according to Continental Chef Amit Chauhan. 

The place seems to have an obsession for sizzlers since they even sizzle up paneer shashlik and pieces of naan to make a dish that one finds confusing to eat! Tasting just about average, the paneer is extra soft while the naan is rich in butter. The pomfret in Macchi Meal is more delicious. 

‘Made in China’, the Floating Fish (sole) is hardly floating in a gravy that tastes like manchurian and the platter named Half Way To China struggles to make its presence felt.

When it comes to pizza and pasta, the reaction is mixed for various reasons. While in pasta, the chicken sausages and salami are well-sautéed in herbs to be fused with celery and leek but the arrabiata sauce is not too appreciable. Similarly, the Pizzas – Vegetarian Delight and Zesty Chicken Pizza have wonderful fillings with Italian seasoning and oodles of cheese. Unfortunately, their generous presence make it difficult to enjoy the pizza. This place serves thick crust pizza, which is rare and appreciated. 

Only the mocktails are able to compete with the earlier mentioned two best dishes. With long winding names, the drinks in vibrant colours are all worth a try! 

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