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20 martinis & a view

September 27, 2003

On the third floor of the Sahara Mall, in Gurgaon, Rohit Shorey and Ashu Malhotra have set up Crave, a restaurant for shoppers, party animals and  thirsty souls looking for a watering hole.

Crave offers an informal environment, with a spectacular view of the Gurgaon skyline, that provides the natural light for the resto-bar before sundown.

In the evening, as the floor neons dazzle up the place, the ambience is just right to delve into the 20 different types of martinis (a Crave special), or chill out with friends in the private lounge and savour fruit flavoured Sheesh.

"The Martini spread is an attempt to stand out in the clutter, that already exists," says Shorey.

"We have tried flavouring the gin, vermouth and olive-based drink with flavours such as Malibu rum, campari and even chocolate."

Most mocktails are in the Rs 200 to Rs 300 range, including the spectacular flaming drinks, like the Flaming Brain Haemorage -- a peach schnapps, grenadine, Bailey's and vodka concoction.

And for his teetotaller patrons, Shorey recommends the Lavang Jal --  a honey and ginger ale flavoured jal jeera -- easily the current favourite.

The "being different" mantra is carried forward into the Crave kitchen as well, where fusion is the buzzword.

Lamb on Fire (Rs 300) for example, is a flambéed tandoori lamb chop, marinated in rum and carrying roughly the same spices you'd taste in the Burra Kabab at Moti Mahal.

Fusion apart, Crave has picked up cuisine across the world from a rather filling Mediterranean platter (Rs 375 for non-veg and Rs 295 for veg), to Chinese crab wontons (Rs 225) to the Mexican triple deckered tortilla sandwich with roast chicken, bell pepper, cheese and corn [(Rs 275).

And if the generous helpings leave any space for the enthusiastic diner, caramelised choori whole wheat roti mashed with caramelised sugar and black pepper with ice-cream and banana whip with fried noodles are two rather interesting dessert options.

Economical, filling and with a great view -- the kitchen and bar at Crave, are now open for anybody, who's heading towards that side of town.

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