3 Mar: ‘Been there ate that’ is very normal for us foodies and although we were a part of launch party for the new happening ‘Madness’ in town, the starters we had that day were just a teaser and come Monday the 3rd, the movie came in full circle. So here we were with bloggers and zoman buddies for the tasting session of ‘The Social Clinic’. The ambiance as you might be knowing by now, is that of OPD. The staff is all dressed up as Nurse and ward boys. Even the menu is brought up in the form of a case file. They have left no stone unturned with regards to making the theme go full bloom because apart from the dentist chair, wheel chairs, oxygen tanks and operation theater type surgical lights, even the menu comes in lab apparatus shapes and sizes. The mocktails are served in beaker, flasks and calibrated/ graduated glass cylinders — savvy isn’t it?
Now team madness is known to have built a quick reputation of throwing its guests a red carpet welcome. We were nothing less than Page 3 celebrities on the launch day and the tradition continued when we saw the entire staff of Madness waiting eagerly to welcome us for the tasting invite. Amongst those that greeted us and made us comfortable were:
- Dashmit Singh Chhabra (MD & CEO, Madness Group),
- Sachin Bhat (Vice President, Madness Group)
- Rishi Raj (Operations Manager)
- Abhishek Talukder (Assistance Manager) and
- Saee Budhay (Entertainment Manager)
Ok let’s jump straight to the food, after all that is what we all are here to read right? Ok, so let me put it straight the food is simply mind blowing and the Chef’s got a POB (pat on back) from one and all for the excellent job done. The menu started with some mock tails and cocktails. (I won’t be putting all up coz frankly I didn’t taste all of them. The aroma from the food was too compelling to resist and sip on some mock tails/ cocktails before I pounced on those plates) which included some crazy potions like ‘Nashili Lambi Chai’ (their very own version of Long Island Ice tea), ‘Beyond your expectation’ , ‘Sex in Havana’, ‘Pepper Mary’ and few mock tails which were brought on special order of two blogger buddies. (Not sure of the names)
Nashili lambi chai was brought in a lengthy plastic canister with plastic tubes (as straws) and looked like some sea monster with tentacles surrounded by pirates who were waiting to plunder the mysterious drink monster. Made as a concoction of vodka, rum, gin, Cointreau, tequila and some orange and cranberry juice it was served super chilled and if you had couple of long sips it would surely freeze your senses. This one immediately got thumbs up from all.
Nashili Lambi Chai
Next came in a bourbon based drink (Beyond your expectation) which also had amaretto, egg white, orange bitter and some lime juice. This one unfortunately had a strong stench of egg and was disliked by most. It didn’t fare well with most on the table or shall i say ‘Failed our expectation’?
Beyond your expectation
‘Last war’ another Gin based drink had thyme to make it distinct. Campari and lime juice gave it a bit tangy taste but that wasn’t still something that would please me. Last war would be last resort for me certainly.
Pepper Mary as the name suggests had quite a generous proportion of pepper seeds, tobacco sauce, tomato juice and fresh pepper in a vodka base. This was served pretty different for it came into half cut bell peppers and the Mary part of it came from the fact that they wanted to reinvent bloody merry into some new avatar. Hence pepper and Mary a perfect union of two to create a third specie.
Sex in Havana was a white rum based drink using pomegranate juice and some fresh basil. This was better off the drinks that came. Could use some $e….ah never mind….
Sex in Havana
Mock tails as I said can’t remember what they were. So all in all I would say a rather slow and experimental start as people were reluctant to end up as guinea pig for this OPD. But all this vaporized into thin air the moment the starters and the mains made their way. The place apart from being a well- designed theme restaurant is a place you should go to relish and savor your favorite recipes.
Mix veg Coriander (Dim sums): The best veg dim sums that I have had so far. (a rather better version was at the , S. B Road where the dim sums were super lite balls filled with the best of subtle flavored boiled chicken encapsulated with wafer thin coating which was almost translucent). These tasted very unique for I had never had an all veggie version of dim sums that too in coriander based covering. The veggies were finely chopped and rolled into a homogeneous ball and all the taste was predominantly from the covering. Loved it and certainly recommended.
Mix veg Coriander (Dim Sums)
Chilly Garlic Mushrooms: A rather simple dish but perfectly finished with apt use of chilies and garlic. Chilies were not to be seen or munched on but rather were used in an invisible way to spice up the dish. They were perfectly crunchy, golden brown balls of flour coated mushrooms served alongside with some long serrated bell peppers which added the colors and glamour to the platting. Vegan will certainly like this dish.
Chilly Garlic Mushrooms
Lemon Cilantro Prawns: A dish very well conceptualized but one which finished half way in the race. The prawns were proper sized, the green lemony batter used was nor less nor overpowering but the prawns had residual smell which turned out to be greatest pit falls. Three of us were quick and simultaneous to pick that up the moment we picked those prawns. Apart from that the dish would score a high. The flavors imparted are really nice and even the texture of the prawn was made to gel equally well with the overall recipe being made.
Lemon Cilantro Prawns
Kundan Mutton Seekh kebab: An ardent mutton fan that I am I never liked seekh kebab till these perfect little beasts went in. The sad part about seekh kebabs are they always send up being dry and life less but not these. The moment I had a bite my perception for seekh kebab was changed forever. Just go and have these, period, I am not giving any more description than that. A perfect companion along with some single malt by the side.
Kundan Mutton Seekh kebab
Murg Kali mirch: Again a dish which did justice to the Chefs culinary expertise. Very promising flavors and a mild sharp taste of pepper in the end, these succulent juicy morsels were loved by one and all equally alike.
Murg Kali mirch
Chicken and Prawn Gyozas: Basically dim sums but with a rather mixed filling. The encapsulation although was of very much the same consistency, these were rather ignored. The veg dim sums were much more appreciated for the super and new kind of flavors that the coriander base was imparting them. These on the other hand were much mild and could have used some more flavors.
Chicken and Prawn Gyozas
Peri Peri Chicken pizza: While the people were still relishing the starters the pizza slowly crept on a table nearby. Now I am not entirely sure why this was being called peri peri for a peri peri would need to be a highly spicy version of the dish but this on the contrary was nothing like peri peri. But if you can ignore the name and rather just focus on what was being offered no one would deny that it was certainly among the top pizza recipes the city has to offer. I mean yes there are absolutely fantastic pizzas being served out in the other parts of town but then this would still give a very tough competition to them. The pizza was thin crust but rather a well-balanced thin crust meaning it wasn’t a papad nor thick loaf of bread like the crappy commercial pizza brands serve in the name of thin crust.
Chicken gone mad: I would rate this best performer of the night. Simply mind blowing flavors packed neatly into a dish. The lemony buttery sauce that flowed out of the dish made the butter sautéed veggies taste simply amazing. The mashed potato paired perfectly with the overall dish and also added a different color to the already colorful plate. I don’t know about the chicken but it certainly made me mad that day.
Roasted nutty fish: I am a huge fond of crunchy stuffs but the pleasant surprise chef gave me that day when the fish was served with roasted nuts was totally unanticipated. This could be another close contender for the best dish that night. The roasted peanuts gave the dish a crunchy bite and also a sharp contrasting taste to the creamy coriander flavored gravy. I personally didn’t appreciate the fried beans and carrots as I found them a bit oddly paired but then the pepper infused buttered rice was a great partner that made it to the platting.
House spice lamb burger: Again a contender for the top spot as voted by some, this lamb burger was demonic in size and so satiating that few of us forgot other dishes around and were rather focusing on how to finish this off. The patty was yet again very moist (not crumbling) and had abundant flavors. The bun was fresh at the same time not turning soggy from all the toppings that piled up onto the patty. Very fulfilling dish and certainly recommended to all the gluttons out there.
Methi Chaman: Not sure why this was brought up as this was a rather misfit with the rest menu but we appreciated this one as the vegans on our table were starving so far and passing sad looks looking at us hogging and drooling over all this yummy delicacies. It could have used a little less oil though and would rather like it a little less bitter. It didn’t turn bad but a little less bitter would have made it score even more.
Tofu Steak: Another slight misfit, as with the rest menu but one with good sauce seasoning. The tofu chunks were way too big and the veggies around didn’t add to any platting score and were rather a passé affair. Vegans were also not over fond of this one, so scope of improvement in this for sure.
The TV types desserts finally landed into my plate when I had the ‘Gulab jamun Brulee’ that day. It was nicely platted with one gulab jamun piece fixated into frozen custard and caramelized sugar forming a web on top. The dish was aptly sweet and appreciated by mostly all. I like it in a rather different way and as such it didn’t appease me to a large extent but yes it can be good way to end your sumptuous meal.
Spanish churro came next with some warm liquid chocolate sauce on the sides. This was a decent dish but it succumbed some bruises for the strong primary taste was that of chocolate sauce and not Churros. Churros eaten plain were no dessert in itself. The Choco dip should have been just an add-on rather than the central theme is what I believe.
Lastly brownie came on a sizzler plate with a scoop of ice cream atop. This was standard affair and nothing exclusive as compared to what you can get at other places.
After we were done we even met Chef and I was as usual quick to put a word across on the do’s and the don’ts about the recipes we relished. It goes unsaid that the madness is not limited to the staff at the place but rather it is exemplified with each and every element and food equally alike and that is what makes this place so special. I have rather high expectations from this place and I am sure that Chef and team madness won’t disappoint me in days to come.
As always a big shout out to the lovely gorgeous ladies of Carpe Diem who are more like family now and who take such great efforts day in day out to create a winning formula for all their clients. And last but not the least team madness — just keep exploiting this disruptive thinking tendency and you will continue to spread the madness in the entire town …. Kudos !!
Must Haves: Chicken gone mad, Roasted nutty fish, Kundan mutton seekh kebab and Burger.
Food: 8/10 or 4/5
Value for money: NA (Invited)
(Disclaimer: The views expressed are my own and from the single or multiple experiences that I have had with the food joint. While you are free to disagree with the opinion below; please respect the originality and fairness of the content. The opinion/ review is purely based on experience and there is no biased, favored or commercial angle to it. The concept, ingredients have been captured as narrated and sometimes referred from publicly available content on google. The pictures are my work of photography)
Teaser: Some additional pics of the place. The place is divided into three restaurants – Social Clinic, Donkey’s arse and Superheroes. Superheroes is a part time crèche sort of concept where in the kids can enjoy some healthy yummy food and play for in a 4 hour package. The place is run by professional caretakers and ensures safety in great detail. The kids can play in moulded play zone or even xbox and playstations.
For donkey’s arse details read my review on the launch party.