The cricketer who just became the first batsmen to score 20,000 international runs in 10 years has done it again in the F&B scene too, i.e., give Delhi a cool, fun space to dine at. What started with Nueva is being taken forward by One8 Commune, Virat Kohli’s resto-bar in Delhi. With the most buzzing address for dining out in the city currently, Aerocity, One8 Commune opened doors this month, and has Ankit Tayal, who also co-owns party favourites Summerhouse, Mango Kitchen & Bar, Auro, and soon to be re-launched Bohca, as one of the owners. Inclusivity at its core, the name alludes to bringing together people of different ‘tastes, interests, and backgrounds’ at one space.
What I loved most about the decor is its versatility. There’s quirky wall plates, bright, multi-coloured table adornments, plum-hued furnishings, light spilling in through large windows on one end and quiet corners on the other. That is to say One8 Commune can be your energetic, chirpy lunch to a careful, quieter first date, to a night of partying, all with equal ease. The menu is extensive, and the cocktails have been done by Delhi’s own mixology genius — Yangdup Lama, so we already know the tipples will be a winner.
For a breezy lunch I stuck to gin & tonic twists. While the flavours of course mingle well together, it’s good to sip cocktails where each one stands out separately too. Starting some sushi, the Reverse Swing stands true to its name. Prawn tempura with a hint of lime chilli (think nimbu achaar), and puffed rice, it’s a burst of flavours in the mouth, unexpected, yet satisfying and keeps you going for more. The Kasundi Malai Tikka wasn’t made in mustard as we’d thought, instead chicken tikka with mustard on the side. However, the perfectly spiced and succulent tikkas — no overwhelming malai that douses all other flavours here — won over regardless. The Keema Puff had one of the nicest minced mutton fillings, though had the puff been cooked more, it would’ve joined the hall of fame.
The Pub Fish & Crisp was a welcome surprise, with not just fries, but also wafers and banana chips on the side. The fish was fresh and done well, the centre remaining soft and the bater coating a golden crispy. The Indian-isation was also in the masalas sprinkled on top of the fried fish, and not a bad twist at all. The Goan Chorizo Sliders are a must-try for pork lovers. Smoked and spiced to perfection, the chorizo is done nicely, and the addition of all-time favourites, buns, cheese, and lettuce only adds to making it appetising.
The menu corresponds to the ethos laid out by the team, that is, dishes from across the world take from different culinary cultures. And thankfully this has been done in a manner that doesn’t make you raise an eyebrow, rather, you go through the dish seamlessly, without even realising the fusion part of it. If getting together and endless conversations is on your mind, then the cocktails and comforting flavours at One8 Commune will do you good.
Where: 8, Worldmark 2, IGI Airport, Aerocity
Opening hours: 11 am to 12 am, all days
Recommended dishes: Kasundi Malai Tikka
Price: Rs 2,500 for two, taxes extra
Noise levels: Quieter in the day to louder in the evening
Service: Helpful, but could be more attentive