Duet of opposites

Duet of opposites

Some of the fusion at Pra Pra Prank work simply because they prime all your tastebuds, says Shambhavi Suri

Walking down a narrow street anywhere in Europe with the sun coming down just at the end of the road, you think to yourself “what a time to be alive?” Looking around, admiring the rustic and medieval architecture, you’re bound to get fascinated with the cutting-edge modernity brought by merchandise windows on the outside of bars or brasserie — a little trick to attract and aesthetically please customers.

Pra Pra Prank, located in the heart of DLF Cyber Hub, promises to transport you to such a brasserie in Europe. Staying true to the name, they have a few pranks up their sleeves, from food to décor. Walking through the door, the whiff of Asian and Indian food will confuse you  a bit. But just follow the decor and ambience to get to the real secrets. “Pra Pra Prank came up after the success of Prankster, which opened about two years ago in Sector-29, Gurugram. The idea behind Pra Pra Prank was a double dose — There are two restaurants inside one big restaurant, there’s a hidden bar and two cuisines,  modern Indian and Asian,” say chefs Harangad Singh and Kaustubh Haldipur. Singh explains, “Chef Kaustubh and I have worked in a lot of different restaurants in the country as well as outside. The ingredients and flavours that inspired us are what we’re trying to recreate and, in a way, reinvent. Even though the décor is on the lines of a European bar or a café, we have Asian and Indian food on the menu. Nothing can beat Eastern cuisine, which is very versatile, complex and adaptive in flavour.”

The restaurant offers a variety of mouth-watering soups, street eats, dimsums, baos, build-ups, main-courses and desserts that will surely and safely cater to every palate, leaving nobody out. Bringing out the first course, Chef Kaustubh and Harangad bring to the table a salad of fruits and greens with Thai dressing. Taking the first bite, the fried garlic and onions add a caramelised crunch to the greens that’s further juiced up with green apple, pears, dragon fruit and peanuts. The drizzle of a Thai dressing dances on my palate, leaving an authentic Thai aftertaste.

Next up, Chef Kaustubh, the ninja of Asian cuisine, gets a beautifully plated platter of vegetarian rainbow rolls. Artfully wrapping crunchy vegetables and bell peppers and boldly topping these rolls with a pepper sauce and onion-tomato salsa, they define the epitome of cleverness, satisfying the hunger for something crunchy tucked in something soft. Right after Chef Harangad, specialist of modern Indian, serves a full bowl of Nepalese chicken broth, a clear one incorporating the flavours of sesame seeds, noodles and chicken dumplings, drizzled with rich truffle oil.  Now this is comfort food. Then comes the chicken coriander leaf dumpling, coriander-flavoured chicken and skin with a side of chimichurri. Though the coriander dominates the dish, to my surprise, it leaves a refreshing aftertaste on my palate, very unusual for a dish that has a dominating ingredient.

 Rara mutton bao is a smart idea where the Punjabi-style enriched mutton sits on a bao, steamed to perfection, and doesn’t make for overpowering gluttony. Topped with a Japanese mayonnaise and crunchy tempura, it feels like biting through a soft, fluffy cloud topped with familiar flavours of childhood that take us to the kernel of our origins as it were.

To cleanse the palate a little, Chef Harangad lays out what he calls his 24-carat chaat. Pranking the traditional chaat, this one is served with fried spinach leaves and tempura chickpeas sitting on a bed of dahi bhalla hummus topped with tamarind and mint chutney. As bizarre as it may sound, it is surely the best hybrid chaat you will ever have, not missing the traditional one at all.

The main course offers a sumptuous variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Serving the chef’s speciality, Chef Kaustubh’s new-age khao suey incorporates chicken, soba noodles, garlic chips coated with lemon salt, spring onions, boiled egg and a butter biscuit. Though it doesn’t taste quite like the traditional Burmese one, it does promise to satisfy all the receptors of your taste buds. Another main course, the tomato truffle chicken served with sun-dried tomato naan, is Chef Harangad’s take on the famous butter chicken. Roasted chicken covered in tomato gravy drizzled with truffle oil is inspired with a zingy aftertaste but don’t expect the fullness of the Indian counterpart. The sweetness and sourness from the sun-dried tomatoes take the naan a notch above the regular. Layered as a puff pastry, the dish, though, is cooked to perfection.

The last meal of the day involves Ferrero Rocher andcannoli. Made with Gianduja mousse, soft-centered Nutella and the Rocher glaze, all sitting piquantly on a cannoli, this is for those who do not like chocolates but are looking for a refreshing and light taste to coat their palate. Stuffed with fluffy, light cream and dollops of raspberry coulis, fresh fruits and financiers will rewind your taste buds after a heavy meal.

Pra Pra Prank is a brasserie of its own. It is a place where your soul can take a breather, relax and be satisfied with the extraordinary combination of different flavours in their food which comes with a side of love and comfort. Try out on a gloomy day.




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