Sprawled over the top two levels of a building, Molecule enjoys a considerable vista of Gurgaon’s earthly pleasures (read several eateries and drinkeries). The space is vast, and while the molecule is present everywhere, there is a curious juxtaposition of a martial theme set against it. Steampunk-style guns are racked across a wall, while a Dr Doom-esque mask adorns another. Model WWII fighter planes hang sporadically around, while trivia from the war itself punctuate each page of the menu.
Speaking of menus, the one here is a marriage of Indian street food with different cooking techniques, not the least of which is scientific. The restaurant will also be brewing its own beer very soon, and will have a slew of molecular mixology.
We begin with the Molecular Puchka Shots, Air Bread, and the Re-Deconstructed Tokri Chaat. The puchkas or gol gappas as we insist on calling them come with five test tubes of different flavoured paani, ranging from teekha to litchi and precariously placed in a beaker, while the saunth and chutney come in giant syringes, all surrounded by a nitrous cloud, emanating from the beaker. It’s DIY at its best. Accompanying it is the Air Bread, feathery light and textured almost like a cloud, bursting with chicken marinated in Indian pickle and muddled with cheesy goodness; it is dotted with green chilli caviar for a final kick, which unfortunately misses, given the tiny globule’s reserved flavour.
Our favourite dish is the Baby Mutton Seekh Kebab Puffs, exquisitely wrought diminutive parcels, encasing tender morsels of meat; we could eat this every day. The chaat meanwhile is assembled at the table, the altar presided over by a chef armed with nitrogen chillers, foams and other paraphernalia, in what is now de rigueur for establishments of this nature. It comprises flash-frozen winter berries, aside from the usual accoutrements of chaat, including a whole lot of yoghurt in different textures; the chaat is nevertheless the same flavour off the street.
Then there’s the decidedly iconoclastic Chicken Shawarma Burger. A juicy chicken thigh encrusted in zatar and sumac and courted by pickles and crunchy lettuce. It comes breaded between toasted buns with parsley mayonnaise, a raw kachumber and tsaziki and a side of fries and onions rings. We soldier on and fight it to the last crumb.
Dessert is Gulab Jamun Carpaccio Cheesecake, a dish as decadent as it sounds. Rounded slivers of gulab jamun come layered over a biscuit base, oozing with chocolate rabri and dusted with pistachio, all together making for a dessert only for the seriously sweet-toothed. Which we luckily are.
Meal for two: Rs 2,000 (including taxes, excluding alcohol)
Address: SCO 53, 4th Floor, Sector 29, Gurgaon. Contact: 0124-33105241