Food

Eat, work, repeat

Merak serves as a retreat for independent working professionals, who don’t mind paying a little extra for good food

It takes some getting used to the fact that Merak is within JW Marriott hotel. That is because this open-air restaurant is quite different from the rest of the hotel. It has been designed as a co-working space where book events (a discussion on stand-up comedian Papa CJ’s Naked was recently held there) are also conducted. Touted as an ‘urban oasis’, Merak has a unique ambience — the walls are have potted plants, many hanging from the ceiling as well. There is an open bar and soft music (a welcome change from the booming sound that drowns out conversations in most restaurants).

Eat, work, repeat

We seat ourselves at a long wooden table. It is a balmy evening, perfect for some refreshing cocktails. We try the Merak gazer, a gin-based cocktail with blue pea flower decoction, Cointreau, Martini Bianco and a splash of ginger ale, and Midnight bloom which has gin, passion fruit, white chocolate syrup, lime, egg white and edible charcoal. They not only taste good — quite a bit of thought has gone into creating them — but also look good because of how they colourful they are and that they are served in fish cocktail glasses.

Eat, work, repeat

The menu is quite different from what we imagined. It comprises small plates, which makes sense as you can munch on something while working or while holding a meeting. The Not The Usual Bhel is true to its name, the twist is in the inclusion of Thai herbs, chilli dressing and crispy chicken which adds different flavours: mildly spicy, sweet, sour and crunchy. The Cantonese style lobster with soy, ginger, celery and scallions, is delightful, but we would have liked more of the meat. The keema aur bun maska was served with brioche bread and parmesan, though what made this dish unique was the egg yolk, which made the keema (minced meat) succulent when it was mixed in.

Eat, work, repeat

The asparagus, chestnuts and broccoli dish, with a dash of bird’s eye chillies and garlic sauce, was mildly spicy and quite crunchy. The Naga chilly mushrooms wok-tossed in a spicy sauce was not as spicy as we expected it to be, but it did not disappoint. Among the finger foods, the one we enjoyed the most, was the Thai herb cigar rolls served with sweet chilli sauce. We even asked for additional helpings.

For dessert, we chose the zaffran crème brûlée and almond biscotti, which was to use a cliché, melt-in-your-mouth. So if you are looking to uplift your mood with good food while working, then Merak is your go-to place.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:31:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/eat-work-repeat/article31081374.ece

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