GURGAON: It's a Swedish word that translates into right amount of everything. True to this, Lagom, a newly-opened kitchen and microbrewery in this corporate hub adjoining the national capital, offers just that.
It's got the right ambiance with adequate space between tables so you don't get the feeling of your neighbour breathing down your neck, offers three varieties of freshly-brewed craft beer, an array of alcohol that you can also buy by the bottle and a menu that veers toward the Oriental.
And, very soon, this 140-cover eatery will offer a dessert with a twist -- gulab jamun flavoured with rum, vodka or tequila.
"We've created a space where you can spend a soothing evening while enjoying a conversation in an atmosphere designed to promote bonding," Lagom general manager Gaurav Bhasin told IANS as the first of three hand-crafted beers -- simply wheat -- arrived at the table.
Served with an orange garnish, it was a unique combination of fresh orange and German wheat that gave it a citrus flavour. It was a truly refreshing beer with high notes of coriander for a smooth finish.
Fantastic lager was next up. A light-bodied lager with high notes of malt brewed according to German purity laws, its malt flavour lingered for long on the palate.
And then there was the heavy-bodied dark knight with roasted special German chocolate malt, which, like its predecessor, had a lingering after-taste.
The verdict? Simply good.
It went perfectly with the first of the starters that chef Vikas Sharma served up: phak khom khaw phod krob, a delectable combination of crispy spinach and corn, sesame oil, sesame seeds, brown garlic and crushed peanuts, followed by its fish and chicken counterparts.
Munching on these gave one the opportunity to take in the ambience.
The small seating area outside opens to a restaurant that is sectioned for live brewing on the left and a more-than-adequately-stocked bar on the right.
"We can partition off a small section if one wants to host a private party for 40-50 people," Bhasin explained.
And, unlike most establishments that only offer a corner for smokers, Lagom has an entire 16-cover area where you can drink, smoke and eat in peace. An exposed sandstone wall, a soft-coloured floor and non-traditional lighting come together in this space to create a cohesive whole.
"We're aiming to enhance your experience," Bhasin said.
There is also a clear view of the brewery from the lounge and if it's your lucky day, you can get to see award-winning brew master Ishan Grover, trained in Scotland, creating his magic.
It was now time for the main course and I chose a combination of dun zhurao (braised pork), man jian da xia (slow fried prawns), tun pla smunphir (steamed fish) and ksmbing sambal (sliced lamb) with plain noodles to let the flavours intermingle and literally explode in the mouth.
All this made for a meal that was both crisp and, at the same time, tender and delicate.
With all that mouth-watering food, one would scarcely think there'd be place for dessert but the tiramisu, individually set in a retro-style glass jar, was irresistible.
The cream cheese, coffee, brandy, saviordi and cocoa powder came together like a symphony, rising and falling like a yacht on a lake.
There could not have been a more perfect end to a perfect afternoon.
What: Lagom Kitchen & Brewery
Where: P 04-05, Ground Floor, JMD Megapolis Mall, Sohna Road, Gurgaon
Cost for two: Rs.2,000 (Without alcohol. The craft beer is priced at Rs.175 (500 ml), Rs.450 (1.5 litre) and Rs.850 (3 litre)
Timings: 11 a.m. to midnight.