Where taste buds come alive
Quite frankly, I tried myriad flavours and quality of green tea, but nothing could ever match the refreshing taste of the cold-brewed green tea that JW Mariott's Playground served on a fortuitous Friday night. Presented in a shot glass, the icy sweet flavour just opened up my senses to the wonderful place that I was in.
Playground, at JW Mariott, Aerocity, is by far the most interesting place that I have ever seen. It gives Delhiites a chance to savour three experiences at one place. Outside, you have an astronaut driven food truck, with a gorgeous street art of Audrey Hepburn in the rear for people who like it casual and inside, a modish area, with an impressive bar counter (a literal paradise for anyone who knows their drinks) and strategically placed wall-mounted street art. Lastly, there is 'speakeasy', a hidden area inside Playground which can only be accessed by members, but speakeasy, with its intricate designs, interiors, high-value liquor and services, is a place to die for.
Only Tzvika Furman's cocktails at Playground could overshadow the awe-inspiring food. The mixologist believes in adding a personal touch to each of his cocktails – he is always experimenting with flavours and asking the people about their preferences. My advice? If possible, instead of choosing liquor from their endless drinks menu, go for cocktails like a 'spice market old-fashioned', 'white tea daquiri', 'negroni tonic', 'whiskey smash', 'herb tea cooler', and 'spice pineapple margarita'. Unlike many other restaurants, the servers at Playground are professional, skilled and know what they are serving.
The food is as varied as the place and its groovy music. If you go outside for the food truck, you can get yourself an American styled BLT wrap, with smoked chicken, apple chutney, and Spanish hickory wood smoked bacon neatly wrapped to fit in your mouth and release its juiciness. What's more succulent than the wrap is their enormously beautiful smokehouse burger; it is so huge, a group of 5-6 people could satiate their hunger.
If you are in a mood for starting your evening with something light, then start with a fresh Quinoa and beetroot salad, coupled with any light cocktail. The Quinoa salad is fresh, light with a bit of sweetness and most of all, healthy – a perfect combination. Without wait, jump onto the Playground special Baby Back Ribs – signature smoked pork ribs, homemade BBQ sauce, country fries, apple and raisin slaw; it is sweet, tender and amazingly smoky in flavour.
'Playground' is indeed a place where one can play with their taste buds all night long and not get tired. Another dish that one should try here is 'Gambas Al Ajilo' or Prawns, cooked in white wine, with lemon, garlic chips and parsley; giving
it a soothing taste as you chew on the tender prawns with Adele calling out through the speakers.
After indelible cocktails and light food, their 'Decadent chocolate mousse' is the perfect delicacy to end the night with. Its soft, gooey, the not too sweet and not too bitter taste still lingers in my mouth – making me want to go back there just to drool over the mousse.