With a modern chic décor comprising of soothing whites and grays, comfortable padded seating, and cool gentle lighting, it’s easy to mistake Sublym, at first glance, for a club.
Motorized blinds that create a partition between tables, furniture and lights that are classy, and music at a conversational level all justify the name – well, the correctly spelled word.
Situated in the bustling Sector 29 market of Gurugram, Sublym also stands out from the rest of the many restaurants in its proximity for a couple more essential reasons;
Unlike the ever increasing Breweries and Gastro-Pubs, this is a proper sit-down “restaurant” with emphasis on food, which means it can be visited with children in the evening. One of my pet-peeves has been the dwindling down of the family dinner concept, which isn’t helped by the whole brewery craze. Why have outings become less of a family affair and more about drinking alcohol is beyond me, but we need more restaurants that can accommodate families – and that doesn’t mean not serve alcohol – and less of the beer “factories” that discourage families.
Furthermore, Sublym also holds a Thursday Theater on their rooftop which is an excellent way of introducing a cultural aspect to the setting. Held at 9:00 PM every Thursday – we sadly missed it even though we went on a Thursday – it’s free and conceptually is certainly interesting.
Sublym has a clean and clear menu, easy to understand, that focuses on South-East Asian and Indian cuisines rather than trying to please everyone. Limiting the menu to what you do best and sticking with it is also applaud worthy these days.
However what really made an impression during this family dinner – nothing shuffles up a restaurant more than a group of hungry individuals, of different ages and with different tastes – was the service. I want to say it was “old fashioned” but in a good way. There was genuine concern and interest in us – the guests – that is hard to find especially when at a number of places the staff is either too bored to bother or so full of attitude, that it puts off the guest.
And, for the first time ever, the staff took our request of “less spicy food” and genuinely worked on it without making excuses like “the gravy is already prepared” or “I’ll see what I can do”. Everyone, especially the kids, enjoyed the food because everything was less spicy and thus a lot tastier with genuine flavours that came out of the cooking.
With regards to the food, the regulars were ordered, which might not seem too experimental of me at all, but that they are the most common dishes at any restaurant serving Indian cuisine, and because they were all excellent – simple, non-spicy, tasty – is saying a lot.
The Dahi Kebab was the softest most creamiest I’ve ever had, made all the more amazing by the crunchy – thanks to papad being mixed in – outer batter which was cooked to a lovely golden brown colour. The Paneer “Ajwaini” Tikka and the Crispy Thai Vegetables, although not standouts, sufficed in matters of taste and cooking.
The mains consisted of the family’s staples, Dal Makhni which might not have been the best I’ve had but it certainly is among the top along with the uber-creamy and slightly sweet Shahi Paneer. The Dum Aaloo Banarasi completed the “holy trinity” with the rich, gravy based, yet light to the stomach, favourite. The Channa Pindi was the big surprise as it is often the spiciest of offerings at any restaurant, but not here. I’m glad to say that I haven’t enjoyed a Pindi Channa this much in years.
The “breads”- rotis if you may – were all kadak (well cooked and borderline cracking) except for my personal favourite Roomali Roti that was soft and quite close to being used as an actual roomal (handkerchief).
Those of you who prefer spice levels to touch the roof need not get disheartened, because I am sure if Sublym was able to accommodate us in such a manner, they will quite easily be able to amplify the hotness to your liking.
I went in to Sublym expecting very little, but came out impressed and craving a re-visit. Their “happy hours” which pretty much run the entire day, make it favorable for those who enjoy a drink or two (the second one is free remember) with their meal. At roughly Rupees 750,- per person, it’s not a bad deal either, keeping in mind all the taxes, and should definitely be scouted out by you if food takes precedence over drinks during a night-out.