When we tilt our head to the left in thought, trying to recall memories of Buzz, we can hear the alcohol swooshing from one side to the other. Rum-soaked and hazy are our recollections from this Gurgaon bar that used to be a popular watering hole in 2002. Tequila shots, random strangers and a cute boy zoom into focus and then fade away.
We haven’t met that cute boy so far and now, we may never again. The bar has shut down to make way for Buzzin Buddies, a place that claims to be “Delhi’s only retro bar” (okay!) and really plays Karunesh-like music and serves Hyderabadi biryani. Maybe they’re suffering from memory impairment too.
Erase and Rewind
Retaining much of Buzz’s décor with floor lights and island bar, Buzzin Buddies’ only contribution seems to be a few additional letters in the moniker. The menu and management on the other hand, is all new. Given the choice of heavy food, the lounge-y music and the soft armchair seating, Buzzin Buddies is more a restaurant/lounge than a retro bar.
We visited to find a cavernous place that smelled of smoke, the reason behind which we quickly discovered when we were offered an ashtray at our table. Indoor smoking? How 2002! We ordered cocktails quickly, mainly to chase away the hovering waiter - an Indian Summer (vodka with mango, ginger and mint) and a Frozen Agave (tequila with blended peach, apricot and ginger). While the Indian Summer hit the spot, the mango fresh and sweet with a little spice added by the ginger, the Frozen Agave was far too strong with an overwhelming taste of tequila and ginger. And with that we looked around for something to line our stomachs.
Coming through from the kitchen, past a pole we may or may not have twirled around, were the starters - fish fingers and the tofu and vegetables in chilli sauce. The hovering waiter asked if we’d like the tofu in a dryer gravy—ask for that, because as it was, the sauce was quite wet. This was delicious however, light and not too spicy, the tofu golden fried on the outside and breaking off in melting crumbs on our tongues. The fish fingers tasted of nothing except the batter, so we dipped those in the tartar sauce and tried to make the most of them.
Eggs and Hamlet
Next, we ordered the Hyderabadi mutton biryani and as a chance to try everything on the menu, also the grilled chicken Olivia. Neither was spectacular. The biryani was Shakespearean—“all sound and fury signifying nothing”—with angry red rice, clumps of meat and the overwhelming taste of garam masala. The chicken, which was meant to be a main course dish, appeared on skewers, coloured green and served with black olives. This was tough and a little bit stringy, but had a subtle garlic marinade which went well with the olives.
For dessert, there was only the rasmalai with paan, which we decided to skip. We probably won’t be revisiting Buzzin Buddies again, because it’s best to keep memories of a place that used to be cool when we were young. We’re leaving it to our ghosts now. Maybe they’ll come out at night and dance on the bar, with cute boy ghosts of their own.
Getting there: Buzzin Buddies, 201, 2nd Floor, DT City Center Mall, MG Road, Gurgaon, call 0124-4036884, meal for two with cocktails approximately Rs 3,000.