SquareMeal Review of
Pukka Bar at Chutney Mary
Not often does a restaurant bar stand up to the main event in its own right, but aptly-named Pukka Bar certainly does not get lost in the mother ship that is Chutney Mary. Situated at the front of the building, the large room plays host to Indian carvings and dark wood, softened by silver and copper hues and modernised with contemporary light fixtures. Comfortable sofas beckon for a morning coffee or sharply sweet Watermelon Cosmopolitan by night, while an 18-foot-long table provides a more formal setting for business meetings. Cocktails are exotic twists on the classics: our Mango Mojito was syrupy-thick yet minty fresh, while the bitterness of an Old Fashioned was appeased by soft peach. A mixologist is on hand to guide you, or create your own ‘flavour profile’ if you want to go off route – it’s hard to be disappointed. Bar snacks are on a par with the main restaurant, so signature venison samosas are miniaturised but retain all of the flavour of rich minced meat encased in paper-thin pastry, while bitesize squid bhajias are crispy and aromatic. A masala steak sandwich or tamarind duck salad are great for lunchtime, or there’s plump and fragrant Calcutta prawns arriving with lemon quinoa – an inspired alternative to rice. Mango tart to finish was the perfect palate freshener and cut through any lingering heat. With afternoon tea available and a good selection of European beer, Pukka Bar’s relaxed, all-encompassing outreach may even appeal more to some than the main restaurant.