Downtown Dubai boasts of some of the snazziest bars in the city, all uniquely stylish in their own right. We are winding down to the weekend, and if you are planning to ring it in with your crew over a long lineup of drinks, Stock Exchange might just be the place for you.
Apart from their groovy, chilled out vibes and pub-grub that goes well beyond the usual hot wings and peanut bowls, Stock Exchange is based on a unique algorithm whereby the prices of the drinks keep changing through the night. It’s Economics 101 really. Governed by supply and demand, the more rounds of drinks you order, the lower the price.
Stock Exchange has been around for quite a while now, but it has only been a few months since the very talented Executive Head Chef Pradeep Khullar from Jodhpur has taken over. I raved about his amazing take on Indian fine-dining before, and was eagerly wanting to try his take on lighter, more casual ‘drinks dishes’.
I think Chef Khullar has outdone himself once again! We were at a bar, yet the dishes outshone everything we drank. A true maverick in the kitchen, Chef Khullar dishes out retakes of classic Indian flavor combinations in brand new avatars.
We started off with the Chili Cheese Baguettes. The very French baguette, topped with cheddar, gets spiked with Indian heat. The heat of jalapenos tantalizes the taste-buds with the classic hit of fresh coriander and green chili.
Love Lamb Chops? You really have to try Stock Exchange’s Mirchi Imli Lamb Chops. Cooked for a good 4 hours, flash-fried and coated in a very flavorful glaze comprising of chili paste and tamarind pulp, Chef Khullar’s experimental ‘Desi-fied’ chops are to die for. Accompanying the chops is a generously large serving of fries drizzled in blue cheese. Forget the calories, let the taste-buds party.
I am a huge fan of chaat, and I therefore claimed more than two-thirds of this platter. This is Stock Exchange’s Aloo & Cheddar Tikki Chaat. Featuring a base of white peas, the ‘tikki’ (or traditional Indian potato patty) has been exemplified with the addition of cheddar, and the entire dish is then drenched with a trio of tangy, hot and sweet chutneys. Party on my palate!
Taking the Instagram craze for colorful sliders into consideration, Chef Khullar created these beauties. These are Stock Exchange’s Chicken Cheetos Sliders, a marriage of Western fast-food with Indian street-food flavors. The sliders consist of a chicken patty, onion, lettuce, barbeque sauce and Cheetos for a heaty crunch. The Indian element is the mint chutney, making every bite resemble the chutney sandwiches of Mumbai.
However, my absolute favorite dish from the night was Stock Exchange’s 2 Minutes’ Wild Mushroom Noodles. Funny how a household staple managed to win me over all the other delicious dishes, but this isn’t your average Maggi. You can smell the truffle as soon as the dish hits the table; the noodles are deliciously spicy and tossed with a variety of mushrooms. Each forkful is so decadent, yet so familiar; a beautiful way of combining home snacking with fine dining.
Coming back to the drinks, Stock Exchange offers a very creative lineup of cocktails and mocktails, each very visually appealing. Here is a look at what we sipped:
Jacked Up: As the name suggests, this cocktail has a Jack Daniels base, and is mixed with Gin, Midori, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice and Sugar Syrup. And it comes to the table all fumed up and dramatic! Loving the Polynesian-inspired glasses.
Passion Fruit Mojito: A refreshingly tropical stir-up of Fresh Passion Fruit, Lime, Fresh Mint, Bacardi white Rum and Lemonade. Makes for a great Instagram click!
Vodka Flaming Breeze: Yet another interesting presentation; this drink comes in a smoked up teapot, and the spirits are poured into the passion fruit shell at the table. This drink consists of Vodka, Blue Curacao, Absinthe, Lime Juice and Sugar Syrup.
From their mocktails (sans alcohol), I tried the Mango Tango. This rather sweet, tropical mix consists of mango juice, passion fruit pulp and lime juice. The flavor combinations work so very well together, and love the quirky glass!
However, my absolute favorite from the night was Stock Exchange’s Kala Khatta Daiquiri. I ordered two glasses straight! Every sip has that characteristic sweet, sour and salty hit of ‘kala khatta’, an Indian street-food classic traditionally served as an iced lolly. This drink consists of Black Currant Pulp, Sugar Syrup and Lime Juice and Black Salt. I’d go back just to have this… and the 2 Minute Noodles!
By the end of the meal, we were absolutely stuffed! With food this enticing, it’s hard to put down the fork. And then came the desserts…
Below is Stock Exchange’s Lotus Tart with Vanilla Ice-cream. The Lotus craze is here to stay, and I’ve had the pleasure of indulging quite a number of Lotus biscuit desserts in the recent past. Of these, many get it quite wrong, letting the biscuit crumbs play fiddle to an enormous layer of ice-cream and cream. This tart was so decadently different. The base tart is made of Lotus, as is a very rich, indulgent sauce that runs through the entire slice. The dessert is moreishly thick, rich and salty-sweet. You need the respite of the cold vanilla ice-cream to spoon up more. A must-try for all die-hard Lotus Biscoff fans.
The second dessert to hit our table was the sinfully rich Dark Chocolate Rum Ball. A divine treat for grown-up chocaholics, this dessert features a dark chocolate sponge bound with chocolate sauce. The sphere sits on a puddle of thick Valrhona sauce, and is flambeed right at the table with dark rum.
We ended the night with dessert-like nightcaps. This is Stock Exchange’s Tiramisu Delight. A creamy, sweet blend of Baileys, Kahlua, Amaretto and Espresso Coffee.
If you are looking for a night out with great drinks and even better food that hit the ‘Desi’ button (and go well beyond the standard pub grub), Stock Exchange is the place to be! Best of all, they are also open through Ramadan (from 8 pm to 2 pm daily). Even if you are a total teetotaler and abstaining from the alcohol, Stock Exchange has a wide variety of delicious non-alcoholic mixes, and don’t get me started again about the 2 Minute Noodles!
Stock Exchange is located in Roda Al Murooj (right next to Jodhpur) in Downtown Dubai. For reservations, give them a call on 052 675 9985.