Happy 2016 folks!
Imma back. Just in case you were wondering about my absence from the blogosphere these past few weeks. If not, well then that’s just a little bit embarrassing isn’t it.
Is it just me or has it been crazy busy of late?!
Of course a good part of that busyness on my end has involved staking out new additions to Bombay’s mushrooming foodie scene – as they say, never a dull moment!
So from panko-crumbed potato skins stuffed with mac n cheese to kurkure bhel, it seems only fitting to kickstart TFD in the New Year with a round-up of the exciting newbies whetting our appetite…
One Street Over, Bandra
When news broke of Chef Kelvin Cheung’s new Bandra bar/ restaurant it was enough to set tongues wagging and tummies rumbling across the city. We’d all been deprived of Kelvin’s brunchtastic offerings for far too long.
His new place is all about American comfort food with an Asian twist, served up alongside a cracking selection of cocktails curated by mixologist Arijit Bose.
From creamy burrata artfully textured with seasonal carroty flavours to deep-fried potato skins stuffed with truffle mac n cheese (don’t even get me started on the mains)… there are tasty reasons a-plenty to head One Street Over. Get the full scoop here.
Korner House, Bandra
Meanwhile, more than a few streets over in Union Park, Nido’s shutters have closed… only to reopen as the Korner House!
Wait, whaaat. Nido closed down?! Noooo! Yeh, pretty standard reactions all around.
So there’s less of that earthy whimsy we loved of Nido, but (the unattractive spelling aside) the stylish restaurant doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor in either looks or with its extensive European/ Mediterranean-focussed menu.
As for the dishes, they’re beautifully presented but if I’m being honest, vary between sure-fire hits and so-so’s. From what we loved, the mushroom flat bread particularly stood out – a perfect thin crisp, layered with wine braised brie and a drizzle of truffle oil.
If you’re of the #EveryDayI’mTrufflin camp, then go for the five mushroom risotto as well, which features shitake, porcini, oyster, button, portobello subtly kissed with truffle oil. Although fair warning that it’s just as richly heavy as it sounds and really not for the light stomached.
We balanced it out with the grilled courgette and spiced cous cous salad – a fresh and vibrant affair with pomegranates generously thrown in for some added crunch!
And then dived back to the dark side with a fondant, that melted away with the softest of cuts to reveal a pool of rich chocolate…
The Korner House, 21, Union Park, Khar West, Mumbai
145 Kala Ghoda
In other replacements, 145 Kala Ghoda is the laid back, modern all day bar and cafe taking over from Cheval.
The multi-cuisine menu here presents a mash up of dishes that you’d likely find at the Social, Spice Klub and other such places. We tried a bunch of the small plates including the “Not So Bada Pav” (cutesie mini vada pavs served open faced), pav bhaji cones, cheese naans, chilli paneer, jalapeño poppers, crunchy corn tempura and kurkure bhel!
Since this blog promises to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I’m going to go ahead and say that we were quite underwhelmed for the most part – some of the combinations weren’t well executed and were missing that extra punch.
The pav cones were much too coarse, lacking that melt-in-your-mouth buttery softness one would crave of pav; the naans could have been cheesier; the corn tempura (from the global selection) tasted more like oily, deep-fried corn pakoras; the list goes on.
Still – kudos to the restaurant for the creative presentation and for nailing down that playful vibe. We loved doodling away on blank menu pages with felt tip pens we haven’t picked up since school days, while munching away on kurkure sticks (another nostalgic reminder of bygone days) assembled together in a chatpatta bhel form!
So we might well be back to give the menu a second chance over a game of pool and a nutella milkshake – it looks pretty epic.
No.145, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
Doppio, Breach Candy
Doppio is Italian for double shot. A fitting name then for this trendy new bar and restaurant injecting some much-needed pizzazz into the limited options for going out around Breach Candy.
Dimly-lit by industrial-chic lightbulbs hanging overhead, the intimate dining area is divided across small tables and leather booths with a long community table towards one end and a cosy living room-esque set up against another wall, complete with armchairs and a dedicated bar trolley to boot!
There’s some seating by the bar too for those looking for a small bite to go with their boozy caffeine fix – the specialty here is coffee-infused cocktails and having had a heady sip, I can definitely vouch for the bitter smooth espresso martini!
While the eats feature a mix of American and Continental with the likes of burrata (could’ve been creamier), chicken and waffles, avocado tartare with pain au cereal (essentially just a fancy way of labelling smashed avocado on rye bread), sage and walnut butter gnocchi, and truffle mac n cheese (as cheesy as it gets but we sadly weren’t able to taste any of the aforementioned truffle).
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s all phenomenal, but it’s more than satisfying. And with music that you’ll either find yourself swaying in your seat or singing along to, this is definitely the right spot for a lively and fun evening out on (that side of) the town.
Doppio, 2nd Floor, 201, Bhulabhai Desai, Hubtown Skybay, Breach Candy, Grant Road, Mumbai
Papa Cream, Churchgate
And finally, something to help beat the impending heat.
Opened a few months back, this innovative ice cream parlour in Churchgate might not be new for you – but I’m going to give it talk time anyways as I’ve only just been.
The nitrogen-ice cream based concoctions here are WILD – think Mexican cheddar ice cream served with nachos, horlicks ice cream topped off with nutella pancakes and Thai sushi ice cream! We went with the latter – chocolate crepe rolls firmly wrapped around coconut lemongrass ice cream with some kiwi and passion fruit jelly. They didn’t have any wasabi or soya sauce, but a chocolate dip was spot on too!
Having had an addictive taste of the nitro hit, we couldn’t resist the chocolate ginger creme brûlée either – classic chocolate ice cream smoothly blended with candied ginger and topped off with a roasted marshmallow. Divine.
Papa Cream, 125, Churchgate Station Underpass, Mumbai
In other news bites, this month should see the launch of NRI (Not Really Indian) in Bandra, by Michelin star chef Atul Kocchar – behind London’s famous Benares restaurant. Opening alongside will be Lima -a tapas lounge serving up Mexican, Brazilian and Peruvian food.
And then there’s Inglish Vinglish in Juhu, a patisserie showcasing Chef Ranveer Brar’s contemporary take on Indian desserts.
Last but not least on my radar is MasalaBar in Bandra – more cockail lab than a bar, the latest venture by Masala Library’s Zorawar Kalra is set to shake things up with Kalra’s unique brand of creativity, taking us down a journey of mixological exploration…. TFD to report back with what that means, soon!