For all my sins, I’m an Economist by training and there’s really nothing I strive for more at times than maximising my efficiency.
With that in mind, a friend and I recently made the most of a recent sojourn across the Sea Link by checking out not one, but two of the exciting new openings gracing the other side of Bombay…
We started out at Su Casa, a charming new restaurant housed within the futuristic structure that is the Bombay Art Society. Although the interiors are a tad muted, where you really want to be seated here is al-fresco – an airy dining space surrounded entirely by lush greens and potted plants…
We’d had high hopes for the European-inspired menu (this being the latest venture of Suren Joshi, the chap behind other Bandra-based classics, Pali Village Cafe and Pali Bhavan)… and we were not disappointed!
Although there was no wine list available at the time of our visit, our server’s recommendation of a Shiraz hit the full-bodied notes we were looking for, arriving immaculately chilled at just the right temperature.
And seeing as nothing beats that classic combination of wine and cheese, a starter portion of fondue was definitely in order. The toasted bread on the side was of wonderfully good quality, but it was the medley of roasted root veggies that we kept reaching back to spear onto our fondue forks!
Our quinoa salad was vibrantly fresh and full of textural variety too, while our main course – a wild mushroom risotto – was brimming with comfortingly-rich winter-warming flavours.
Quite satiated by the point, it was with reluctance then that we glossed over the dessert menu, choosing instead to drive a couple of streets down for a bite of the Big Apple in Bombay…
Su Casa, The Bombay Art Society building, Bandra Reclamation, opposite Rangsharda auditorium, Bandra. Contact: 26515511.
It Happened in New York
Spaciously spread over three floors, It Happened in New York is a contemporary restaurant and bar emulating an Empire State of Mind in spirit and in substance.
In a nod to Brooklyn’s style of delis, a large community table holds pride of place in drawing room-esque setting of the ground floor; while a craft cocktail bar is situated upstairs, adjoining a dining space imbibing an endearingly kitschy style of interiors.
There’s also seating on the rooftop terrace and its rather perfect for those pleasantly-wintry evenings that have recently set upon us!
Expect both New York classics and voguish food-trends to feature prominently on the menu here. No sooner had we sat down, were we offered a plate of the very Instagrammable rainbow bagels to chow down on! The main draw for us however, were the cracking selection of cocktails on offer.
My Marigold Fizz was fabulously on-point – Gordon’s gin lusciously suffused with marigold flower and mixed with lime, sugar, a splash of soda and egg-white for a frothy finish.
Meanwhile my friend nursed her cold and sore throat with a Hot Toddy and was considerably soothened by the mellow mix of brandy with honey syrup, star anise, clove, cinnamon, ginger slice and warm apple juice!
Popcorn generously dusted with truffle oil and rosemary made for a moreish bar snack as did our choice of dessert: a matcha crepe cake! Although it wasn’t as delicately layered as it likely could have been, we found that the astringent flavours of the green tea powder were well-balanced by the milky sweetness of the pastry…
As much as we would have liked to try the NY-style cheesecake (not to mention the main dishes on offer), we were unsurprisingly bursting by this point.
Still, it was a good idea to have left with something to look forward to for the next time… as return we did!
The smooth cocktails here continued to seriously impress on our next visit, thanks to the barman’s uncanny ability to tweak each of his recipes to our individual likes and dislikes.
Bite-sized chunks of batter-coated “popcorn chicken” made a punchy pairing with my friend’s Santana Sour – a lush tequila-based concoction hitting fruity notes of pineapple and pink grapefruit. We also tried their signature nachos – the homemade tortillas were almost paapdi-like in texture, but layered with all the traditional trimmings from cheddar and refried beans pico de gallo and guacamole.
Mains were a more virtuous affair. As tempted as we were to try the four-cheese toastie or eggplant banh mi, we heroically stuck to the “clean food” section (for reasons which shall soon become obvious).
We were a tad disappointed by the burrata that arrived buried below our tomato salad (it was sadly lacking that soft freshness essential of this cheese)… but a creative play on the different textures of tomato – sharpened with a dash of olive pate – rendered this humble
vegetable fruit surprisingly craveable!
Fashioned in the style of goodness bowls (so on-trend in the health-food scene currently!), the “Grain Story” was a substantively-satisfying dish involving a hearty mix of curried cauliflower couscous, charred fennel salad, seared Brussel sprouts, roasted kale chips and pesto bocconcini. It all came together in a bountiful burst of flavours and dimensions, which we enjoyed in their natural form, no dressing required!
Having tread lightly thus far, we proceeded to go all out for afters.
An inventive take on s’mores made the most of the berry season currently in full swing. Served open-faced on a thin cracker (rather than sandwiched in between), the sweet-and-tart assembly of berries was balanced by soft and pillowy bites of marshmallow and crumbled hazelnuts, with a scattering of basil leaves adding a touch of minty freshness!
Saving the best for last, was Mr. (Jack) Daniel’s cocoa pot de creme – an indulgently smooth chocolate mousse mildly flavoured with JD’s whiskey and topped off with a dollop of white chocolate mousse, almond biscotti and edible flavours…
… It was every bit as decadently-good as it sounds and might be reason alone for us to make a third trip back, paying homage to the Big Apple in Bandra!
It Happened in New York, Plot no. 68, Chapel Road, Bandra (opposite Starbucks Coffee).