The façade of this restaurant can be deceptive; the name Grub Shup scrawled in comic book-like font with the tagline — Slow Fast Food might make some believe it to be a collegian favourite that serves pocket-friendly beer and finger food. We were even more curious since the owners also run popular seafood haunts — Soul Fry (Bandra) and Soul Fry Casa (Fort). But as soon as you enter, the black and white floor tiles, offset by the blue and yellow walls, and brushed with dreamy sunlight from its windows, had us imagine we were inside a cosy Goan home.
Soon, we too slipped into siesta mode, helped with nuggets of information about the previous night’s football game shared by family members at the restaurant. What got us back to reality was a board that announced their Maharashtra Day Specials that included Misal Pao, Kombdi Rasa and Masala Chai. We decided to bite the bait and sample these specials. The Misal (Rs 60) lacked a fiery kick, as the rasa and spice lacked the knockout punch. The Kombdi Rasa (Rs 120) in contrast, was a light, tangy preparation, with generous pieces of chicken. It’s perfect to satiate the cravings of Mumbai’s chicken-loving fraternity in summer, and went well with the bigger, soft pao-like bread (called country loaf) that was served alongside the dish. The Kairi Panna (Rs 40) that we ordered to cool us down in case of a fiery Misal was too watery and the tang of the raw mango was lost.
Next, we opted for a Three-Pepper Penne (Rs 120) and Chilli Cheese Crostini (Rs 60) on the side. Though the pasta was cooked well, the cheese sauce lacked salt or any other flavouring, and came across as bland. The open-toasted Crostini was a cheese lover’s delight; however it wasn’t toasted well and got soggy pretty soon. We were hoping for our last order, Prawn Balchao in Paratha (Rs 100) — a Goan speciality, to save the day. Identified for its ear-popping, riotous flavours, it arrived in a pleasantly toned down version. We liked the on-the-go twist to it, where the balchao was wrapped and rolled into a light paratha. This dish will tempt first timers towards this otherwise spicy riot.
We suggest they stick to their tried-and-tested menu to bring in the crowds. Its smart pricing, relaxed character, prime location and homely non vegetarian food will make it a draw for those in search of a warm Goan meal.
(With inputs from The GUIDE team)