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I like listening to you, Mr Sting

Even if that means that the newest restaurant in town appears a little less 'underground' and a whole lot less 'industrial' -- words being used to describe Carter Road's new bar and diner

Industrial', 'underground', 'hub': The invitation to the opening of The Big Nasty, the city's newest bar and diner on the road that houses several of Bandra's hip and snazzy joints, just off the Carter Road  promenade, left us a bit bamboozled.


Aluminium flooring and unpainted walls do their best to lend the interiors
an 'industrial' look, but coloured glass panes and bright yellow pipes
criss-crossing the ceiling lend an eclectic look to The Big Nasty.
Pics/ Shadab Khan
 

So when we walked in two days later, waiting for the regular crowd to hit the place by then, we went looking for signs of what could be deemed underground about a diner that is located on the second floor (above Shatranj Napoli) and turns into a bar that serves burgers at 7.30 pm each night.


The Pork Chops were cooked well, but regrettably tiny in portion size  

We'd tried asking owner Kishore D F, but he wasn't very helpful -- "It's open to interpretation. Soak it in, see it for yourself," he said, even as he laughingly admitted that "there's nothing underground about the place." It's true. Even the music is very above board. There are easy listening tracks by Sting and the Eagles. There's a bit of unidentifiable country rock. Heads may bob, but they certainly won't roll or bang as they would have if underground grunge was playing.

The interiors are interesting. Balls of fabric, a wooden shark and clay monkey heads adorn the walls, even as low watt bulbs hang inside wire mesh lamps strung from the beamed ceilings. Similar wire mesh walls separate tables. Coloured glass panes shimmer from wood-framed windows and the only 'industrial' look one could ascribe to the place emanates from unpainted cement walls and exposed pipes that criss-cross the roof, snaking their way across the 2,000 sq ft space. The pipes, be warned, are painted a bright yellow.

However, once you get over looking for signs of descriptions -- mere words, after all -- you begin to notice things that you like. Space, for instance. Attentive service. Good music, which tends to go a little loud and drown out your friends' voices. And pretty yummy burgers.

The eclectic menu of the bar and diner has a selection of beef, pork and chicken burgers, some of which come in two sizes, regular and nasty. The Madras Roast Chicken burger (Rs 250 for regular, Rs 360 for nasty) reminded one faintly of McDonald's abortive attempt to introduce green chutney in their McChickens, a long time ago. However, the Madras Roast wins hands down, for not only figuring out how to do it right, but also being succulent and yummy at the same time. Another favourite was the Urban Pork burger (Rs 250, only regular size available) and the All American Classic (Rs 240, regular, Rs 340, nasty), where the beef slice is minced to the point of crumbling.

The menu isn't exhaustive, in fact for a diner, it's positively sparse. The starters list has the usual suspects, Curly Fries (a bit oily, Rs 180), Italian style Pork Chops (correctly cooked, but regrettably tiny, Rs 260) and Lemon Chicken Wings (crispy, yummy, but cold when it reached our table, Rs 225).

The alcohol ranged from wines and expensive whiskeys to good ol' Kingfisher (Rs 185). Here's a potential hub, we think. Carter Road may have just got its own Toto's.

Visit: 2nd floor, Shatranj Napoli Building, next to Olive Bar and Kitchen, Union Park, Khar (W)

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