London calling: A new gastropub at Kamla Mills will transport you to British capital
Alleppy Prawns Curry in Spicy Rosemary Warqi Taco
It's hard to miss London Taxi standing tall at a corner of Kamala Mills. The facade of the three-level gastropub, which opens this Saturday, might seem like it’s bovine inspired but a close look reveals a map of London, the city that serves as an inspiration for this pub, with the river Thames running through it.
The 6,000-sq ft property is helmed by ad filmmakers Vivek DasChaudhary, Sanjay Shetty and Ricky Singh Bedi, with Dhaval Udeshi as the managing partner. The first things we notice when we enter are the custom-made, taxi-shaped tiles. The bar features cab grills lining the front. Colourful pipes run across the ceiling, to form a map of the London Underground. The table tops are printed with artwork inspired by Abbey Road.
Sherlock in a Pickle
The London inspiration continues on the menu, albeit in a less obvious manner. It has a wild mix of cuisines (think Prawn Thai Broth, Moroccan Fish Tikka and Madras Curry Scotch Egg). Chef Nagraj Bhat says the menu speaks of London’s cosmopolitan nature, and stories from his time spent there. The south Indian dishes are an ode to his mother’s cooking. Everything is made in-house, including the sausages, sauces and breads. Ami Shroff, who has created the bar menu, informs that the infused liquor and shrubs are made in-house too.
Bhat picks some of his favourites for us to try. The first is Truffle-scented Dark Chocolate Caramelised Cauliflower Veloute ('260).
A soup is not something we would normally have at a pub, but the dark chocolate flavour, heightened by the bitter-sweetness of the caramelised onion, makes it a must-try. From the salad spread, we are served Cajun-spiced Prawn and Kale Chips Salad ('385). Grilled pieces of spicy pineapple add a punch to the dish, with drops of mango jalapeño coulis offering a sweet-and-spice combination.
By now, Shroff is ready with her cocktails, the first concoction being The Trip ('725). A pleasant woody flavour of turmeric envelopes our palate, thanks to the gin infused with the healthy ingredient. Saffron honey water and fresh orange add to the unique flavour.
It is followed by Sherlock In A Pickle ('675). The savoury cocktail features Earl Grey-infused vodka mixed with wine-beetroot reduction, sweet lime juice and pickled gherkins — inspired by the culinary favourites of the fictional sleuth. Beer lovers can opt for Picadilly Circus ('450), made with lager, espresso and cocoa-infused whisky with bitters. There is a section dedicated to gin and tonic and martinis for the Londoner in you. Only paper or metal straws are offered, to reduce plastic usage, a move that we wholly approve of.
Our food picks also include Alleppy Prawns Curry in Spicy Rosemary Warqi Taco ('580), Truffle Scented Welsh Rarebite Doughnut ('365), which makes for a great bar bite, and Theecha Tepenade Flatbread ('575) made with beer-fermented flatbread. For dessert, try their Banana Rum and Toffee Parfait ('465).
With intriguing decor, a crowd-pleasing menu and unique cocktails (which are heavy on the pocket), London Taxi is revving up as the newest entrance in the restaurant race at Kamala Mills.
Opens on September 9, 6 pm to 1 am At Kamala Mills, Trade World, Lower Parel.
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