A new eating space in the suburb serves up expensive but average world cuisine, salvaged by live music and the promise of craft brews
Spicy Rock Chicken Fingers
The country may be discussing the reproductive prowess of peacocks, but we have our eye on a different bird. A finch, to be specific.
The small bird, known for its colourful plumage, is nesting in Andheri (E) at The Finch Restaurant and Bar that will open its doors this Thursday.
Finch comes from the house of Plutusone Hospitality Pvt Ltd, and the focus is craft beer, live music and world food. They haven't started brewing yet, so we focus on the other two aspects.
Lamb Chops Rogan Josh
Writing on the wall
It is easy to walk past Finch, and not notice it. The lone sign that announces its presence is a projection of a bird on a wall - the wall belongs to an abandoned factory.
Inside, the restaurant is done up in grey and blue, with dim lighting. The space is divided into an air-conditioned smoking area, casual seating areas by the microbrewery and near an open kitchen, a bar, and a cosy section by the 'fireplace'.
The stage area is small as compared to the overall space. All the seating areas have a good view of thestage. Imagine a toned down version of a concert setting.
The plan, we hear, is to offer live music every day, along with bigger bands from India and outside; Indian Ocean is set to perform this Sunday, and the opening will see Mikey McCleary and The Bartender. The band for the evening was Rohit Vasudevan Diaries.
Fresh Summer Roll
World on my plate
Finch doesn't have a bar licence yet, so we settle for mocktails (prices not fixed). The Apple Punch is a fizzy sweet drink, and the Rosemary Watermelon Ice Tea tastes like a refreshing watermelon juice.
The food menu has Indian, Continental and Oriental fare. Lime Chilli Coconut Thai Style (Rs 625, with prawn) is a thin broth filled with undercooked prawns. The missing flambe and whiskey in Finch's Jack Daniel Wings (Rs 625) means the wings lack smokiness or heat. We prefer The Fresh Summer Roll (Rs 475) - a soaked and chewy rice paper sheet wrapped around crunchy paneer, avocado, cucumber and sunflower seeds.
The restaurant is done up in grey and blue
In the Oriental menu, we try the Sui Mai (Rs 675) - a salty dish of prawn, chicken and salmon caviar. Masala Prawns Tempura (Rs 925) has more batter than meat - the prawn is juicy but the batter is too oily and not light enough to be a tempura. The Wasabi Chicken Gyoza (Rs 550), though lacking the wasabi punch, has a juicy and lightly spiced chicken filling.
Finch has a stage in the centre of the room. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
The Indian touch
Finch may have dreams of serving world cuisine but it lacks execution. At such steep prices, we expect so much better.
Luckily for them, their Indian section doesn't disappoint. The Spicy Rock Chicken Fingers (Rs 475) are good chakna - spicy, crunchy and juicy. Lamb Chops Rogan Josh (Rs 1,475) has a creamy and sweet gravy and tandoori baby potatoes, but the meat is fatty and overcooked. Rajputana Laal Maas (Rs 975) gets its meat right but the accompanying gravy, while tasty on its own, is nothing like other versions of the dish we've had before.
Dessert is nothing special. The Tiramisu (R675) is dry and lacks the richness of coffee or Kahlua, and the gimmicky Just Can't Name It (Rs 675) has a smooth caramel sauce covering a cake.
If we can, we will return to Finch to watch our favourite bands live, but not for the food.
OPENS: June 29 TIME 6 pm to 1 am
AT: The Finch, John Baker, Saki Vihar Road, Andheri (E).
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