Kurla’s newest entrant, Asia Bar, offers a wide alcohol menu topped with quick service, but the kitchen needs inspiration to size up against competition
Phoenix Marketcity Kurla has now been making us head to a location more often than we would like to. This time, we made a trip to review its newest opening, Asia Bar.
Chinese Mary and Whisky Sour
With comfortable sofas to lounge around, Asia Bar is flanked by Sichuan House and Amaya, and is owned by the same company; they share their food menus as well. This might be a relief as Asia Bar has hardly anything to offer when it comes to food, as we were to discover.
Settled in a comfortable corner with groovy music for company, we made most of the happy hours, and ordered four cocktails: Thai Mojito (Rs 425), Kiwi Honey Mojito (Rs 425), Chinese Mary (Rs 400) and a Whisky Sour (Rs 400).
The interiors of Asia Bar
The service was super quick and first on table were the mojitos. The Thai Mojito had hints of lemon grass for the ‘Thai’ effect, though it could have done with a little more of the herb. The Kiwi Honey Mojito, looked and tasted almost alike, but for the addition of kiwi and a sugary overkill. While the attempt to add Asian elements to classic cocktails were not fully successful, the results were tasty.
Kiwi Honey Mojito and Thai Mojito
Next was the Whisky Sour, which had all the right requirements, citrus-ey freshness enhancing the strong whisky flavour. The Chinese Mary, which was supposed to replace Tabasco with hot and sour sauce, tasted like a good Bloody Mary. The food was the disappointing element to our evening. We learnt that for a bar, the finger food was minimal and pedestrian.
We had a Tulsiani Paneer Tikka (Rs 345) and a Classic Chilli Chicken (Rs 400). Based on the pricing (all prices exclusive of taxes), we were expecting more than what we got. The chicken preparation reminded us of a hastily-whipped up dish from the neighbourhood Chindian restaurant. The portions of Paneer Tikka weren’t marinaded enough in the basil sauce; it tasted as if hurriedly dunked into the sauce. Not cool.
Thankfully, Asia Bar patrons can pick any dish from food menus of Sichuan House or Amaya to make up for the deficit. The space can make most of its good service and tasty cocktails, though they need to get their recipes in shape or face the prospect of getting lost against formidable opposition in a big-ticket mall.
Time: 3 pm to midnight
At: Ground floor, Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla (W).
Asia bar didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.
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