Nico Goghavala shuts down his South Mumbai eatery to open a new one; not much is new but the prices
Farmer & Sons
Ambiance: Gritty Chic
The bocconcini cheese was the star of Fettucine Fresca pasta
Nico Bombay is now Farmer & Sons (F & S). There’s not much in the menu or ambiance to convince you of the change. The distressed bar and vintage chandeliers remain. A cheese and dessert display and a row of bar stools are a new addition, though. There is a chance that you will find owner Nico Goghavala seated on one of them, sharing a tip or two with his bartender. This too, is not new. The menu follows the focus of its predecessor — fresh ingredients used to create international dishes. The mustachioed farmer wearing tailored clothes in delightful artwork on the menu announces this ably. The Neopolitan pizzas remain (thank God), and you can now also choose from sandwiches, sharing plates and cheese and vegetable boards.
Acres of Goodness pita pockets
Since it’s now remodelled into a diner-cum-café-cum-bar, coffees and baked goodies are an added attraction. The menu is larger than Nico’s and includes the latest food fads, kale leaves and nachani.
Drunken Dragons Milk cocktail
Since we dropped in for dinner, we skipped the coffee and hit the bar. After all, Nico’s cocktails were pricey but legendary. A Drunken Dragons Milk (Rs 425), whipped up from green tea vodka, coconut puree and kewra syrup was perfect to kick off the evening. Expertly mixed with standout flavours, F & S’ bar game is strong. If you are a teetotaler, try Citizen Cane (Rs 150); a mix of sugarcane and coconut juice, laced with ginger and lime. It’s a drink so fresh, you will have to resist from doing a bottoms up.
The interiors look similar to predecessor Nico Bombay. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
Pita pockets get a section to themselves. The vegetarian Acres of Goodness (Rs 300) sees a thin as roti pocket packed with the crunch of bell peppers, mushroom and quinoa (the chickpeas mentioned on the menu were missing but not missed). For a piece of meat, we picked The Band (Rs 475) sandwich. It came with generous chunks of expertly made juicy brisket. The filling of pickled vegetables, garlic cream and cheese was perfect. Porky The Pig (Rs 700; it’s a pizza) formed the biggest chunk of our bill but was worth every penny. Stringy buffalo mozzarella topped with tomato, bacon and sausage, it’s possible to polish off in minutes. Once again, the micro greens mentioned as topping were missing.
The Fettucine Fresca (Rs 325) turned out to be the star of the main course. We couldn’t get enough of the beautiful bocconcini cheese. Doused in olive oil, it carried the fresh flavour of cherry tomatoes and basil.
The Baked Chocolate Truffle (Rs 250) was gooey and came topped with crème fraiche (seemed unnecessary) and was served with liquor-infused figs.
We liked Nico’s, but like several others thought the damage was way too much to bear when our card was swiped. This, Ghogavala seems to have understood. With a menu that serves up a fresh and delightful pasta dish for under Rs 400 and desserts costing Rs 250 instead of Rs 450 (their Chocolate and L’Opera Symphony cake), there’s certainly a reason to return. That’s if the Bourbon Salted Caramel milkshake hasn’t tempted you enough for an encore.
Time: 11 am to 1 am
At: Mubarak Manzil, near Bombay Stock Exchange, Apollo Street, Kala Ghoda.
Farm & Sons didn't know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.
A look back at Nico Bombay (Click here to read our review from 2013)