South Mumbai eatery offers good food, innovative cocktails with a view
When we hear of Baraesti, a new grill bar and lounge at Tardeo, we are both intrigued and elated. With most eateries opening between Andheri and Bandra nowadays, a new outlet in south Mumbai is a welcome change.
We make our way to the rooftop restaurant on a breezy Sunday evening. While the indoor seating is too cramped, the giant Buddha statue under a gold-painted wooden-plank roof in the spacious outside area tempts us to take a seat beside it. The interiors are an eclectic mix of sofas and high chairs, and decorated with latticed lanterns.
We begin our meal with Shish Tawook (Rs 399), Baby Falafel (Rs 349) and Arbi Ke Kebab (Rs 349). The Shish Tawook is a Turkish dish which has charcoal-grilled chicken pieces marinated in thahina sauce — roasted sesame seeds, grounded with salt, lemon juice and olive oil in a mortar — and served with pita bread. The dish lacks the much-needed burnt flavour from the charcoal and the chicken is too chewy for our liking.
The drink Melon Balls has muskmelons and watermelons infused in vodka and chillies
The falafel dish serves deep fried balls made of chickpeas, onion, parsley and garlic and the pita bread separately. The dryness of the pita and hummus reminds us of the time we made the dish using ready packets available in the market. The kebabs are a tad hard and bland. A little more of garlic would have done the trick.
Wok Charred Lamb at Baraesti Grill Bar and Beyond Shish Tawook is a Turkish dish. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Not too impressed, we move on to the Arbi Ke Kebab (Rs 349), which are deep-fried colocasia (Arbi in Hindi) served with pita bread and yogurt chutney. The kebabs are made from zatar and sumac spices, typical of Moroccan cuisine. The tangy spices completely overpower the taste of the kebabs and we miss the earthy flavour of arbi in it. We enjoy the yogurt chutney far more than the kebabs.
The drinks — Basil and Cucumber Martini (Rs 550) and Melon Balls (Rs 500) — however, uplift our spirits. The basil, cucumber and vodka and chillies make a cooling blend in the martini. The latter contains muskmelons and watermelons, soaked overnight in vodka and chilli. A perfect combination of sweet and acidic, we finish them in no time.
For the main course, we order a Moroccan Curry (Rs 599) with Sheermal Roti and a Vegetarian Pizza.
Chickpeas and vegetables are tossed in a coconut-based curry of tomatoes, garlic, onions and black pepper. But thanks to the raisins, the dish tilts towards the sweeter side. We devour the dish with the saffron bread and pronounce it the winner dish of the meal.
The pizza base has a puree of herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil infused with garlic, olive oil, white pepper and salt. Topped with olives, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, the crunchy base gives us no reason to complain.
We also try the Wok Charred Lamb (Rs 399), a Chinese dish of juliennes of charred-lamb tossed in oyster sauce. While the lamb is beautifully tender and packs in a sufficient burnt flavour, the oyster sauce is a tad too sweet.
We end our meal with Flameed Gulab Jamun (R399) and Lemon Cheese Cake (R349). Not all delicacies perform well as fusion dishes. The Gulab Jamun, which has khoya soaked with rum is not pleasing in taste, and we reach out to the comfort of the lemon cheesecake, which is classic and creamy, just the way we like it.
Give Baraesti — functional only on weekends — a shot only if you are in the vicinity and want to try some innovative cocktails at the rooftop.
At: 505, 5th Floor, Konarkshram, near Sardar Pavbhajiwala, Tardeo