The not-so-cool mule
The ten-day old Moscow Mule Bar & Grill will have to fix its bad service and unreasonable price points in order to make an impact in the ever evolving culinary landscape of Koramangala
Most like their bars dark. As do we. There has to be that sinister, mysterious look about a bar. It has to be grey. Neither black nor white.
But being dimly lit is one thing, and wearing the look of a dungeon necessitating the use of torch light to read the menu is quite the other. Moscow Mule, which comes from the same stable as Le Rock off Brigade Road is almost pitch dark.
The interiors of Moscow Mule
On a Monday evening, we swung by the basement bar. And yes, the phone torch did come to good use to read the menu that came in the form of a passport. It even had the name of the traveler - a certain Harry Commander, a mule that is the mascot of the restaurant.
The bar wears a contemporary look alright with wooden furniture, but it lacks character, something that's mandatory for any bar.
Moscow Mule, as you know, is a cocktail with vodka, ginger and lime. One of us tried another vodka-based cocktail - Black Russian (Rs 350), a blend of kahlua and vodka. It was smooth and just right to set the appetite for a big meal. But before that it was time to glug some chilled beer and they were stress busting as usual.
For entree, we asked for the Grilled Portobello (Rs 200) and the dish is merely a handful of button mushrooms. They were succulent and well made with feta cheese and although the dish description says it contains pesto, we didn't find any traces of the sauce.
Also, that was one of the few vegetarian grills they have on their menu. We wouldn't recommend the place to vegetarians as they would have to make do with a few pizzas and salads. It's nearly alarming that they call it 'bar & grill' but include no vegetarian grills in the menu. Don't vegetarians deserve to have grills? When asked, a clueless waiter told us mostly meats are grilled!
The vegetarian amongst us had the House Salad (R 150) which was nothing more than a green salad. A wall of lettuce, carrot cut in oval shapes, onions and olives surrounded a vinegar dressing in a small bowl with a few croutons thrown in, as if to make amends for the hopeless looking salad. The least you expect of House Salad is one that's tossed with dressing. This was shameful!
Boneless Chicken Tender (Rs 200) was the next dish on our table. The chicken with barbe-que sauces was nice enough and went well with the alcohol.
The menu has a mix of Oriental, European and Russian dishes and we picked the Chicken Sun Dried Tomato(R 280) for the mains following it up with Chicken Ala Kiev (R 350), a dish that the Russians claimed theirs in the 20th century after Russian food historian William Pokhlebkin stated that it was invented in the Moscow Merchants' Club.
The Chicken Sun Dried Tomato, which was supposed to come with pilaf, didn't. Apparently the chef "was confused" and had forgotten about it. Now a confused chef is a rarity. So we waited for the pilaf to arrive, and what came instead was steamed rice.
The chicken, dunked in a white wine sauce, had very few pieces of sun dried tomatoes and was so dry that one can't pair it with rice. Besides, the meat was quite unyielding.
The Ala Kiev was relatively faultless, sufficiently crisp and came with a bed of mashed potatoes, as it should. The stuffing was also palatable. Moscow Mule has a scanty dessert menu and nothing excited us too much, so we skipped it.
We were told that the kitchen is on the terrace and is shared by the luxury guest house in the same building. That certainly explained the terribly slow service, which shouldn't have been the case given that we were the only diners that night.
Besides the quality and quantity of food don't justify the prices. And with a name like Moscow Mule, maybe they should focus primarily on Russian cuisine instead of making it yet another multi-cuisine eatery.
Where Moscow Mule Bar & Grill
122/A, KHB Colony, 5th Block,
MEAL FOR TWO R 2,000
Moscow Mule didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.