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Why this revamped Bandra restobar is a must visit

With peppy music, quirky décor and great drinking options such as Vodka Mousse and Kiwi Coffee cocktails, the new revamped Café Lager is ideal for after-work scenes, finds Anju Maskeri

We walk into the recently done up Café Lager (formerly Cafe Lagerbay) at around 7 pm, when the sky is slightly overcast and the mood mellow. The dim lighting and the dark wooden and brick tiling blends with the sophisticated yet cosy vibe. But to keep the melancholic mood in check is the music — upbeat, peppy and loud enough to keep you going. We visit the place on a ladies’ night but see a good mix of both sexes here.

The bar area at Café Lager has a wall with frames of vinyls and artiste pictures such as Bob Marley
The bar area at Café Lager has a wall with frames of vinyls and artiste pictures such as Bob Marley

The place, which has a seating capacity of 90 people, is neatly divided into three sections, starting with a spacious bar dotted with high stools where the wall is decorated with classic pictures of music legends such as Bob Marley and miniature LP records.

The bar leads you to an elegant dining area. Further in is the lounge section, which is the latest addition to the café, apart from the all-new menu, which is in the shape of a spiral bound notebook that reminds us of school days. We start with their signature cocktail, the Kofeina Kiwi, a heady mix of vodka, mint and chunks of kiwi. The strong flavour of vodka balances the kiwi, making the drink invigorating after a hard day’s work. Since it’s called Café Lager, it’ll be blasphemous if we don’t try their beer. So, we also call for a Birra Morreti (Rs 400), an Italian brand of beer, which has a rich taste and unique aroma of roasted malt.

Prawn Dashi contains a Japanese powder made of fish bones
Prawn Dashi contains a Japanese powder made of fish bones

From the list of appetisers, we choose Chicken Charmula (Rs 439), prepared using coriander, chilli, parsley and yoghurt. The dish gets it right when it comes to the spice, but the chicken is slightly chewy. In vegetarian starters, we opt for the Shanghai Mushroom (Rs 349) a red chilli-based dish, which has sweet overtones. A word with the chef and we realise the sweetness is the result of their in-house ketchup. The dish makes a good accompaniment with the beer.

The service is prompt and just when a few remnants of mushroom remain to be devoured, comes the main course, the Dashi Prawns (Rs 799). Seafood lovers, this is a dish that you must try. Served with steamed rice, this dish is made using cream, leek and dashi, a Japanese powder of fish bones. The prawns are well cooked and soak in the flavours of the rich gravy. The portions are pleasingly abundant.

Koffeina Kiwi is a stiff, vodka-based cocktail
Koffeina Kiwi is a stiff, vodka-based cocktail

We also try the Chicken Roulade (Rs 699), a Continental dish in which the chicken is stuffed with spinach, cheddar and processed cheese. Served with an a deliciously pungent mushroom sauce and potato mash, the chicken is tender and laden with rosemary.

Lastly, we call for the blazing Vodka Mousse (Rs 699), as the Jalapeno fudge is not available. The mousse is a rich mixture of white chocolate, coconut milk and peeled orange. Overpoweringly tangy, which is fine by us, pick this only if you have a fetish for the fruit.

With only a few additions to the existing menu of Lagerbay, Cafe Lager, which is sure to see its old clientele lap up the new avatar, could surely do with a few more options on their menu. anju.maskeri@mid-day.com

Cafe Lager
Food: Flavourful
Service: Prompt
Ambiance: Sophisticated, yet cosy
At: 183, Waterfield Road, Bandra Talao, Bandra West
Call: 67369999

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