Food and fashion fiesta
The eating experience at the much-awaited and extremely delayed lounge and diner F Bar is as much about the visual embellishments and ambiance as it is about taste
After constantly delaying launch plans for over a year and with industry celebrities like chef Rakesh Talwar, Michelin star chef Vineet Bhatia and Kris Correya, the former resident DJ at Zenzi on board, F Bar’s Mumbai outpost seems to be finally ready to open its door to demanding diners.
In a city crammed for space, F Bar has managed to create a swanky all-black lounge spread across two floors and 10,000 sq ft complete with two private dining areas, an open air smoking deck with a waterfall, two bars, two dining areas, a 360-degree television that is most likely to screen F TV and a an exclusive Dom Pérignon lounge.
After calling them as curious customers on three consecutive Monday afternoons and being told every single time that the launch of the lounge was delayed by another week, we finally managed to get a table reservation at the F Bar. They still hadn’t officially opened for public and were offering a limited tasting menu. After dodging security guards at One India Bulls Centre in Lower Parel, all of whom insisted that F Bar wasn’t open, we finally managed to get there and were quite impressed with the massive space, the architecture, the interiors and even the light, well-designed cutlery.
The tasting menu had a mix of chef Talwar’s international cuisine and Indian cuisine with signature Bhatia twists like Prawn Puchkas and Aloo Chat Martinis. We ordered Tawa Rawas Tequila Lime Glaze, Lamb Tikki Cheese Melt and Goat Cheese Cigar from the appetiser section. The Tawa Rawas was too dry and a tad unseasoned for our liking, the lamb cheese tikki, unlike its deceptive name, was fiery but beautifully cooked and seasoned. The surprise, however, was the goat cheese cigar — crispy filo pastry stuffed with fine quality goat cheese served in shot glasses with chilly mayonnaise at the bottom and sesame seeds on top. It was non-greasy yet crispy on the outside and juicy and succulent on the inside. Simplicity served in shot glasses that could potentially turn carnivores into vegetarians.
For the main course we ordered Fish Marinated with Olives-n-Caper cooked en papillote (in paper) and Methi Saag Aloo with butter roti. The fish was what legends are made of, simply cooked, beautifully dressed with the heavenly combination of olives and capers and served with perfect potato mash. The methi saag aloo with a sprinkling of fried garlic didn’t go down well with us, for which we don’t know if we should blame the chef or our traditional Punjabi taste buds.
For desserts, we decided to completely go the Vineet Bhatia way and ordered Mango Rasmalai Lasagna with Blue Curacao rabdi and Coffee Halwa with Oreo cookie ice cream served in a camera lens which was aptly called the Photo Finish. The melt in the mouth rasmalais went well with generous helpings of sweet alphonso mango and were perfectly offset by the tangy-yet- not overpowering Blue Curacao Rabdi. The Coffee Halwa, which we were told by the staff was made of semolina but what we later realised was made of cracked wheat was stodgy and disappointing.
Overall, the food at F Bar hits the sweet spot between simplicity, innovation and sophistication. The portions, at least during the trials were small, but we believe these issues won’t crop up once they open for uncompromising Mumbai customers.