From the horse's mouth

Updated: Jun 14, 2019, 18:32 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

At BKC's derby-themed restobar, you use an app to order and bet. Mid-day's racing know-it-all likes the idea but wishes for a glitch-free tech experience

From the horse's mouth

FOOD/standard
AMBIeNCE/chic
SERVICE/sketchy
COST/Reasonable
verdict/Ratings

The weather in Mumbai has taken a swivel. The streets are kissed with pattering showers and there’s a welcome nip in the air. It’s that time of the year when the heart pines for a peaceful moment, like idling away amid moist grass, perhaps somewhere like the idyllic racecourse in Mahalaxmi. But if that’s wishful thinking and the exigencies of life disallow you to sit in the lap of greenery, a new restaurant in BKC is where you can at least soak in the racing experience, albeit virtually.

At the sprawling Derby Restobar, the floor has alternate blue and white tiles. The mix and match of chairs in different colours, plush sofas on one side, artificial plants hanging loosely from the ceiling and the glass frontage lend an executive-yet-chic vibe to the place. On its second day of service, there are already a few guests, which is a positive sign.

Truffle mushroom broth
Truffle mushroom broth

The staff is eager and keen, and leads you to your seat. Then, a waiter hands you physical menus and briefs you on their eponymous mobile app, which you’re encouraged to download. A screen fitted on one of the pillars with a racing screensaver shows you the countdown to the next match, with one digitally controlled race being screened every 40 minutes. Meanwhile, based on the dishes and drinks you order, loyalty points are added to the account, which you can then use to bet on different horses. If luck favours you, and the horse you bet on wins, points are added again to the app, which can be used to bet on the next match or redeemed as discounts. And that explains a large red sign adorning a wall of the restaurant that reads, “Ride your luck.”

But before you can experience any of this, you’ll have to order food, and the choices are extensive. The menu offers a mix of different cuisines, ranging from Asian-style noodles to biryani.

Prawns. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Prawns. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

First, the waiters bring a bowl of truffle mushroom broth (Rs 245). The soup is comforting and has a palatable earthiness that comes from the redolent truffle. It complements the weather perfectly, too. However, the second order of shiitake mushroom and water chestnut dumpling (Rs 285) is a grisly let-down. The coating is uneven with the moneybag-shaped appetisers being thick and translucent in places. The filling is flavourful, but hardly ingenious enough to offer saving grace. From the non-veg section, the chilli fish baos (Rs 345) are a nice option to snack on. The bread is soft, the fish is crispy and the lemony slaw complements the tartare, peanuts and garlic in a harmonious way. It goes well with the moonlight romance (Rs 550), too, which is a fruity tequila-based cocktail. And another dish that could perhaps catch your fancy is one that’s simply called prawns (Rs 425). It comes on a bed of rice noodles served with Vietnamese sauces and microgreens, and while that component of the dish is pleasant, the flavoured and soft crustaceans lose all their glory from being overtly salted.

Moonlight romance
Moonlight romance

Mid-way through the meal a match comes on without any heads-up. We win 110 points, but for some reason the balance of points on the app doesn’t add up. Fumbling waiters huddle around the bar and try to figure a way. An IT professional’s help is promised, but before they show up, the next race is already over, and so is our meal.

At: Derby Restobar, The Capital, Bandra Kurla Complex.
Time: 12 pm to 1.30 am
Call: 8291139404

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