Mumbai Food: Andheri's new outlet has promising food and drinks
Two visits to a new bar and kitchen in Andheri reveal a promising addition to the suburb's list of eateries
We visit Bistro 1, a new bar and kitchen in Andheri West, on consecutive nights for two different purposes. The first visit, on a Monday, is meant only to sample the food. We then drop by on the following day for a quick drink since it's a hop, skip and jump away from where we live. And here's how our experience panned out on the two different occasions.
Day 1: Food
We walk into the joint that's right below Versova Metro station, next to a busy line of eateries, around midnight to find the place empty. This is surprising. For, the nightlife in Mumbai — and especially Versova, where many of the denizens don't have 9 to 5 jobs — is such that the concept of a weekend stretches into Monday.
It's even more of a surprise because this establishment has easily the prettiest interiors among all the other places in the vicinity. Nonetheless, we get over our disappointment about the discernible lack of buzz and go through the menu. It's a sparse affair borrowed from the café in Lokhandwala that is a sister concern of this bar and kitchen. So without much ado, we order a veg Caesar salad ('289), chicken wings ('289), and herbed grilled chicken ('389).
The salad arrives in the blink of an eye (no surprises there, considering how idle the kitchen is). The sauce is subtle and the greens are fresh, which is just the way we like this Italian classic. They could have added more Parmesan shavings, though, and the bits of cumin embedded in the bread crumbs seem as out of place as a navratan korma during Thanksgiving dinner.
The chicken wings are served with a refreshing yoghurt dip and carrot and cucumber strips. The dish can serve as a crowd-pleaser given how inoffensive the smoky flavour is. But the grilled chicken has a strong hint of herbs, though the creamy mashed potato that accompanies it plays a perfect balancing role. So, our overall experience with the food here is decent, and the fact that there are two more occupied tables by the time we exit gives us hope that word is getting around about the establishment.
Day 2: Drinks
That hope is strengthened when we return on Tuesday to find four sets of diners already there around 11 pm. Without spending too much time, we choose masala monk for a quick test of the drinks menu. The cocktail's potency is laudable, given the whiff of Old Monk even before we have taken a sip. And even though we find the masala quotient a bit overbearing, our partner says, “That's what I like about it.” To each his own, as they say.
So ultimately, we'd be jumping the gun in writing off Bistro 1 based only on its lack of buzz. And anyway, if you compare a night out to a game of poker, Monday and Tuesday are like the cards numbered 2 and 7 — it's the worst possible hand. That's why we will give this place more time before making any conclusions about its future.
Time 1 pm to 1 am
At Shiv Shopping Center, 7 Bungalows, Andheri West.
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