Mumbai Food: Bengaluru-based brewpub replaces blueFROG in Lower Parel
A Bengaluru night out favourite replaces Lower Parel's blueFROG, bringing with it craft brews and exciting eats
The city's mill district in Lower Parel is transforming faster than you can blink, with new structures springing up like mushrooms after the rain. In the midst of this chaos sits a charming oasis, one that will transport you from the dusty streets of the industrial neighbourhood to a space that feels like a home in the tropical south. Welcome to the newly opened Toit Taproom and Kitchen, the Bengaluru-based brewpub that replaces the iconic blueFROG, which shut shop in August 2016. Toit has none of the futuristic, neon-lit drama that its predecessor had. Instead, splashes of ochre and terracotta run through the sprawling multi-level space, interjected by the warm caramel tones of Burma teak. The Busride Design Studio has given it the feel of a Chettinad house, complete with lush potted plants, as a hat-tip to the brewpub's south Indian heritage.
Kerala beef fry
Beers and beyond
We visit on a Monday night, and get seats at a table that provides a vantage point to the cleverly designed layout. After taking a moment to admire it, we get right down to ordering our drinks. The menu offers six craft beers (Rs 275 for a pint), from the fragrant basmati blonde (a pale ale) to the dark knight, a dry stout with a rich coffee-cocoa aroma. You can also opt for the seasonal specials on the menu. There are cocktails to indulge in, too. If you like your dessert in the form of a drink, get the the decadent rum decadent rum and bananas (Rs 275). Or, get the sweet-and-spicy Guntur liquid chutney (Rs 275), a concoction of vodka, mango juice and Guntur chilli.
Guntur liquid chutney. Pics/Shraddha Uchil
From the land of coconuts
The food menu includes a host of dishes from The Permit Room, a south India-inspired restaurant in the garden city also helmed by Toit's owners. The calamari 65 (Rs 275) pairs curry leaf-flecked, batter-fried squid rings with a creamy dip. Meanwhile, the nizami haleem samosas (Rs 300) may not come close to the real deal, but the dish scores full marks if judged simply for what it is: a lamb pâté redolent with browned onions, held together in filo parcels.
The dish that wins us over is the authentic Kerala beef fry (Rs 300), served on flaky, palm-sized Malabar parottas. While Toit scores high on both counts - food and alcohol - it's also wheelchair- and pet-friendly, which earns it extra points. Here's welcoming what will prove to be a worthy competitor to the other pubs in the neighbourhood serving craft beers and great bar eats.
TIME: 12 pm to 1 am
AT: Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel.
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