Mumbai Food: Colaba brewery beers is much better than the food
A revisit to a SoBo brewery that opened in July reveals that the food doesn't dazzle as brightly as the beers
The ultimate '90s pop icon, Kylie Minogue is singing "Can't get you out of my head" as we walk into Effingut, a Pune-based brewery that made its debut in the city with its Colaba outlet earlier this year, in July.
The last time The Guide had reviewed the brewery anonymously, while it was still fairly new, the casually done-up place — with pop culture posters donning the walls that descend into a wooden floor interspersed with blue and white ceramic-tiled centers — was abuzz on a weekday. We drop by on a weekend and find that the watering hole is teeming with people. It's so packed that we are left with no choice but to settle for a two-seater Victorian-style garden table and chair in the crammed outdoor seating area that doubles up as a smoking space.
We call for the tasting tray and are let down specifically by the stout and the pale ales that lack texture and fruitiness, respectively. However, the peach ginger melomel (Rs 265 for a small glass), a sweet and fruity mead akin to schnapps, is surprisingly delightful even if it isn't as riveting as a glass of good ol' Belgian witbier is to loyalists like us. We call for a glass of this vibrant mead along with a round of the dunkelweizen (Rs 245 for a small glass), as well as shrimp popcorn (Rs 425) and the in-house basil pesto flatbread (Rs 395) to go with our drinks.
The food and beers arrive in 10 minutes. Throughout our time at the brewery, the service is quick despite being a packed house. That's not only a good sign but also an indication toward what kind of a place it wants to be — a drinkery you meet your friends at, rather than a restaurant you take your date to. The shrimp popcorns are light, crispy and brackish but it somehow bodes well with our spicy and fruity, copper-coloured dunkelweizen, which is much like a hefeweizen, but for its strong malty taste. It's in fact, creamier than the regular stout. The basil pesto flatbread (as observed on our last visit) continues to be served with a crispy base and a wholesome load of bocconcini cheese.
However, the confit tomatoe has been used sparingly, leaving you pining for a little more of the tanginess which seamlessly manages to marry the dish with its other elements. The pining then leads us to call for veg pattaya (Rs 345), a main on the brewery's food menu, as well as another glass of the dampfbier (Rs 245). While the dish lets us down far and wide, with its overcooked flat noodles, bland garlic rice and a hotchpotch vegetarian gravy made with baby corn, carrot, capsicum, broccoli, zucchini, red and yellow bell pepper, and wilted pak choy tossed around in a tangy red sauce, the rustic German lager pleases us thoroughly.
Not only is dampfbier, which translates to steam beer, underappreciated and uncommon, having lost its way amid the widely popular witbiers and hefeweizens, it also has deep historical roots. The home-style Bavarian brew was discovered in the 20th century and popularised as a utilitarian brew among the middle classes in the region in the aftermath of the First World War which was characterised by extreme poverty.
We polish off the light-amber-coloured beer with gusto and the only thing that we really can't get out of our head from our visit here is undoubtedly the dampfbier.
The Guide first reviewed Effingut in July 2018. We conduct select, anonymous follow-ups to assess maintenance of standards
TIME 12 pm to 1.30 am
AT Dhanraj Mahal, Next to the Bentley Showroom, Colaba
Effingut didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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