Mumbai Food: SoBo's new bistro offers quick-fix dining options
A swish new bistro in Kala Ghoda offers sweet and savoury crepes, one-pot meals and other quick-fix dining options
Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
Once upon a time, in Kala Ghoda's inner lanes, there was a metal workshop. Today, that space has transformed into a casual dining restaurant where the only metal that can be seen is in the furniture and racks displaying pretty clothes.
Seafood Paella. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
This is AKA Bistro, the second outlet of the AKA brand started by the same owners behind the fine dine, AKA Worli. However, the soon-to-open bistro only shares a name with the Worli outlet; everything else is different.
Huevos Ranchero. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
Stepping into the bistro, we are greeted by a gigantic spun orange and yellow creation that starts at the ceiling and spreads out to the stairs leading to a mezzanine area. The interiors by Busride Design Studio are a tribute to the owners' fashion and textile backgrounds. There are wall nooks with broken mannequins, designer purses and popsicle sticks covered with sequins while the mezzanine section has a display from the owners' label. A section of the ceiling covered with shoes makes us wonder how hard it will hurt if a pair actually drops on an unsuspecting patron!
Yellow Muslin. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
AKA doesn't have a liquor licence yet, so they're making do with a large selection of drinks — teas by TGL Co, coffees by Illy and mocktails (all at Rs 135). Our favourite is The Label — a refreshing, basil-infused, fizzy ginger ale with orange juice and passion fruit. The Yellow Muslin is a coconut-ey drink that gets sweetness from the Orange Mango tea blend and mango syrup; our companion calls it a refined version of Rasna. The Suits and Boots has apple and orange juice and surprises us with a strong vanilla flavour that gives way to a hit of Tabasco.
Among the food, while we love the creaminess in the perfectly balanced Broccoli and Almond Soup (Rs180), the bitterness in the Broccoli Cakes (Rs 225) isn't masked by the tangy tomato coulis. The Fish (Rs 350) and Tofu (Rs 275) Tacos are crumbly and the fried tofu and fish are so small, they can barely be tasted.
The Huevos Ranchos with Eggs (Rs 180) is a wholesome, delicious breakfast dish with beans, peppers, cheddar, salsa and sour cream served on a tortilla. The one-pot meals are high on flavour and low on size. The Seafood Paella (Rs 500) is tangy and filling; the Seared Tofu with Soy Poached Vegetables (R425) has a fragrant and meaty soy broth that adds flavour to the tofu.
But, we say skip that and opt for the none-too-healthy Baked Mac and Cheese (Rs 400), a gooey dish packed with cheese and little else. The crepes are our hits for the night. The Mushroom Duxelle and Goat cheese Crêpe (Rs300) is a creamy, cheesy, perfectly cooked dish. The Caramelised Banana and Nutella Crêpe (Rs 275) plays on simple ingredients but is packed with a nutty sweetness.
Interiors. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
AKA Bistro is a big space with fun interiors. The food is a combination of one-pot meals (the place hopes to make it their specialty), crêpes (a live counter will whip them up on demand), and breakfast eats (lots of egg dishes). The dishes are packed with healthy ingredients but nothing stands out. We do like the fact that the food is low on spice; those needing a fiery hit, can look for it in the accompanying sauces or dips.
Opens: on December 1
Time: 8.30 am to 11 pm
At: AKA Bistro, Unit no 1, ground floor, 121-123 Nagindas Master Road,
Radha Bhavan, Kala Ghoda.
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