Mumbai Food: Powai's Crafters Tap House is heaven for beer lovers
Powai's Crafters Tap House takes a medium bodied approach for its nine homebrewed beers
We walk into Crafters Tap House at Haiko Mall in Powai for an anonymous visit on a Friday when the venue is booked for a party. The manager is sweet enough to accommodate a table for two with a warning: "Our music is usually cool retro". He's saying this as the bar is full of Bollywood vibes today. But to our delight, it's Jaivarshan Varma of The Staircase Band, dressed in an oversized sweatshirt and dhoti pants, doling out Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle and new releases.
We like the buzz at the corner bar, with the taps busy pouring 250 and 500 ml of yellow. The venue enjoys a glass façade which lets in natural light by day and gives the space a spacious feel at night. The décor is minimalist with clean wooden seating design.
Biscuit and gravy.
The menu doesn't offer a flight, so we request to try all their beers on tap, starting our beer trot with a refreshing coriander and citrusy orange jugalbandhi in the Belgium Wit; subtle hints of banana and clove in a surprisingly light Hefeweizen that has a nature to behave heavy on our palates like an uninvited guest.
The dark lager has a seamless flow and a smooth texture with a bitter caramel profile. Similarly, the coffee stout is like an alcoholic espresso and mocha. The cucumber lager is vegetal, crisp and refreshing and we savour it as a beer cocktail. Our love for the evening is the Saison, a unique pairing of pepper and mangoes with a hint of muskmellon, giving us a heady kick. But the apple cider has a sourness that gives us a musty taste, which we are not fans of.
The beauty of the brews is the medium body, that makes them enjoyable. If you're a beer amateur, these beers will serve as a crash course in getting to know the beverage.
To line our stomachs, we order Tinga chicken tacos (Rs 330), that come on open soft-shell tortilla with a dollop of pulled meat doused in red flames of paprika and pepper-laden Cajun spices, topped with fresh green avocado with a side of salsa. We fancy the biscuit and gravy (Rs 335) which comes with a toasted cheese and sage cornmeal bread and is topped with a creamy white sauce and mushrooms. This is what we call binge food. The beet salad (Rs 360) gives salads a good name. It's fermented in vinegar, and mixed with curly kale leaves, quinoa, sliced almonds and bathed in a citrusy vinaigrette. We are happy to don the crown of a convert.
Having progressed to the Berrita (Rs 450), a beer cocktail with tequila that has a refreshing cucumber lager, lime and a dash of sea salt that cloaks the harshness of tequila. The seafood pizza gives an approaching high a tough fight. The base topped with fish, squid, peri peri prawns, has a sweet chilli aftertaste that mingles with a salty coastal flavour. The vanilla bean panna cotta (Rs 315) with the berry sauce, though, is too dull. The apple cinnamon parfait (Rs 325) is dressed for a parade with furled fans of the dehydrated fruit, an apple jelly and walnut bits crush. We'll stick to our Saison and savouries, as we sit back and let the band serenade us.
Service: Cheerful and prompt STAR: 3/5
AT: Crafters Tap House, Haiko Mall, Powai
TIMING: 12 pm to 1 am
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