Mumbai Food: Shizusan whips up a range of south-east Asian specialities

Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 21:17 IST | Kasturi Gadge

Lower Parel's Asian diner Shizusan gets a fresh look and a new hideout bar with Prohibition cocktails on its mezzanine floor

Lotus stem fries
Lotus stem fries

Two years ago, Shizusan introduced Mumbai to the shophouse culture. Now, under the umbrella of Lite Bite Foods, director Rohit Aggarwal has revamped its flagship outlet at High Street Phoenix with a fresh new look along with new additions to their menu. The restaurant, with its two-storey dining space, has been whipping up a range of south-east Asian specialities with its extensive menu.

Two-in-one

Now, to cater to party goers, the space has been revamped. The dining area on the top floor has been converted into a hideout bar called Shibui, which serves both Prohibition and pre-Prohibition era cocktails and an Asian tapas menu.

The Bojon
The Bernice

To get to Shibui, you have to walk past Shizusan which welcomes you with its fresh hues of pink and gold. As you climb up the winding stairway, the dim lights create a secretive vibe. As you open the black and white camouflage door, you are greeted by the sight of a massive bar decked up with art-deco style minimalist lights.

The light emerald coloured walls lend the space a lively vibe. If you are a larger group, can also get your own space with two private sections. At the heart of the bar is the DJ console to complete the mood. Overall, designer Aisha Wani of Aisha Wani Studios has revamped the older space into a modern and minimalistic space that will disconnect you from the traffic-laden streets of Lower Parel. The drinks menu has been designed by Mohtasim Dalla, bar manager.

The White Lady
The White Lady

He has created concoctions from the pre-Prohibition and Prohibition era, which means you can expect a lot of gin, vermouth, liqueurs and bitters. We enjoyed our gin-based Prohibition-era drink called Golden Dawn (Rs 550), which gets its sweet notes from apricot liqueur and a citrusy tang from the dash of angostura bitters. The two signature drinks that we would recommend are the gin-based Bernice(Rs 550) and their take on whiskey sour, Shibui Sour (Rs 550). While the Berniceis aromatic with the fragrance from elderflower, the latter is infused with from tamarind but it is balanced really well with maple.

Boozy treats

Unlike most bars that offer a one-pager bar bites menu, Shibui has an extensive section of dim sums, tapas bites and sushi. What makes the dim sum offerings interesting is that most of them come infused with alcohol. The wheat beer soup dumpling bao (Rs 535)is a mix of the malty beer flavours paired with the notes of the spicy broth and minced meat. The must-try from the dim sum menu is the dumpling with olive-infused vodka and prawns (Rs 555) and the melt-in-mouth edamame and shiitake mushroom with gin infused truffle oil (Rs 475).

If you are a sushi fan, we suggest the fat sushi roll called Japanese Futomaki (Rs 995) as it packs in prawns, salmon, tuna, crab, asparagus and shiitake mushroom all in one huge roll. There is a good selection of vegetarian dishes as well, and we enjoyed the Wasabi dusted okra and lotus stem (Rs 495). Shibui is an out and out bar and the idea is to keep the bar and restaurant separate by creating two spaces with a distinct vibe. While the cocktails are decently priced, the food is steep. If there's any consolation, the portion sizes won't disappoint.

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