Mumbai food: Colaba's newest eatery serves great Asian fare
Colaba's newest bar and restaurant is a treat for the senses with its tasteful ambience, well-crafted cocktails, and Asian fare
The first time we visited the space, Miss T was in the making. Carpenters chiselled away, mirrors patiently waited to be put up, the carpet colour was under debate and the team — Gauri Devidayal and Jay Yousuf of The Table, and the three Woodside Inn boys; Abhishek Honawar, Sumit Gambhir and Pankil Shah — was dividing duties.
We had been at the right place at the right time, when there were tastings going on. Our first crush was the Burmese tea leaf salad, spiked with peanuts and minced shrimp, which we dug into as Devidayal mulled over the size of the shreds in the papaya salad. The jackfruit curry also swept us off our feet, creamy with coconut milk.
This week, we called for reservations for an anonymous review. The place is what the team visualised it to be: a glitzy neighbourhood bar, where Miss T will strut in for a meal alone, bring her girl gang the next day, and come in with her partner the day after. The ground level that ends at the bar has a dim ambience, but with enough lighting to take Instagrammable, drool-worthy photos. Deep-blue sofa booths offer privacy and the T-shaped crystal quartz bar provides a chic hangout space. At the entry point, we love the glass roof that makes the sky and breezy trees visible.
Every cocktail is characterised by an adventurous, refreshing and comforting tag. Since we are in the mood for adventure, we opt for Quixotic (Rs 850), which has a peanut butter-infused Jim Beam bourbon, hints of saffron and orange bitters. The name reminds us of the infamous nobleman of La Macha who sets out on many chivalrous expeditions that usually fail, but this one is a winner. The peanut butter is subtle in making its presence felt, lingering on our palate as an aftertaste. The bourbon stands strong, making the drink palatable and potent.
We also order the gin-based nabob (Rs 850) for its savoury ingredients — caramelised onions and year-long clay pot-aged fish sauce. Curiosity makes you take reckless decisions sometimes, but this one offers a unique treat to the taste buds. The sweetness of aged and caramelised ingredients makes the cocktail easy to drink, and it actually pairs well with the Asian meal sojourn.
We begin with Vietnamese rice paper rolls (Rs 600) that tightly hold raw veggies like carrot, enoki mushrooms and greens. It has a sour tang, with a creamy peanut sauce. But overall, it was a bit too dry. The crab and shrimp Rangoon (Rs 850) are golden brown and deep-fried parcels of minced meat stuffed with cream cheese. We dip them in a delish pineapple mango sauce with hints of chilli.
For the mains, we order a chicken and tender coconut curry (Rs 900) that comes with pandan rice. The curry is light without lacking depth. Fried peanuts, shallots and tender pieces of meat add textural dimension. We like the food for its simple execution of flavours and lack of pretentiousness, which is just what an Asian meal should be.
Time: 7 pm to 12 am
At: 4 Mandlik Road, Colaba.
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