Playing with food pays at Long & Short, The GastroBar
Long & Short, The GastroBar at Intercontinental experiments with street food and tries serve something radical. It succeeds, on most counts
There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location’. The quote is often attributed to Lord Harold Samuel, one of UK’s biggest property tycoons. Samuel’s theory can be applied to hotels and restaurants as well -- who would want to go to an upscale restaurant at a barely accessible spot? For its top-notch location, Long & Short, The GastroBar in the Intercontinental Hotel at Marine Drive scores a brownie point. The restaurant is styled as a comfortable, yet hip living room. The walls are covered with pictures of celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar, amongst others. There is also that unmistakable sign of Mumbai life -- the dabbas and the dabbawallahs. There is outdoor seating out on the balcony which overlooks the sea, for a cool evening and cooler drink.
Nursing a cucumber and rosemary cocktail and a blood orange cocktail, we order the Flaky Empanadas (Rs 400), which is a cross between the puff pastry and short crust, served with chilli vinegar mayo dip. Soft and light as a feather, the Empanadas turn out to be the perfect way to start the meal. Next comes Spicy House Special (Rs 595) and Chiang Mai Crisp with roasted chicken flatbreads (Rs 655). The base of the flatbread is so thin and crispy that it snaps off the moment you sink your teeth into it -- almost like a fresh biscuit. The slivers of chicken in the Chiang Mai Crisp, are sauteed with Thai curry paste, which gives the flatbread its unique taste. The Bombay Masala Club (Rs 465) toasted brioche, spicy onion tomato salsa and spiced potato, slathered with melted cheese evokes memories of standing huddled with friends at school canteen, sharing a sandwich.The ‘Chaapli’ kebab bun (Rs 545), too, impresses with its finely minced lamb kebab, pickled onion and nimbu.
The Paneer Masala Biryani (Rs 550) with paneer bhurjee in a novel twist, however, is a bit of a letdown. The dish tastes more like jeera rice than biriyani and is devoid of the taste of any real masala. Our disappointment is curbed by the Green Apple Crumble Deconstruct (Rs 385), where a piece of green apple spirals around tiny apples brewed in cinnamon, ice-cream and candied walnuts. The dish emerges as the undisputed winner. The Peach Melba Cheese Cake (Rs 385) rests on a bed of Oreo cookie crust with a poached peach on top -- delicious, yet only a second favourite.
For those looking to visit a classy restaurant for some drinksand comfort food, the GastroBar is the perfect choice. We cannot rate the experience as it was a preview
At: Intercontinental Hotel, Marine Drive
A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli