Praise the bar
A new bistro bar at the end of a Bandra lane filled with joints offering pocket-friendly tipple serves good bar snacks but needs to up its game for mains.
If you ever find yourself on Nityanand Nagar in Bandra Reclamation's ONGC Colony, don't let the miscellany of F&B joints confuse you into thinking that you have options.
At the outset, a stretch of road a little longer than 150m — with a much-loved retro-style bar, a seafood joint, a brewery and a café, all line back to back — may appear as fertile ground for a night of indulgence (or debauchery). But if you're asking us for recommendations, we'd suggest you hail a cab and head somewhere else.
This is because the brewery has undrinkable beers, the retro-style bar is fun, but only sometimes; we haven't heard too many good things about the seafood restaurant, and the café, well, who goes to a café on a Friday night?
Beer battered cheese onion hoops
Then, the opening of a 15-day-old space called 73° Bar & Bistro could have served as ray of hope, and who knows may have even emerged as a bustling hub had it hit all the right spots. But much to our chagrin, this bar, too, is much like it's neighbours — a little here and a little there.
What we mean is, take the decor of the space for example. It's lounge-like, with mood lighting, commercial house music, a really small DJ console jutting out of the bar, couches, tables and chairs in earthy colours.
It feels and looks like a bar, but is too small to be one. It's almost as if a quaint café got very drunk. The menu is concise with options for salads, bar bites, appetisers, poutines and mains. From it, the beer battered cheese onion hoops (R250) is a crunchy snack that would go well with a pint of beer, which are reasonably priced. We can't, however, say the same about the mains. Priced at R263 the chicken stroganoff from the "Classical Intrusions" segment of the menu is just about appetising.
It is inauthentic and resembles a chicken in cream and pepper sauce more. Plus, the rice was either undercooked, or hardened because it wasn't fresh and was heated in a microwave. It's palatable, at best. And then, the barbequed pork ribs (R625) hard as an overdone steak, kind of hit the nail in the coffin.
What did provide some respite, though, were the drinks. Like, the tai mai (R350), a summery and refreshing spin on the classic mai tai. There's San Junipero (R350), named after a popular web series' episode and a combination of gin, Martin Blanco and raspberry reduction, which is quite heady. The LIIT (R300) offers a potent version of the revered tipple. Other spirits and alcoholic beverages are reasonably priced, too, with pints starting at R175 and rum at R150. So, if you're at all considering giving this place a visit be sure to do so on a full tummy, and who knows, it might just all be worth it.
At 73° Bar & Bistro, Nityanand Road, HIG Colony, Nityanand Nagar, ONGC Colony, Reclamation, Bandra West.
Time 4 pm to 1.30 am
4/5 Exceptional, 3/5 Excellent, 2/5 very Good, 1/5 Good, 0.5/5 Average. 73° Bar & Bistro didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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