Wide palette of flavours
Andheri has a new eatery with imaginative and tasty food, but messes up with the decor
Step into any mid-level standalone Indian restaurant in Mumbai, and chances are that there are certain elements on the menu that are identical to what you’ve had at another eatery before. It’s almost as if the two places are students in an exam hall copying each other’s answers. There’s the customary mutton rogan josh. There’s butter chicken as well (which, frankly, you get rather dubious versions of in this city). Vegetarians can opt for chana masala, dal fry or paneer kadai. And you can wash all this down with an aam panna if it’s in season or a glass of lassi.
Gabru chicken bhatti da
That’s why the fare at Pind, a new restaurant in Lokhandwala, is such a refreshing change. It has hard-to-find items like Kumbh te kastoori, a creamy mushroom soup; tulsi da tikka, a chicken kebab with, guess what, pesto in it; and adrak te dhania chaap, a mutton dish marinated with mace-scented yoghurt. We opt for gabru chicken bhatti da (Rs 325) for starters, and murgh beliram with roti (Rs 375 and Rs 100) for the mains, adding a mocktail called saddi lalli (Rs 200) to the mix. Then, we settle down in the indoor section where the kitschy décor is so all over the place that we will refrain from writing about it (unless you want to hear about the mural of a comical sadhu baba sharing space on a wall with a sardar driving a bike and a hip-hop musician who looks like he needs a rap.
But thankfully, the food is outstanding. Gabru chicken bhatti da is essentially a tandoori chicken with milder spicing. It’s served with green chutney. But the pieces of meat hold their own to such an extent that you don’t need to dip them in it. Each has been cooked so perfectly that the meat is neither tough nor chewy. And the flavours are so subtle that you will even find yourself enjoying the black charred bits.
Pind, Mhada Road Junction, 4 Bungalows, Andheri West
Murgh beliram is a similarly mouthwatering semi-gravy item that doesn’t have overpowering ingredients. It has the sweetness of tomatoes and brown onions, but that’s balanced with whole masalas. And the best part is that it isn’t an oil fest like some dishes at other restaurants can be. Also, the person serving us did us a favour while ordering by suggesting that we pair it with rotis instead of rice. Ten points to him.
So, the only disappointing bit about the culinary experience is the mocktail. Saddi lalli is a watermelon-based drink that’s a tad too sweet and fizzy. We would have ideally opted for a cocktail, but are told that the bartender is on sick leave. But we’ll ignore the teething issues because of the promise that the food at Pind holds, and since it has a menu that isn’t as bland as a bowl of soup with no seasoning in it.
At Pind, Mhada Road Junction, 4 Bungalows, Andheri West.
Time 12 pm to 4 pm; 7 pm to 1 am
4/5 Exceptional, 3/5 Excellent, 2/5 very Good, 1/5 Good, 0.5/5 Average. Pind didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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