The first version of #WhereToEatInBandra was the quintessential guide to eating out in Bandra West and listed some of the classics and new entrants from 2015. A year and more later, an update was imperative. Also a year later, the eating out scene of this city has over gone a change with craft beers and smaller takeaway start-ups taking centre stage.
Thus, this updated version of #WhereToEatInBandra is broken down into three new categories Drinks, Quick Grub and Desserts.
It's officially accepted that all of Mumbai drives down to Bandra every Saturday evening. And perhaps, these following places are a testament to the mad rush that each one of them cater to until late night.
If beer is you call, errr if craft beer is your call, then Doolally is your place to meet all the hipster social media nerds, marketing geniuses or the creative man-buns. Although you can, on any day, begin with their kickass breakfast of champions with a pint of beer, it's the weekend when the scene here is absolute (as hipsters say) 'lit'. If on a budget, call for full pint and a portion of house fries with dips (level : epic). The chicken skewers are equally neat as well. If sharing in a group, go for a plate full of Cajun Scotch Eggs, Chicken Crostini, Hot Wings and Goan Calzones. Also, their Vindaloo Bunny Chow is impeccably good.
Half Pint : 150 bucks, Full : 250 bucks, Large house fries : 250 bucks, Sharing plates : 750 bucks.
Giggly light : Go for either of the cider.
Light & Crisp, Something German : Hefeweizen
Dark and roasted : Oatmeal Stout. They occasionally do have Porter as well; ask the server.
Monkey Bar has been around for a year and more now, runs packed on evening and weekend, serves cocktails like 'Saat Raasta' which is a potent mix of Jaegermeister, Absinthe, Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Beer, Triple Sec, Ginger Juice and a dash of coriander. Sounds quite a mouthful and probably is your ticket to getting over the abysmal life you had at work on the weekdays. If you like to go a little subtle, then go for their 'Hipster Smash' which has a base of Absolut, Cucumber-Elderflower spritz, watermelon and mint.
Mobar also has pretty interesting plates of food on their permanent menu and also experiment with one-offs like their recent Coastal Menu which was made of Buff Appams, Coastal Thali, Mandali Fry and much more. From the permanent menu, we could easily pick the Baked Brie, Galouti Killer, MoBar Ribs, Prawn Gassi and the Mobar Burger that comes in a Black Bun.
200 Bucks for pint, Starters 250 bucks onwards, Mains like Prawn Gassi and Mobar Bork are priced upwards of 450 bucks and Burgers average at 400 bucks.
There's a lot to be spoken about Masala Bar. Right from the mirror-candles seventies ambience, presentation of its drinks in an almost laboratory like avatar to the plates of food that are so intentionally complex and yet will be a blink-n-miss in the relatively dark atmosphere. The drinks on a technical level are a thing of artistry as you find out that the Black Label in your cocktail is colourless or there is a burst of Curry Leaves without the actual leaves in your glass; which all happens in the small apparatus and centrifuge equipment at the end of the bar. The naming definitely won't help you decide your drink. They go from 'An Evening at Chowpatty' to 'Mumbai Matinee' to 'The Great Hornby’s Cloud' except one, the vodka based basil smoke infused legitimate version of a Bhaang - 'Bollywood Bhaang'. 'Sunset at Carter' which is a Whiskey based cocktail paired with orange, rosemary and topped with almond foam comes across as well-layered drink similar to their 'Malabar Point'-a vodka and chamomile concoction layered with thyme foam.
Food-wise, our pick remains the buttery Bheja Tawa Fry on a crostini; seared Scallops, Calamari rings with ponzu-chilli dip, their gothic version of Pav-bhaji - Carbon Bhaji prepared in charcoal dust and Pan Tossed Shrooms served on a Khari.
Pricing is quite steep, ceiling quite low, table booking is recommended.
Kaitlyn's Beer Garden
Probably the youngest one on Bandra's drinking scene, but definitely climbed up the ladder quick due to, of course a variety of beers on the tap, match screening, live music, dance floor and yes, cheaper than the rest. Happy hours run from 12 p.m to 7 p.m, Monday to Friday.
Serving right from Belgian-wit to Kolsch, IPA to Stout and home-brew pitchers to Corona, you get them all. Ambience takes a rather serious approach on the garden aspect of the name. Don't be surprised to find a couple of trees grown indoor. As far as food goes, Although they do although every cuisine imaginable, stick to knick-knacks like fritters, potatoes, simple pizzas or beer-battered fish.
Beer on-tap goes for 225 plus taxes, Local Indian Pint at 200 plus taxes and Corona at 450 plus taxes.
Somehow Eddie's was not on our list last time around, and it definitely should have been. Nevertheless, this has to be the least pretentious, quintessential, compact, drinking place with neat grub. The place when you want to be socializing in Bandra, socialize subtly and not bumping into other long lost acquaintances; and over quality bourbon cocktails, sangria or negroni with crumbed chicken, grilled tenderloin strips or just a reliable burger.
A glass of Chivas 12 years old goes for 550 bucks plus taxes, Old Monk for 150, Domestic Beers for 150 onwards and Cocktails for 300 and 400 upwards. Burgers are priced at 300 plus bucks and Mains at 400 onwards.
A mention also goes out to 'The Daily', the newly opened 10,000 sq ft! Royalty replacement 'The Drop', and Kelvin Cheung's 'One Street Over'.
We all love our food packed in a pretty box, slid inside a funky paper bag, perfect for on the move and with a whole lot of tissue papers. These quick fix places although great on the pocket, have one large issue - They pop up every month and shutter down even faster before the end of each season, thus not all make the cut and hence the list is concise.
From a proper pop-up operating at events and festivals across the city to finally having a permanent address in the heart of Bandra, Pack-A-Pav has seen it all. Simple plan; take a pav, place a kebab or two, toss a little garnish and spread some dip and serve in a paper plate along with fryums. Rohan Mangalorkar's Mum's recipes are a hit already with the crowd and are sold-out almost every night.
There are in all just eight varieties of this pav and kebab slash patty combination with their respective garnishes and spreads. Our pick has to be the absolute melt in mouth Mutton Shammi, rustic Irani Chicken with basil spread, Tandoori Chicken Sriracha with red cabbage and the Four Cheese Pav.
Mutton Shammi are priced at 130 bucks, Irani Chicken at 110 and Four Cheese at 75.
NBC, Nothing but Chicken
A wild-card of the highest order, this shop on Pali Mala road as the name says is home to everything to do with, that's right C-H-I-C-K-E-N!. While you can pick up different cuts of chicken, with bone, boneless, wings and more from the first two counters as you enter the shop, the grab & go counters are the ones towards the other end of the shop. Staring from Bistro Salad, Chicken Vada Pav, Brown Rice Pilaf, Wraps, Sandwiches and goes right up to a herb roasted full Chicken.
Also, while you can shop for raw meat or pack up some grab-n-go, they also do some really neat pre-marinated fillets in a few different options that just need a tender love from your grill pan or regular skillet.
Our Pick definitely has to the chimichurri and pommery mustard pre-marinated fillets, triple protein salad and the simple Chicken Vada Pav.
Fillets are priced at 180 bucks per 250gms, Chicken Vada Pav at 60 bucks and Herb Roasted Chicken at 180 bucks for 250gms portion.
The quintessential pocket friendly joint from Churchgate has been a part of Bandra's Carter Road since a year and more now. Fries in a pouch and with everything imaginable, from Jalapeño-cheese to beans, sour cream, deep-fried fish to chicken sausage and nuggets, served with an options of Salsa, BBQ, Mayo, Pizza Sauce and many more.
While they do wraps and burgers as well, we believe that for your best experience stick to their renowed Chilly Cheese Fries, Bollywood Fries, Chicken Nacho Fries, BBQ Chicken Fries and also a few Jain versions as well.
Fries with vegetarian add-ons start at 100 while their non-veg counterparts are prices at 150 and 160 bucks.
The last year definitely belonged to Daniel's as they grew out of their tiny hole in the wall sub-outlet inside Jimme's Kitchen at Bazaar Road and opened another outlet bang in the heart of the Pali Naka junction. Daniel's was always known for two things, first the texture-perfect array of Macarons and second their rendering of the Japanese Cheesecake called Kyoto. While this city has many Macaron options these days, it's still only Yauatcha, Le 15 and Daniel who are perfecting the art day after day. Daniel initially introduced to us Macarons flavours like Bounty, Belgian Dark Chocolate, Key Lime Pie and Bubblegums among few others and has now gone ahead to introduce flavour like Olive, Morello Cherry and Elderflower; Quite an evolution of flavours!
Recommendations wise, you must pack Macarons based on your choice (75 bucks each), but certainly do not miss out on the oval shaped, delicately flavoured Japanese Cheesecake 'Kyoto' (490 bucks), their Brooklyn 'Cake Pops' (60 apiece) and Almond Rochers (390 bucks).
Poetry by Love&Cheesecake
Love&Cheesecake's latest offering 'Poetry' on Bandra's 16th & 33rd Junction is a solid step by entrepreneur Ruchyeta Bhatia and Chef Amit Sharma in reinforcing the L&C brand into a new direction of savoury treats. While Poetry does great a Kale & Anchovy Salad, an Avocado version of BLT called BLAT, Croque Madame and a crazy good Poached Eggs & Avocado on a Croissant, they also have some neat tricks from the dessert department as well like a White Chocolate Mousse with hint of dark chocolate and orange or the 'La Ramblas' which elegantly combines Olive sponge with Apricot confit on Spanish shortcrust. Gone are the days of quarter plate slices of cakes and in with the new delicately crafted, intricately detailed, complex pieces of desserts. While these pieces of artistry takes center stage at the new outlet, you can still rely on their classic celebration cakes like Godiva Cheesecake, Oreo Baked, Milk Chocolate Ganache, Strawberry Bavarian and Lemon Cold Cheesecake.
Top reco: Belgian chocolate marquise 'Devil's Desire', Lemon Almond Sponge and Strawberry Confit 'Strawberry Mojito', Chocolate Sponge and Raspberry Confit 'Sincity' and their trademark NY style Philadelphia Cream-Cheese Cheesecake.
Price-wise, all the small desserts go for 150 bucks a portion, half kilo cakes start at 750 and one kilo at 1250 onward.
La Folie Lab
The suburban cousin of the SoBo Patisserie has a more cafe-esque approach with small plates of food on the menu along with handful yet exquisite and matured sweet tooth material. While you can indulge in a posh plate of Ratatouille or Cured Salmon Tartine, you can also cut through a Pain au chocolate or mini crepes with grilled fruit and chantilly cream.
What actually sets it apart from the crowd are offerings like Valrhona's 70% dark Guanaja Chocolate Souffle with a Salted Caramel core sitting on a chocolate tart crust and the Matcha Green Tea Pancake served with a choice of melting chocolate and truffle drizzle or berry compote, creme fraiche and chocolate chips. Grab these sweet and savoury beauties and a side of perfect Italian Affogato and it appeases your soul for quality food and leaves not much of a hefty mark on the wallet.
Tartines are offered at 440 plus taxes, Ratatouille at 460 and Desserts at around 260 - 280 bucks.
A mention also goes out to Chef Anise's Star Anise Patisserie with a wide selection of pocket friendly treats, the legendary Sweetish House Mafia for their Waffle Cooke Sundae and Cookie Pizza, Sassy Spoon for that fantastic Dark Chocolate Basil Fondant, Belgian Waffle and Bombay Waffle Co. both for their consistently kickass waffles and Country of Origin for massive Dessert Jars and Hot Chocolate Spoons
Do let us know if you found anymore awesomeness in and around Bandra and we will definitely check it out.
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