What: Brighton Restaurant and Lounge
Where: Bombay Mutual Annexe, Rustom Sidhwa Marg, Fort
Call: 3098 7888
What’s on the menu: Salads, platters, continental and Indian fare
In the by-lanes of Fort, the sort that’s buzzing by day with lawyers, white-collar workers and food stalls, and which by night turns desolate and musty, you expect a drinking place to be a dive or a permit room. But the month-old Brighton (where Panache Lounge earlier used to be) markets itself as an upmarket club. At least, that seems to be the intent.
The square little space on the ground floor has a bar to one side, sofas with tables and a little mezzanine floor right at the end. The level above, we later learn, has a dance floor that’s oddly open only on Saturdays or for private parties. The decor is a mix of wannabe cool (a minimal bar, wooden tables) with tragically tacky elements — a chandelier that belongs at a wedding banquet, pillows where cushions should be, and a large, strange photograph of a girl in a mask.
They don’t take cards yet, only two cocktails are available on a menu listing a dozen and the tandoor isn’t working. But let’s put that down to teething trouble.
A sign outside promises happy hours till midnight, but the one waiter taking all the orders informs us that it only applies to beers (Rs 160 for a pint of Kingfisher) and Indian spirits. Our mojito (Rs 240) comes in a Johnnie Walker glass — it’s the sort of thing we’d expect at a friend’s place, not when we’re paying for drinks at a bar. It is, however, surprisingly good: not overtly sweet, and with just the right amount of alcohol. The peach margarita (Rs 440), however, is a letdown — it’s essentially overpriced peach juice in a salt-rimmed glass.
The panko-coated mushrooms stuffed with spinach, cheddar and cottage cheese (Rs 250) are all in different sizes, but don’t taste bad — they’re soft, juicy and in a little bit of sauce. The four-cheese pizza (Rs 350) is decent too. But the chicken in peri peri sauce (Rs 350) is the biggest disappointment. The butter rice, blanched veggies and crispy fries are all pretty tasty, but the chicken itself is so tough that we knock half a dozen fries off our plate just trying to cut into it.
All in all, this is the sort of place you might go to for an after-work beer if your office is right across the street (Rs 160 for two pints isn’t a bad deal at all).
For all other purposes (food, alcohol or ambience), Colaba is just five minutes away.
What we like
We don’t like
In a tweet: Go for cheap beer during happy hours. Don’t go looking for good food, alcohol or ambience