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We have a winner!

This new lounge-pub in Bandra was worth the wait. Check out our review.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2010 01:43 IST
Serena Menon

What: Red Ant Café
Where: 3rd Floor, Linksquare Mall, Linking Road, Bandra
Call: 022 26469005/9006
What’s on the menu: Alcoholic beverages, pastas, sandwiches
Drinking: Yes
Smoking: Yes
Rating: ***1/2

It was only after a lot of help from Twitter and Facebook enthusiasts who answered our SOS call that we finally found the location of Red Ant Café. It’s tucked in on the top floor of the building that most partygoers would recognise as the one next to Mumbai Times Café. But this new lounge-pub in Bandra was worth the wait. It is spread over two and a half floors, with one part called Dragon Fly and the other, Red Ant Café. Why it is called Café, however, is a smart idea. It stays under the radar, and helps rejuvenate the city’s starved night scene. Large antique-looking chandeliers throw soft yellow light on the Victorian wallpaper that runs around the place. The lights around the bar keep changing, except for the deep pink around different corners.

The alcohol menu is extensive and the food options, limited. They seem to have foreseen drinkers not being great eaters, which may not suit everyone’s tastes, but whatever little there is, is worth every morsel. From Absinthe (Rs 800) to Blue Label (Rs 2,100) to regional and lowland single malts to Kingfisher blue (Rs 170), Premium (Rs 150) and Ultra (Rs 190), this place has it all. Apart from the usual cocktails on every menu in town, they had something interesting called Liquid Cocaine (Rs 500) (Grand Mariner, Southern Comfort, Gre Goose vodka, Amaretto Sorrano and pineapple juice).

We first called for the Roasted Capsicum Goat Cheese and Basil Bruschetta (Rs 150), followed by the Burnt Garlic Pepper Prawns with Sweet Soya Chilli (Rs 325). The quantities that arrived didn’t quite suit the price, but on a good day, you may not mind paying that much. Usually, we’d be more than happy with tonnes of cheese on our bruschetta, but only a monstrous ball of cheese on a slice of bread wasn’t that much fun. We suspect a capsicum assault en route. The prawns seemed to have escaped the ambush however and they reached fine, well cooked, fresh and super fattening!

For the main course, we chose the Fillet of Beef gratinated with cheddar cheese and served with potato wedges, greens and port wine sauce (Rs 275). The cheese had returned.

But this time, the beef took the cake. It was easily one of the city’s best. Well done, the meat was fresh, sliced easy and not a task on the teeth. The Spaghetti Alio Olio with sun dried tomatoes and mixed greens (Rs 265), was the last dish. Lightly tossed in olive oil and basil, it was a good end to a mixed platter.

Red Ant Café promised to play retro music, but we’re sure we heard them sell out to Justin Timberlake. But do give this one a shot.

What we like
The service
The steak

What we don’t like
The location
The food quantity