Rooftop bars don’t have to do much to work their charm on people. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that in the past few months, the city has seen the launch of several new al fresco restaurants such as Swey (Worli) and Verbena, which is located a stone’s throw away from 1Above, the latest entry.
At one glance, 1Above comes across as an elegant space. Wooden gazebos and cosy sofas are interspersed with a few high tables and bar stools. A large well-lit bar dominates the space. Adjacent to the bar are huge LED lights that are supported with wooden sticks that bear semblance to the trunk of a tree. Faux grass adorns the walls behind the gazebo and the floor in some sections, whereas an autumn tree stands tall in the heart of the restaurant. If only, they were real.
Coming to the food, the menu — an exhaustive one — comprised soups, salads, a mix of appetisers such as sushi, dim sum, tandoor dishes, pizzas, and mains. For starters, we zeroed in on the Jerusalem Artichoke Cream Soup (Rs 245) and the House Sushi Roll. Our attendant, however, promptly informed us that the former wasn’t available and suggested the Badami Shorba (Rs 225). But, we ordered the Rice Paper Roll (Rs 275) instead.
The platter with eight pieces of sushi turned up in about 10 minutes. Essentially a vegetarian California roll, the sushi seemed well-prepared with avocado, cream cheese and cucumber. The rice was a little stickier than usual though. Served on two chopsticks placed on a bowl, the roll that was indeed as thin as paper, was stuffed with avocado, bok choy, ginger, julienned cucumber and carrot, and garnished with a generous amount of purple cabbage. While the covering was made to perfection and the vegetables were fresh, the appetiser that took its cue from the Vietnamese spring rolls, could’ve been wrapped more neatly to avoid the mess.
Due to the generous portions, we were quite satiated. So, for mains, we zeroed in on the Pad Thai Noodles (Rs 400). The stir-fried flat noodles were topped with a host of vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and pepper, and garnished with crushed peanuts. Contrary to the description on the menu — spicy noodles served with exotic vegetables — the noodles had a tinge of sweetness. Nevertheless, it was good.
As we flipped through the menu to decide on our dessert, the Avocado Panacotta (Rs 300) caught our attention immediately. To our dismay, that wasn’t available either. The Tiramisu (Rs 300), though, was a sweet end to our meal. With layers of mascarpone cheese, savoiardi biscuits, espresso and cocoa dust, the dessert was a delight.
To sum up, 1Above lived up to all the hype that comes along with a newly launched rooftop bar in the city. Even though it has an all-vegetarian menu, the restaurant manages to offer a good variety. However, if you aren’t fond of confining your palate to vegetarian food, the place is still worth a visit for its beautiful ambience.
HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously
RATING: 3 / 5
WHERE: 2nd Floor, Kamala Trade House, Lower Parel
COST: Rs 2,300 for two