Fun food, great service: Kettle & Keg restaurant review
Like most contemporary casual-dining restaurants, K&K’s is a ‘safe’ menu, but the options are plenty and the staff refreshingly warm.more lifestyle Updated: Apr 10, 2017 19:12 IST
WHAT: Kettle & Keg
RATING: 3.5 / 5
WHERE: Shop No 1, Plot No 470, Celeste Kinchin Co-Op Housing Society, 14th Road, Khar (West)
WHEN: 9 am to midnight
COST: Rs 1,500 for two without alcohol
CALL: 2605-4343 / 2604-0303
It’s rare to find a restaurant in Mumbai where you’ll see such camaraderie among the service staff. When your server is busy, another waiter, or a captain, will take your order, clear your plates, make suggestions, and provide explanations, even before you draw their attention. It’s this congenial spirit that makes pint-sized Kettle & Keg such an unusually warm and friendly place. This warmth emanates from the kitchen as well. The chef sends out a complimentary salad when one part of our order is delayed; later, when he finds I’ve left my mushroom cheese melt sandwich half-eaten, he apologies and promises to work on the recipe.
It’s unlikely he’ll be able to do anything to rectify it. The problem with the sandwich is the problem every bland or neutral flavoured Western dish faces in India: it gets drowned with spices. I was expecting a simple, toasted sandwich that melded the sweet earthiness of mushroom and the salty stringiness of cheese. What I got was a spicy, saucy mess of a filling that killed the taste of mushroom.
I was pleased to find that the restaurant didn’t charge us for it.
Like most contemporary casual-dining restaurants Kettle & Keg has a ‘safe’ menu – there’s enough to satisfy every palate, appetite and age group. You’re overwhelmed with options from an all-day breakfast menu to burgers, sandwiches, grills, pastas, pizza and Parsi food.
We decided to start with a portion of Guntur chilli cheese fries and a beef tikka boti. Arranged in a neat column on a black spice-flecked plate with a generous topping of grated cheese and coriander, the chilli-tossed fries are beautifully plated. The combination of cheesiness, pungency and crispy fries makes it good enough to become a signature dish.
The botis, tender and moist, are served along with some soft, bubble-shaped ladi paos and a raw papaya salad that’s inadequately tart. These are not the chewy street botis but generously marinated strips that pull apart effortlessly.
We anticipate a mushy disaster when we ask for the three-cheese, black pepper and thyme risotto to be prepared al dente and are told that the rice is pre-cooked. It turns out to be not as firm as we’d like, but much better than what you’d get at most non-Italian restaurants. And you can taste the brie, padano and cheddar distinctly.
Kettle & Keg only serves wines on the weekend. We opted for a Twinkled Galangal Lemonade, which proved to be refreshing on a summer afternoon.
Despite being on a street that’s bookended by Monkey Bar and a Domino’s, Kettle & Keg is full on a Friday afternoon. With the exception of our table, the tiny place is entirely overrun by large groups of ladies who lunch. And even though it’s noisy and a bit cramped, what draws the crowd seems to be the fine balance of comfort food and attentive service.
(HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously)