Bonjour, Worli! Slink & Bardot brings French food back to Mumbai
It’s a beautiful space, with an international menu. But this cuisine has not typically fared well in the city.mumbai Updated: Jul 19, 2017 10:45 IST
- RATING: ***
- WHERE: 329/A, Thadani House, Opposite Indian Coast Guard, Worli Village
- WHEN: 6 pm to 1 am
- COST: Rs 3,500 for two including one cocktail each
- CALL: 99671-15800, 2430-1127
You have to admire the audacity of a team that opens a restaurant serving Mumbai’s least-loved cuisine in a location that’s been a restaurant graveyard.
French food has never worked in Mumbai (the last holdout was The Zodiac Grill, which called it quits a few years ago). Many a restaurant has been lost to the siren call of this beautiful bungalow at the start of Worli Koliwada.
It’s a beautiful space. A long corridor leads to a bar, the third of four parallel, pale-olive-green rooms, each with a distinct character. The bar is buzzy, the attached lounge sedate and intimate. The outer eating area has the relaxed air of a drawing room; the inner one’s dominant long table is reminiscent of a dining room.
Slink and Bardot describes itself as a French-themed restaurant serving modern-day Parisian cuisine. The menu embraces international dishes, ingredients and flavours as enthusiastically as classic and contemporary French cuisine. It’s not too different from modern Indian, an equally rootless cuisine that draws on, and sometimes combines, local and global tastes.
At Slink and Bardot the cheese plate contains British, Spanish and Swiss cheeses, and a French one produced in India. The charcuterie platter is made up entirely of Italian meats. Along with a Salade Parisienne, is an American Caesar, Spanish gazpacho and Nordic gravlax - all made with Indian ingredients.
They only serve small plates. Our cocktail arrives first; the gin-based Sitting in an English Garden Waiting for the Sun, served in a long-stemmed martini glass, is the equivalent of a slinky dress, but the cucumber juice drowns out the other flavours.
The food seesaws between mundane and extraordinary. The panko-crusted popcorn chicken, essentially glorified McNuggets, are too salty, and the three dipping sauces are an indistinguishable blur of textures. Our chicken parfait is smooth and creamy and spread beautifully on bread crisps; the stars on the plate, though, are the crisp pickled vegetables.
The complexity of the tomato and mozzarella tart leaves us breathless. There is no tart case, just a thin, crushed Parmesan, biscuit-like base on which sweet, skinned tomatoes and gooey mozzarella are stacked in a perfect cylinder. The accompanying spinach leaves sautéed in butter are crisp and juicy with a surprising hint of smokiness.
Grainy with a bitter aftertaste, the baked brie in a paper-thin filo pastry shell left us underwhelmed. Then came the 36-hour Belgian pork belly, a gorgeous slice of meat, soft as butter with a sweet silky glaze. It’s the stuff that fantasies are made of.
The Paris Brest, light puffs of choux pastry with caramelised bananas, chopped nuts and broken bits of meringue, was a fine way to end the meal.
Slink & Bardot is a beautiful space to catch up for a drink; but there are more conveniently located places on either end of the Sealink offering food that’s almost as good.
HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously