Clam dunk: Kelvin Cheung’s new Bandra restobar is on point
Fans of the adult animated sitcom Family Guy may be a bit disappointed by chef Kelvin Cheung’s interpretation of The Drunken Clam — the local Quahog dive bar frequented by Peter Griffin and his posse. There is no karaoke. And instead of the lurid neon sign showing a clam swigging from a beer bottle, there is a tasteful black-and-white board. But most of the food at this Bandra restobar is on point.
TDC sits perched atop Cheung’s seafood lovers’ haven, Bastian. Kitted out in the de rigueur exposed brickwork walls, exaggerated porthole-esque windows, low-slung vinyl couches and ottomans, the dimly lit interiors make for an easy, relaxed vibe, with a touch of fun added in the form of a fiberglass alligator and a mermaid sculpture next to the DJ console.
Besides ‘classic’ cocktails re-imagined by bar consultant Arijit Bose, there’s an impressive wine list and beer on tap, to be paired with an eclectic mix of small plates
The polka dot bikini martini was a blithe companion to the jerk chicken.
The fruity, full-bodied mix of passion fruit, vanilla and apple juice, the former is spiked with a generous pour of vodka and garnished with a very au courant dehydrated apple slice
The latter is a suitably straightforward, if tad sweet, take on the Caribbean original, with a charred exterior enclosing juicy morsels of clove-redolent chicken thigh.
The Korean seafood pancake, though nothing like the traditional pajeon in taste or appearance, was an interesting gluten-free, rice-flour alternative, stuffed with succulent prawns, calamari and scallions — all anointed with a tangy soya sauce-sesame oil dressing, flecked with black and white toasted sesame seeds. We’d go back just for this one.
In urgent need of some serious muddling, the fresh basil leaves in the gin and lime juice-based smashed sailor served no practical purpose, least of all to infuse their essential oils into a rather ho-hum gin cocktail.
But the raw tuna poke with a sambal dressing and avocado cubes was an explosion of clean freshness, while the accompanying shards of crisp, toasted rice paper never once let us miss the comfort of the fluffy steamed rice that usually forms the carb-cushion in this dish.
So good that one, that we were happy to let its taste linger on — not that we had a choice; there are no desserts on offer at The Drunken Clam.
THE DRUNKEN CLAM
RATING: 4 / 5
WHERE: B/2, New Kamal Building, Opposite National College, Linking Road, Bandra (West)
WHEN: 7 pm to 1.15 am
COST: About Rs 3,600 for a meal for two, with one cocktail each