A lacklustre sequel: Clichés abound at the reopened Bombay Brasserie
That chic place with great Indian food that we loved in the ’90s is back, but it’s nothing like it used to be.Updated: Aug 04, 2017, 15:15 IST
- Rating: 2 / 5
- Where: Villa 12-A, Lotus Cinema Building, Worli
- When: Noon to midnight
- Cost: About Rs 4,000 for two, with one cocktail each
- Call: 2493-3321/22
Those of a certain vintage will remember the Bombay Brasserie of the 1980s and early ’90s with fondness. It looked chic, served great Indian food and had impeccable service.
Back, and donning new plumage, Bombay Brasserie hopes to be a success in a Worli location that has witnessed the birth and demise of two fine dining eateries in recent times, 212 and AKA.
Its maze-like quintet of dining zones includes a breezy outdoor area and interior spaces. Each nook is decorated distinctly, featuring everything from a rough-hewn wooden community table in one, to a kitschy photo studio in another. Colourful chairs, exposed Edison bulbs and flea market bric-a-brac lend a laidback— if tad banal — feel to the décor.
The evening we visited, the place was packed with loud teens and die-hard fans of the old BB, whose refrain for the evening was “same-same, yet different!”
One could say exactly that of the menu. BB’s verbose press release states that it sources its recipes from “each corner of our country”.
So the food charts a not-so-novel course through various Indian cuisines, with modern riffs on presentation and taste.
Our Kollywood pop white rum cocktail served in a pauaa bottle seemed like a de rigueur mojito at first sip, but its curry leaf and fresh ginger gave it a spicy south Indian sendoff. With a generous dark rum pour, the chaat masala-dusted Fauji Party Special was potent. It worked well with the Marathi jhinga mirch served on a bed of crunchy peanut thecha. A little less thecha and a few more prawns would have sealed the deal.
The aam papad paneer with crisp lotus stem, a conceptually brilliant small plate, was cloyingly sweet with an overdose of mango and the lotus falling short on crispness.
The Rajasthani dhungar maas mutton curry was smoked to perfection but missing the fiery hit from the mathaniya Jodhpur chillies the menu promised. It paired nicely with the fragrant, moist parda subz biryani.
The deceptively named coast-to-coast chicken was just a lacklustre Malwani masala gravy and didn’t do much for us. The Amritsari kulfa with its bland and floury rabdi and sickly-sweet rose syrup drizzle was more of a trip to Juhu Chowpatty than Punjab.
BB is, at best, a place with one-visit appeal. And at worst, a pastiche of clichés we’re tiring of.
(HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously)