Bring night-vision goggles: Raul Dias reviews The Wine Rack
The wine is good, the food’s okay. But why is the new place at Phoenix Mill Compound so dark?mumbai Updated: Apr 06, 2018 20:21 IST
- RATING: (2.5 out of 5)
- WHERE: Phoenix Mill Compound, Lower Parel
- WHEN: 12 pm to 1 am
- COST: Around Rs 3,500 for two, with one cocktail each
- CALL: 3395-1701
It’s safe to say that The Wine Rack is an oenophile’s dream come true. An impressive selection of wines from around the world are displayed in floor-to-ceiling racks. But this wine bar and restaurant is far too dark. The insufficiently lit space had us stumbling all the way to our table, occasionally skidding over the black floor tiles. And we hadn’t even had a drink yet!
Gloomy, rough-hewn grey walls and jet-black furniture do little to pep things up. The only decently lit area is the bar in the middle of the three-section space. Many patrons had mobile phones poised over their menus, to read by the glow.
We ordered the Sobo High Maintenance, a gin, hibiscus and elderflower concoction that was spot on perfect, with the floral notes of the gin shining through. Our non-alcoholic pick, the passion lemongrass mule, turned out to be watery and tasteless, and was banished back to the bar. Remade, it fared better, with the passion fruit stealing the lemongrass’ thunder.
The food menu here is eclectic – there’s Spanish, Italian and even Indian street food. Our small plate of light, crisp goat-cheese churros with truffle cream showed us the Spanish dessert’s versatility in this savoury rendition. The duo of red-wine duck kulchas with a cranberry sauce topping, on the other hand, was overly sweet. Sinewy bits of duck sat atop soggy mini kulchas, making for messy dissatisfaction.
Though generously portioned, the overdone, gummy tagliatelle with an under-seasoned lamb ragu was downright tasteless and stinted on the promised parmesan cheese. We asked for more and were met with an admonishing “That’s how I serve my ragu” by the chef. Somewhere between this abomination and dessert, we were perhaps recognized, because a small bowl of parmesan shavings appeared. Alas, too late.
Their innovative iced take on the Iranian nougat sweet called gaz, was all things a great dessert should be. It had just the right amount of sweetness, rose water and heavy cream with a tart red wine pomegranate coulis. We’d go back for it in a heartbeat, but only after kitting ourselves out with night-vision goggles!
(HT reviews anonymously and pays for all meals)