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Just drive past. New restaurant London Taxi isn’t worth hailing

It’s all about the optics at this gastropub, so the food looks great on Instagram but disappoints the palate.

mumbai Updated: Dec 01, 2017 22:49 IST
Raul Dias
Raul Dias
Hindustan Times
London Taxi,Food review,Kamala Mills
The decor is confused, uncomfortable and flashy. London Taxi is supposed to be a gastropub but feels more like a discotheque from the ’70s.(Aalok Soni/HT Photo)
London Taxi
  • RATING: 1.5 /5
  • WHERE: Ground Floor, Trade Centre, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel
  • WHEN: 7 pm to midnight
  • COST: Around Rs 4,200 for two, with one cocktail each
  • CALL: 2495-1000

Sitting like a giant, illuminated Rubik’s Cube, the three-level structure that houses London Taxi is a visual delight. But sadly, that’s the only thing that impressed us about it.

It claims to be a London-style gastropub, but the vibe is more 1970s discotheque, with hints of the former showing up in wall art and in the few pub-grub dishes on the menu.

We were curtly told that the ground level was “off limits for stags”, and were shown the way up mirrored stairs. Uncomfortably high bar stools surrounded regular-level tables. The lighting was so dim, we had to use our phone flashlights to peruse the all-black menu.

The pork belly baos were crumbly and held more bland, sautéed mushrooms than bits of meat. (Aalok Soni / HT Photos)

Our Shiraz-Campari-pomegranate cocktail, Bloody Awesome, was anything but. The wine felt chalky and rancid – and it cost Rs 800 a glass. The Baker’s Street beer and Earl Grey-infused vodka cocktail was downright unpalatable, despite being sent back to the bar twice. We began to wish we’d ordered a beer straight up.

Now for the food. Our trio of crumbly black baos held more bland, sautéed mushrooms than bits of braised pork belly. Faring a smidgen better were the cheesy gougeres appams stuffed with a tangy pineapple-cucumber pachadi.

The shepherd’s pie was a big disappointment, with its tomato sauce-saturated lamb. Even the accompanying garlic bread was limp. (Aalok Soni / HT Photo)

We then ordered a Gastro Pub Shepherd’s Pie. What we got was a tasteless, tomato sauce-saturated lamb kheema. Its creamy, mashed-potato topping was perhaps the only saving grace. Even the accompanying garlic bread was limp.

But the Allepy prawn curry, sent out with a spicy rosemary warqi taco, hit the spot. It was on the sweeter side and devoid of any spicy bite, bit was aided by a generous helping of plump coconutty prawns.

Even the desserts don’t work. The squash-maple-payasam ice-cream seemed so promising, but turned out to be sugary and pasty. (Aalok Soni/ HT Photos)

Things nosedived once again with the sugary, pasty squash-maple-payasam ice cream – a dessert that seems better in theory than in practice.

All this raises one question: How will London Taxi survive amid Kamala Mills’ recent restaurant boom? There are options that offer better food and more bang for your buck just a few steps away in any direction. London Taxi, we fear, may not travel very far.

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 22:47 IST