There was a time when eating out was all about food and not decor or ambiance, when going to a Food Inn or a Cafe Royal was saved for once a month family outing. But times have changed now and we want an extra touch to our meal be it the decor, the music or the location of the restaurant. Stepping inside The Pier, the perfectly located sea facing restaurant in Colaba, I felt that something was amiss. The 3000 sq. ft. area looks impersonal with no art to fill in the empty walls and no divisions to create some private spaces. However, a brass diving helmet kept at the entrance and blue leather seating give a hint of the marine theme. Given that the decor is still being done, I’d save my verdict on that for later.
A well stocked bar stretched along the left wall of the restaurant is a point of interest and so is the bar menu; with a 12 year old whisky available for just Rs 225 I or rather the husband can’t find a reason why it shouldn’t be. A not so crowded Friday night had me thinking that word about the food here; which is delicious, needs to be spread. The limited menu serves dishes with a touch of European and Asian flavours and offers enough variety including beef, pork, seafood and enough to keep the vegetarians interested too.
Giving the soups a miss we (husband and me) jumped straight to the appetizers and ordered
their highly recommended Beef tartare with slow poached egg yolk (Rs 450). We finished the very last morsel of this very tender tartare made with local buffalo meat, topped with poached yolk and served with red wine mousse, the runny yolk didn’t add much to the taste though. The Beer battered fried calamari (Rs 450) had a juicy squid inside the crispy batter but the lacked any hint of beer. Highly recommend the crunchy snack especially when you have Black Dog (Rs 225) for company. The vegetarians can try the Edamame beans and gruyere cheese stuffed ravioli (Rs 375) which comes coated in a creamy tarragon sauce and a side of seared spinach. However, not being a fan of the edamame beans I would give it a miss the next time I am there.
If you are not one of those who would go to a bar and order their regular I’d suggest you try The pier Flip (Rs 350). The mocktail has dark rum as its base with Triple Sec, cream, sugar syrup and egg yolk; the not so sweet drink with a thick creamy texture certainly calls for a second round.
The mains have a good mix of pastas,
risottos, red snapper, pork belly and beef burger. The Potato gnocchi in citrus herb butter (Rs 500) served with shaved parmesan is a must try, even if your roving eyes keep going back to the non-vegetarian section. The small portion of steeply priced Braised pork belly with apple cinnamon jus (Rs 2000) might give you a minor setback especially if you don’t enjoy digging in the fat, like me. However, the perfectly cooked pork, loaded with fat made the husband almost tumble out of the restaurant, sleepily. The dish comes with pancetta green pea risotto and braised brussel sprouts. This I washed down with the Pier beauty (Rs 275), a pretty pink drink with strawberry liquor, fresh strawberry and sparkling wine.
I generally don’t prefer alcohol with the dessert but the in-house cream (Rs 300) and coffee liquors (Rs 280) were reasons enough to call for a shot of each. With our heads buzzing with the shots we lapped up the Vanilla panacotta (Rs 325) custard and cream served with chilled berries soup and a wafery thin layer of caramel.
With great food and hospitable staff, I feel that there’s a lot going in The Pier’s favour if only they work a bit more on one of the most important elements; ambiance.
Must try: Beef tartare, The Pier flip
Meal for two: Rs 3500 + taxes (without alcohol)
41/42, Dr. Minoo Desai Marg,
022 6606 0037, 022 6606 0036
Facebook: The Pier Restaurant