Chef KelC and Chef Boo are creating magic at a small kitchen in Bandra.
If you’re part of Mumbai’s hip crowd that’s tuned in to the restaurant scene, chances are you’ve already made a few rounds of One Street Over; if you aren’t one of those, what’s holding you up? Chef Kelvin Cheung – who made Mumbai celebrities go down on their knees to confess love for his food at Ellipsis – along with chef de cuisine Boo Kwang Kim is back in India to spin the magic again; this time in the burbs.
Coloured in teal and gold and bathed in dim light, the 60-seater gastro pub is fuss free with booths and round tables. The bar menu – designed by Arijit Bose – packs in quirky as well as old-fashioned drinks. The bartender Ashutosh was forthcoming with suggestions, which were spot on. The Southpaw (Rs 450) – jim beam, maraschino liqueur, martini rosso, bitters was strong and punchy and the Ol’ Venezuela (Rs 550) – Diplomatico Reserve, Demerara syrup, angostura bitters, chocolate bitters was smooth with a hint of bitterness. The Aperol Spritz (Rs 375) – aperol, lime fruits, white wine, soda was fruity but not sickeningly sweet.
The food menu is limited to a handful of dishes, divided into ‘littles’ and ‘bigs’, with focus on clean bar food. Cheung’s touch of modern-American can be seen all over with a bit of Korean influence coming from Boo. The Cauliflower Salad (Rs 450) makes you take notice of the vegetable which probably sits ignored in your refrigerator for weeks. Char-grilled florets sat with creamy cashew hummus, mint cilantro chutney and pomegranate with subtle crunchiness from sesame seeds and crisp garlic.
Burrata (Rs 750) arrives next on the table leaving us spellbound for a while. The creamy Italian fresh cheese was served with thin fermented baby carrots, smooth carrot marinara, carrot vinaigrette and pesto – the freshness of the vegetable cut through the creamy cheese and was a complete dish with the crusty sourdough bread. The Baked Brie (Rs 750) comes close second to the burrata and is a medley of textures and flavours. The cheese was topped with ash, peanut brittle, jam and brown sugar. Taste all the elements separately and then eat them all together; it’s a revelation.
From ‘bigs’ we opted for Tempura Fish Taco (Rs 650) – light, topped with sour cream, jalapeno and spicy salsa. The Kimchee Grits (Rs 700) has already been added to our list of favourite comfort foods. Mixed with roasted tomato, sweet potato and miso corn, the rice grits were creamy and light; a lot like a comforting bowl of khichdi. Heavy eaters can go for Smash Burger (Rs 700) with beef patty, bacon, cheddar and topped with sunny side. Or, take our suggestion and settle with a bowl of hot Smoked Pork Noodles in Kimchi Soup (Rs 600) topped with peanuts and scallions. The flat noodles in light broth make for a great meal. Dessert was Brown Butter Maldon Salt Chococlate Chip Cookies (Rs 500) with hot chocolate – crumbly and rich.
On a packed Monday night we were in and out of the restaurant in one and a half hour– yup, we ordered, Instagrammed and ate in that much time.
Must Try: Burrata, Kimchee Grits, Ol’ Venezuela
Cost: Rs 6,475 + taxes including three cocktails, three small plates, four big plates and a dessert
This review was conducted anonymously and was originally published on Burrp!, January 2016
Photo Credits: Cryselle D’Souza