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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Love good food and books? Jagruti Verma tells you about how to combine your love of them both at newly opened The Spare Kitchen in Worli

If you’ve visited Atria Mall recently, you will understand when we say that it is a dying space that looks like a waste of real estate in a prime South Mumbai location. So, we have our apprehensions about the location of The Spare Kitchen’s second restaurant in the city too. But, after manoeuvring our way through vacant escalators and sections with renovation work going on, we stepped into a large space, filled with books. Divided into sections for large groups to enjoy a meal in as well as space for people to lounge at the bar, The Spare Kitchen seemed to have a little something for everyone. They have a pretty aquarium near the entrance and racks of books are used to divide the space. We loved how the restaurant was brightly lit — enough for an 8pm dinner — and we grew to love it even more when we realised that the lights dim as the hours pass.

The bar was a little different too. It had a low enough counter to double up as a dinner table and instead of uncomfortable bar stools, you’re treated to chairs here. The minimalistic design meant that there weren’t too many glasses or wine bottles on display. We may have missed staring up at the spirits, but it was a refreshing change. We tried three of their drinks — the Smoked Whiskey Sour (Rs 475), which was a whiskey-based sour drink with lemon, the famed Long Island Iced Tea (Rs 395), a classic favourite and definitely up to the mark, and finally, their Appletini, a sweet vodka drink that’s not on the menu yet, garnished with green apples. 

A platter full of appetisers sounded delicious to us, so we settled for their Non Veg Platter (Rs 595), which won’t disappoint. The Malabari Lamb with its slight coconut flavour was an instant favourite and the two chicken dishes, the Coriander Chicken and Chilli Garlic Chicken, reminded us of their street food variants. And, if you are looking for a more street-like feel, you should try the Chowpatty on a TSK platter (Rs 395), with its sukha bhel puri in a paper cone, pani puri with a jaljeera mix in a shot glass and little vada and pavs along with the small portions of bhaji. What we really loved about the ensemble was how the bhaji was not a mashed mix and instead, we could taste all the individual vegetables. And, there were khus khus seeds in the puri that added a much needed crunch to the dish.

If you are in the mood to have some of their more filling food, the Butter Chicken Risotto (Rs 545), with its mild flavour that’s not too buttery, should be your pick. Another great option is the Peri Peri Roasted Chicken Steak (Rs 495). It was a beauty to look at with its potato wedges, broccoli, garnishing vegetables and, of course, the chicken steak to devour. We loved how the peri peri sauce wasn’t too hot to make us reach out for a sip of water — it complemented the potatoes well and made the chicken steak a relishing experience.

To end our meal on a sweet note, we ordered a Tiramisu served TSK style (Rs 275) and loved every spoonful of it. Like any other Tiramisu, it came in a glass. However, we realised the twist as we poured a shot of coffee liquid in it and devoured the bitter-sweet coffee flavoured cream along with the cookies that lined the rim of the glass. We loved how it was one of the least sweet Tiramisus we have tried so far.

We did love the food at The Spare Kitchen, but that’s not the only reason we think you should visit. Do you love the feeling of being surrounded by books? Well, that should be your reason! Although we’re sure you don’t want to be immersed in a book when you are out on a date, we’re pretty sure their presence will make your experience much more fun and lively. Also, if you want to pick up a book, you can! All you need to do is pay a token amount, which goes to charity. And, you can even contribute books to the shelves that line the space. If your partner loves to read too, book a table right away!

Where: Atria Mall, 4th Floor, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli

Meal for two: Rs 2,000 (a pint of beer costs Rs 195)

Contact: 60229000/ 60229002

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