Tried & Tested: Food Review
There’s good food and then there’s food you simply can’t get enough of. Pearl Mathias recounts her dinner at Craft Bar and tells you why you need to book a table immediately
If you’re a regular at restaurants in the city, you may be starting to think that there’s no way new spaces can impress you anymore. With the introduction of gastronomy and fusion, not to mention the variety of global cuisine restaurants popping up, it’s getting harder to get original and please customers. But, if you’ve almost given up on giving anything new a try, we suggest stepping into Bandra’s newest eatery, Craft Bar. Located in Bandra east, it won’t take too long to find the space, and even less time to realise how great it is.
With dim lighting and pops of colour on the walls, Craft Bar manages to pull of the classy yet fun vibe effortlessly. We loved the high wooden seating with French windows, which offered a beautiful view of the still night. We noticed a gola machine at the bar, which piqued our curiosity and with that we began our meal.
The good stuff
We were served the Glassy Classy Salad (Rs 235), which included a delightful combination of citrus fruits, dry fruits, cherry tomatoes, onions and olives topped with a citrus dressing. If you’re looking for a light start to your meal and aren’t in the mood for soup, these farm fresh fruits and vegetables are the perfect way to begin. Speaking of light bites, the Paneer Tikka Tart (Rs 295) was made of succulent charcoal-flavoured cottage cheese chunks and is a splendid vegetarian treat. But, what we really dug were the Tandoori Momos (Rs 295). You’ll forget your usual Chinese fare when you bite into this mouth-watering steamed delicacy that is cooked in a clay oven.
We then moved on to the part of the menu titled ‘Roadies’, which was an ode to amazing food we indulge in during road trips. The famous Litti Chokha (Rs 255), which originated and is highly popular in the state of Bihar, was a flavourful treat. But, we highly recommend the SolKadi Shots with Prawn Golguppa (Rs 345). We’ve binged on pani puri at a host of places across the city, but this variation is by far the best we’ve every munched on. Yes, we were apprehensive at first, but believe us when we say that the popular Konkani curry that follows the spicy prawn mix was unusual, but brilliant.
The ‘Mashed Up Eataly’ section offers a range of tempting fusion options from which we tried the Bacon Wrapped Roast Chicken (Rs 485), which sounds marvelous by itself. It included cheddar-stuffed deboned chicken legs served on a bed of potatoes with port wine reduction. Need we say more? We also tried the Drunken White Salmon (Rs 525), which included a juicy portion of white salmon marinated with coconut-flavoured rum, served with herbed rice, spinach and caper cream.
Our meal wouldn’t be complete unless we dunked a roti in butter-soaked gravy, would it? So, we dug into some Paneer Pasanda with Roomali (Rs 375), a Lucknowi classic with mint-stuffed cottage cheese, cooked in rich velvety gravy. We also tried the Prawn Malai Curry with Uppam (Rs 485), which is a classic Bengali preparation. We loved both the Indian dishes and would suggest you give them a try if you’re looking for something completely satiating. Our meal ended on a sweet note with the English Vinglish (Rs 225). We felt as though this was the most appropriate name for a dessert made of brownie with gajar halwa. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could even try the Candy Crunch Phirni (Rs 195).
Sip on this
Apart from their deliciously different food menu, Craft Bar also serves up a range of delectable drinks. The Smoke Valley options are laden with willowy hints of thyme, clove and orange, and burned and injected with spirits. We tried the Volcano (Rs 395), which included vodka with cranberry and orange zest. We loved the smoky taste that came with every sip and the perfect balance of spirit and fruit flavour. The drinks under the Candy Pops section are an alcoholic sweet treat. Our favourite was the Drunken Melon (Rs 325), which included a refreshing slice of fruit dunked in vodka overnight. The Gola Barood list finally put our curiosity to rest. We sipped on the Tera Kya Hoga Kaliya (Rs 295), which included the obvious kala khatta with vodka. This was a personal favourite and a delightful grown-up indulgence. And, if you haven’t found a drink on their menu yet, we recommend starting with the Aata Majhi Satakli (Rs 395), which includes exquisite homemade Baileys and is served in a beacon glass.
On a full note
Craft Bar gets a thumbs-up from us for everything from their décor to the hospitality and from the food and drinks to the dessert. We’re rarely impressed with every aspect of a new space, but with remarkable flavours and a charming ambiance, you can book a seat at this restaurant for a cosy date night, a family treat or simply to grab a scrumptious lunch.
Where: Hallmark Business Plaza, Sant Dyaneshwar Marg, Near Chetna College, Kalanagar, Bandra (e)
Meal for two: Rs 2,000
Alcohol served: Yes (a pint of beer costs Rs 150)