Tried & Tested: Food Review
Delicious meat, with a side of innovative cocktails — doesn’t that sound appetising? That’s exactly what SOHO Tapas Bar has to offer, as Pooja Salvi found out on a visit to the new bar
Minimalist interiors paired with groovy music — SOHO was doing everything right the minute I stepped inside. The well-designed bar and cool ambiance helps the large space look even bigger. On a lazy evening after work, it was the perfect space at which to chill out with a drink in hand.
A little goes a long way
The décor at this new bar is part of the attraction. Minimalist, with whitewashed surroundings and golden accents, the entire area is quaint and charming, even with all the space. From the street, the restaurant looks like a chic addition, and a bright light in a dingy lane, especially since the dark exteriors of Goa Portuguesa next door don’t add much to the area. Settings like this are often highly exorbitant places where the food is just so-so. However, SOHO Tapas Bar is different, and won’t disappoint.
Two to tango
Recently opened, SOHO has a menu that’s still in its nascent stages, since everything is still being set up. The chef tells me that they are still experimenting with customer likes and dislikes, and are also playing around with the food cultures of several different places.
We began our evening with a Potato & Corn Cheese Cake (Rs 220). An interesting dish, it had a refreshing tnaginess and I could taste pickle-like undertones. But, not the icky sort that makes you want to give up on the plate; the good kind that makes you want to eat the entire thing in one go!
I am generally not a fan of quinoa. Really, for me, it’s just another attempt at a healthy diet. And, who are we kidding, that’s really all it is. It takes a lot for a quinoa dish to impress me, so it’s no surprise that the Quinoa & Risotto Aranchini Balls (Rs 210) was a complete disappointment. This was also partly due to the preparation method — stuffed and deep fried. Quinoa that is deep fried doesn’t seem as healthy, and it definitely didn’t work for me.
Their non-vegetarian dishes are a real delight though! Starting with the Chicken Afghani Tikka (Rs 260) was a good decision. Soft, fresh, with all the flavourful juices oozing out, the dish is a delight to indulge in. The Jerk Chicken (Rs 250) comes with a serving of green chutney on top and tastes amazing. What adds to the flavour is that the chicken is fried beautifully. However, it would be nice if they cut down on the oil — just a bit.
The Soho Style Curry Crumb Chicken (Rs 210) is, in the simplest of words, poha crumbled on top of the chicken. The Romesco sauce adds an interesting twist to the dish. We thought that the dish had spicy undertones, but it’s nothing that a glass of beer on the side can’t solve.
Seafood to the rescue
Seafood is my kryptonite — especially when it’s deliciously made and looking like something right out of a dream. Most seafood dishes could kill me, because I’m always so tempted to overindulge. The flavours are always magical on my palate, and SOHO knows how to weave this magic. Some seafood may disappoint, but on the whole, the chef creates the best variants I have had in a long time. The Dynamite Gambas Al Ajillo (Rs 285) was hot and sweet. The prawn is battered in tempura and tossed till crisp in Sriracha aioli, which gives it a Chinese/ Asian twist. I’m not exaggerating when we say that the dish was the best I’ve ever had. Cantalonian Gambas (Rs 285) is another delightful dish on the menu. You can’t stop spooning it up — the Catalonian fish stew marination adds a lovely taste to the prawns and the lemon juice on top is a delightful addition. If there’s something that could take you to your happy place, this dish is it.
SOHO Tapas Bar is a really good place to go for a date night if you don’t mind indulging in a great array of drinks and food. And, if your date loves seafood, brownie points to you! With an extensively designed menu that is constantly being improved by the chef and owners, you’d be hard pressed to find something that goes wrong here. Will I visit again? Yes! Especially for another round of the delicious prawns!
Where 244-A, SVP Nagar, 4 Bungalow, near Versova Telephone Exchange, Andheri (w)
Meal for two Rs 1,400
Alcohol served Yes (a pint of beer costs Rs 175)