Bandra is the go-to ‘cool’ haunt for practically everyone in Bombay. Whether it’s the sea you seek or a drink at a swanky restaurant, this artsy Catholic suburb never fails you. But it isn’t often that you come across a place you’ve never heard of. Asado the Cocktail Street has an exotic ring to it when I receive the invite and I immediately want to go. The restaurant is very close to Bandra station (near Gaiety Galaxy_ and brightly lit up; so you can’t miss it. On a weekday evening, the place is relatively empty but as the evening progresses, several families and groups of friends saunter in.
In the evening, the place is shadowy inside but the outer part has better lighting and the music is lower in volume. So you can choose between the two areas depending on your need for conversation or a pub-like intimate atmosphere. We choose to sit in the outer area as we want to see all the nuances of our food and drinks. The bar is right next to us and we can see the bartender whipping up our drinks even as a football match unravels on the television set.
Quite a lot of thought has been invested into the interiors; especially the area inside. A painting of a girl by the window creates the illusion of a real hole-in-the-wall. The ceiling is made to resemble a sky and reminds me of The Venetian in Macau. Little bulbs are strung across wires criss-crossing the ceiling and the walls are covered with brick wallpaper. The overall effect is quaintly Euopean.
We opt for a series of vegetarian starters rather than the monotonous soup, main course and dessert drill. Over the course of three hours, we end up sampling EIGHT fantastic dishes that we strive valiantly to finish. Here is a recap:
Healthiest Quinoa Salad: Highly recommend
You might feel odd having something ‘healthy’ at a bar but this quinoa salad is just brilliant. Served with zesty chili lime vinaigrette and filing guacamole, the salad is also a visual treat. Topped with multi-coloured vegetables, the quinoa is the perfect start to my meal.
Fiesty Veg Nachos: Recommend
I’m not generally very partial towards nachos but these are certainly among the best I’ve had. Crisp yellow corn tortillas are laden with refried beans, olive, jalapeno, corn kernels, pico, cheese sauce and avocado cream. The result is an explosion of flavours and textures.
Tex-Mex Loaded Potato Skin: Recommend
Thick wedges of baked potato skins come topped with cheese, asparagus, corn, olive, japaneno, tomato and a generous drizzling of mayonnaise. They are great to bite into and extremely sastisfying.
Truffle Garlic Parmesan Fries Served With Exotic Dip: Highly recommend
Truffle oil always lends a fantastic flavour to dishes and these fries are made all the more special by their chunkiness as opposed to the thinner variety. The dip is out of the world and we love it so much we ask for another serving.
Grilled Vegetable Flat Bread: Recommend
If you’re looking for a healthier, lighter alternative to pizza, this is it. Flat breads are like open sandwiches but these are extremely thin and resemble thin-crust pizzas. This one comes topped with peppers, onion, bean, zucchini, yellow squash, coriander pesto chilli, cheddar cheese and parmesan.
Bean & Cheese Quesadilla: Recommend
Quesadillas can be a bit dry at times but this one is definitely tasty and moist. A filling vegetarian alternative, it is served with guacamole, salsa and cabbage slaw.
Trio Mushroom & Truffle Flat Bread: Highly recommend
A truly outstanding flat bread with oodles of perfectly flavoured and cooked soft mushrooms, I can’t stop munching on this one. Three varieties of mushrooms – button, oyster and shitake have been teased with caramelized onion, tarragon, parmesan and truffle.
Fiery habanero BBQ cottage cheese: Can be avoided
I adore tossed cottage cheese but this is too spicy for words. The sauce leaves my palate burning and I can’t discern the flavours at all. Try it at your own risk.
They take their alcohol seriously and have turned cocktails into a bespoke art. While the concoctions are extremely creative, the manner in which they are served is equally remarkable. There are drinks catering to small as well as large groups and the bartender is both knowledgeable and willing to experiment as per your expectations. We try five signature cocktails:
When we see a hat making its way to our table, we don’t know what to expect. But when this heady concoction of white rum, tequila, cranberry and orange juice makes its way down our throats, our faith in the Tiki Mexicana is restored.
There is much fanfare as a neon blue bulb perched on a black bicycle descends in front of us. Inside the bulb, gin, soda, elder flower syrup , orgeat syrup and a dash of lime are getting well acquainted with each other. My taste buds are equally happy to make their flavourful acquaintance.
Served in a giant strawberry, I am worried that this vodka and tequila cocktail might be too sweet for my taste. The cranberry juice and watermelon syrup notwithstanding, the drink makes for a refreshing change from my regular staples.
Hyde & Seek / Bourbon Smash
I try the Bourbon Smash while my friend has the Hyde & Seek (pictured in the featured image of this post). As bourbon lovers, we find both to be supremely smooth and appealing. However, I prefer the Bourbon Smash thanks to its tasty caramel blend and lemon mint. The Hyde & Seek is flavoured with fresh rosemary and celery infusion and the result is surprisingly uplifting.
The place is adequately staffed though I haven’t seen it in rush hours. I’d like to offer a special mention to the bartender who was so eager to offer us the best of their cocktails. Each dish arrives after a 10-15 minutes wait and the presentation is always excellent.
If you enjoy experimenting with your drinks and don’t mind shelling out a little extra for some fabulous food and ambience, you MUST visit this joint. Period.
(Some photos courtesy: Asado the Cocktail Street)
Address: Manorama Chambers, Near Gaity Galaxy Junction, SV Road, Bandra Talao, Bandra West
Phone number: 022 30151882 (Table booking recommended)
Opening hours: 7 PM to 1:30 AM daily (Sun: 12 Noon to 5 PM as well)
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