Many a dining and nightlife joint is littered across Lower Parel to cater to its clientele of business executives, but no Tryst, Cafe Zoe or Blue Frog can claim to have a microbrewery like that of The Barking Deer.
And the pub doesn't shy away from advertising its USP either; large steel vats form as much a part of the decor as the brick walls, the wooden furniture, and the deer trophies on the shelves. The customers may have emerged from stuffy offices, but once in this establishment, they are quick to rub off even the last vestige of formality to partake in an evening of unabashed revelry.Our visit to the pub coincided with its 'retro night', an occasion where office-goers are encouraged to loosen their ties, let their hair down and croon along to songs as diverse as Joan Jett's I love rock 'n' roll to Backstreet Boys' Quit playing games. Party now, the mood of the moment seemed to say, and worry about the hangover later.
The Barking Deer currently has three in-house brewed beers, and there are more on the way. While its women patrons are likely to fancy the citrus-y but lighter Flying Pig and Belgian Wit, the male party animal may savour the heavier and bitter concoction that is the Indian Pale Ale.
After nibbling on the French fries, we went for the tandoor cottage cheese tikka, which was soft and marinated well with coriander and mint chutney. We tried the dishes under the 'Pub Classics' header for the mains, only to find that the gravy of the Irish lamb stew was overtly sweet. The all-vegetarian farmer's pie came with a nice creamy layer of mashed potatoes and parmesan, but as we dug deep, the flavour of the tangy tomato sauce was lost. The meal was rounded up with a date and almond torte, and though it was pink peppercorn ice cream that we craved, we received a dollop of whipped cream.
The food at The Barking Deer was a hit-and-miss affair, but the portions were generous and we stepped out feeling tipsy and well-fed. A good place to go for beer and some carefree partying.
Indian pale ale Farmer's pie
Meal for two Rs 2,500
Senapati Bapat Marg,