Its claim to fame is its longest bar in the country. But Escobar is more than the 77-foot-bar it sports-it's also a fine dining restaurant and lounge. Spread across 6000 square feet, the single-level lounge and bar area extends to an open deck, while the restaurant is perched atop the busy suburban junction of Linking Road and Turner Road in Bandra, Mumbai.
Escobar is all high-end chic; the furniture's from France and the menu is distinctly Spanish in its influence. The tapas menu is unique and thoughtfully put together-the salmon olivette is scrumptious, as is the chicken chimichanga. The prawn and manchego on crute is served in a long glass and is sure to be a hit. Chase the food down with a sangria- definitely one of the best in the city.
Among the mains, the herb-spiked mixed meat lasangne as well as the mixed meat pizza are delightful. What's more, you can even customise your pizza. In the vegetarian menu, we tried the spinach and ricotta involtini with spicy alfredo, which was great. The portions are large but don't miss dessert especially the blueberry cheese cake and the mud cake. The latter is gooey in just the right way and quite unforgettable, as is the excellent cheese cake.
The versatility adopted by the signature mix of restaurant-lounge-bar is refreshing. Step in, sit down, and forget the frenzy of urban life just beyond.
Meal for two: Rs 2,800
Address: 199 - VN Sphere Mall, 4th floor, Linking Road, Bandra W, Mumbai.
Tel: 022 42760000
A clean slate
Canvas is a new lounge in Mumbai that lives up to its promise of hedonism; but the food is a mixed bag.
The Canvas is not pristine white; this split-level restaurant sports shiny disco balls, two large tv screens flashing psychedelic images, velvet drapes and tables embedded with multi-coloured lights. You could be in Vegas.
Canvas is a mixed bag. While the bread basket isn't up to scratch, the appetisers and tapas menu hit the mark. The Caesar salad with wasabi mayonnaise is a bit of a letdown but its non-vegetarian counterpart-the smoked salmon Caeser salad is just right. On the vegetarian menu, the goat cheese quenelle served on caramalised apple rings with beetroot puree is a must-try, while the sautéed turkey salami wrapped with asparagus is the star of the tapas menu.
Mains comprise of only a handful of choices -basic Mediterranean cuisine, a Thai curry, an Indian curry, and meats including duck breast and chops. The steamed bassa with ginger and lemongrass broth looks better than it tastes; the fish doesn't really absorb the subtle flavour of the garnish. On the other hand, the ravioli of mushroom and ricotta in basil cream works well, with each ingredient enhancing the texture of the other.
The desserts too are variable. The green and red apple dunked in lime soup with rum granite are all right but I keep imagining how much better it would've been in a short glass with a limoncello cookie!
Meal for two: Rs 4,000
Address: Canvas, 4th Floor,Palladium Mall, Lower Parel, Mumbai.
A new British eatery in Delhi with an intriguing name and serves up some good basic staples of English cuisine.
A name like Forgetful Elephant does arouse curiosity. And that's what led me to the new British restaurant/ pub in Delhi's GK 1. The setting is cheerful-oils on the wall, old English upholstery, porcelain bric-a-brac, a dark wooden floor and bold drapes transport you beyond the zipcode. The menu features mostly British staples with a European twist to go. For starters, the Dublin Bay prawns with garlic and herbs was tangy but a little undercooked.
The vegetarian Cromesquies were a pleasant surprise. The King Fish with chips and salad is served just as should be, not leaking oil, soft from within with a not-too-thick batter coating. The Lamb Crown with Roast Gravy was average, though the gravy gave it a distinct taste. Forgetful Elephant is an interesting addition to the eclectic dining scene. The service is warm and friendly and if you don't go expecting the earth you'll be satisfied.
Meal for two: Rs 1,500
Address: M-25, 1st Floor, M Block market, GK- 1, New Delhi
- Hitani Kaur