Bar Fight, Anyone?
We have a pact at the bpb office: If there’s an argument that goes over a certain decibel level with no end in sight, we’re allowed to hit pause and go get a beer at Woodside Inn. The pub is a “Space Between” fist and future that Dave Matthews Band sings of, and incidentally, one of the only bars in Mumbai that plays this DMB track. Comfort is bound to make itself found, we believe, if not in the larger, then on the specials board.
That kind of vibe is hard to live up to, we thought while driving to Woodside Inn’s new Andheri outpost, thinking of sequels that have failed in the wake of great originals. But when we spotted its simple green awning in a cramped row of garish eatery signboards on Link Road, we knew that this new Woodside was at least going to try.
Like we mentioned before, Woodside’s founders have decided to drop the ‘Inn’ from the Andheri pub’s moniker and add ‘all day bar and eatery’ which is reflected in its design. The warmly lit inside section with wooden tables (think level one of Woodside Inn) is immediately inviting and conducive to dining – we spotted a couple of families at dinner. A fun feature is the double sided bar, the other end of which opens out into an al fresco section, a super chilled cafe-like setting with a white wash, cushy beige chairs and a pretty black wall mural that bird watchers will love. The thought of ‘wing men’ at the bar will strike immediately. So will the similarly styled mural at Eat Around the Corner.
Against the sketchy crows we sat while a companion sang along with the Cranberries and scanned for other specimens at the bar. A cool white tent top studded with fans didn‘t remind us of the October heat, supported in its mission by a chilled Hoegaarden, slightly diluted icy margarita and fruity sangria.
Along with the eclectic track list, almost 95% of the menu is borrowed from Woodside Inn. We ordered from the other 5% and here’s what landed up at our table – sautéed chicken appetiser, a seafood salad and saffron ravioli (the all-day breakfast will be served starting next week). The sautéed chicken in hot garlic sauce is tasty but appears slightly out of place, longing for a spot in one of the desi Chinese restaurants in the vicinity. The salad is perfect for October weather (we realised later it’s also served at Colaba), full of light leaves drenched in a vinaigrette dressing, hiding below a sea treasure of prawns, shrimp and rawas cubes. Last came the delicious ravioli stuffed with artichokes and goat cheese, topped with a slightly sweet, velvety saffron sauce. Our usual favourites of double cheddar beef burger and Mississippi mud pie were of course, invited to dinner.
For its first Saturday night on the town, Woodside was surprisingly unflustered, offering super quick service and courteous staff that’s willing to go on cigarette runs and even come to the entrance if you’re lost. But will this calm remain on coming weekends as the place gets progressively packed? Early birds fly in now we suggest, or go later and find out what could be worse than catching the worm.
Getting there: Woodside – all day bar and eatery, Oshiwara Link Road, next to Yoko’s, call 26328963, Rs 2,500 for dinner for two with one drink each, open for dinner until October 9.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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