Imagine for a minute that you own a bar. What would you call it? Write down that name on a piece of paper and paste it two floors above Bandra’s Yellow Tree Café restaurant. For here lies a new nameless bar, one that’s intentionally anonymous, known only by a flower symbol on a wooden board. Word!
In collaboration with the Yellow Tree Café owner, this call-me-what-you-want will be run by fashion model sisters Mashoom and Shamita Singha, who also founded a wine tasting company called We Know Vino. While the “untitled project” bit may seem a little gimmicky, the bar truly seems to be the anti-bar of today with refreshingly bare interiors and no promise of comedy gigs or Shaa'ir + Func live on Saturdays. The space is small and woody with five tables, several huge windows, two bars for when things get crowded, and a 150-strong stacked book shelf where gin-soaked boys and girls are encouraged to read. This will probably be more useful once the all-day timings come into play.
Our party of three settled on a table with a leafy view and comfy window niche seating. Although the menu design with its flower symbol resembles that of Yellow Tree Café’s, the food selection, music, interior and staff here are completely different. To the sound of Smashing Pumpkins, Alanis Morissette and Matchbox Twenty, we ordered. The cocktails here are boozy and well-mixed – the Spicy Guava Mary is the right amount of fiery, the watermelon martini is done differently with chunks of fruit that can be scooped out later, but could have been more chilled. Our favourite though, was the Tangy Mojito, a bright jam of tangerines and rum. There’s also a wine list from which Shamita recommends the Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royal Brut champagne (Rs 4,000 for a bottle), Messere Chianti, Italy red and the Four Seasons Viognier white wine.
From the small but imaginative sharing platter list (no mains are served here) we started with the spinach and ricotta brownies, yum moist savoury brownies served with pesto sauce. Other stomach liners included barbeque chicken wings, hearty and marvelously messy; crisp crab and basa cakes that went well with beer and a well-endowed plate of emmenthal-stuffed falafel. Also fun to get was the whole wheat 8-inch pizza - only on the specials board – slathered with spinach and corn.
While the food and cocktails are fun and inventive, the prices are a bit steep (Rs 2,500 for a meal for two with one drink each), especially for the kind of casual vibe that they wish to promote with no dress code restrictions. Ordering premium liquor here seems to be a better idea since it’s the domestic alcohol that’s over-priced (Rs 245 for a Kingfisher pint, Rs 395 for Hoegarden; Rs 500 for a 16 year-old Lagavulin, Rs 495 for sangria).
Mashoom and Shamita plan to introduce happy hours soon, to encourage a start-early-end-early practice. A friend of theirs joked that this watering hole is “the kind of girl you take out to a nice dinner, not to the after party.” We think your mom would like this bar, even though it hasn’t made a name for itself. Yet.
Getting there: Second floor, Yellow Tree Café, 33, Ambedkar Road junction, Bandra (W), 26487800/9820062122, now open from 7 pm – 1 am, Rs 2,500 for a meal for two with one drink each.
At reviews, bpb pays for its own meals.
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