The newly opened branch of the famous Harrys Bar of Singapore sits pretty amongst hordes of restaurants and cafes in the boulevard of Hiranandani Gardens. I had been to Harry during one of my visits to Singapore with a bunch of friends had gorged on their Chicken wings and Malaysian curry over some chilled beer and was totally floored by the vibrant ambience of the place and the amazing cocktails, so when I came to know that they opened their first Mumbai branch in Powai, I had to head there and see the wonders they have created for the Mumbai crowd.
Located on the first floor of Ventura Park IT building, right next to Spaghetti Kitchen, Harry’s is a fairly small 60-70 seat restaurant, the décor is classic American and the music decibel levels are delightfully decent enabling the patrons to enjoy a conversation without having to scream at each other. For a Wednesday evening, I was surprised to see the place completely full. I noticed atleast one service staff for every two tables ensuring quick and attentive service. The drink menu is predictably longer than the food menu and has interestingly a very good wine listing with varietals like Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir appearing on the list (a rare feature)! I even saw at least 3-4 tables opting for wines instead of beer or hard liquor.
We started off with the iconic Singapore sling (Rs.349), a gin and cherry based cocktail which was very nice and refreshing and the Harrys Old fashioned (Rs. 269), a caramel, cinnamon and citrus flavoured whiskey cocktail very easy on the palate. A bowl of fresh peanuts to be peeled and eaten were brought along with the drinks. For starters we tried the typical Nachos (Rs. 219) which were simple market variety nachos with beans, salsa, guacamole and sour cream toppings. Though the nachos were quite average the frijoles (beans) were quite flavourful with an Indian twist. The platter was big enough to share and the Indian frijoles gave it an interesting twist. Next to try were two salt and pepper versions, one with paneer (Rs. 249) and one with prawns (Rs. 449). I liked the paneer as it was quite soft but with a slightly crunchy exterior whereas the prawns being deep fried was a bit oily. The best thing to me was that despite the freshly crushed black peppercorns, the dish in itself was not over spicy and had nice flavours.
Next we tried the Dirty Harry (Rs.229)-an interesting vodka based cocktail with lychee syrups and fruit and an Apple and Cucumber martini (Rs.229)both of which were lovely. We got a portion each of the Harry’s crispy chilly potatoes (Rs.149), which got quite cold by the time they reached the table and had lost their crispiness, and the Sichuan barbecue chicken (Rs.259), succulent juicy chicken pieces grilled in a lemongrass chilly red sauce, hot but flavoursome. I quite liked this dish.
To start off our main course, I was disappointed to see the absence of Malaysian curry or a Rendang or a Laksa on the menu, hence we opted for the popular Harry’s Jazz Burger (Rs.249) and Harry’s Garden Burger (Rs.219). Though the Jazz burger had a mutton patty, fried egg, bacon, cheese and toppings, it was quite a let-down as the patty in itself reminded me of the Maharaja Mac patty. The veg patty was plain aloo tikki. Major brush up needs to be done on this front, till then they are best avoided. However, our disappointment in food was made up with the accompanying cocktails – A Caramel Popcorn Martini (Rs. 239) and a Green Lantern (Rs. 349). Both the drinks were unique and very delicious in their own rights. While the popcorn martini was sweet and salty in taste and the popcorn floating on the top had a unique flavour since the kernels had been infused with vodka for a few days before popping, the Green lantern was a merry mix of midori, white rum and pineapple with a dash of grenadine at the bottom, sweetness with a punch.
We rounded off our meal with a very soft silky and decadent Baked Vanilla Cheesecake (Rs.239) which had a slight lemon hint and a very well made blueberry coulis on the side. This was washed down with a Kamikaze shot. All in all I was quite happy with the quality of the drinks and the starters, but a bit disappointed with the main course. The classic oriental dishes from Singapore are quite conspicuous in their absence and I hope that the management does include them on their menu in the days to come. Three beers on tap (Stella, Hoegaarden and Fosters) and a decently priced food and drink menu, makes it certainly a place of choice for the neighbourhood, this side of Mumbai.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3.0 | Drinks : 4.0 | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for two:Rs.1500 – Rs.2000 (With Alcohol)| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Happy Hour: Not at the moment | Timings: 12.00 PM to 1:30 AM
Address: Harry’s, 1st Floor, 103, Ventura Park, IT Building, Hiranandani Gardens, Opposite D Mart, Central Avenue Road, Powai, Mumbai | Tel: 022 67256587