Villainy has its own charm and the bad boy image continues to be revered by members of the fairer sex. Before this comment of mine is dissed out as sexist, let me draw the image of Al Pacino in Scarface – mouthing “You talkin’ to me?” or Andy Garcia and Robert De Niro roughing it up in Casino; the bad boys have always had a certain following.
The newly opened Gangsta’s at Bandra lives up to the theme and brings back the memories of these iconic Dons and their muses in its very tastefully done interiors. Right from the moment you enter through the main gate which resembles the entrance to a jail up to the entrance to the premium section whose entrance is made to resemble a huge vault, the place never loses its character.
Beautiful murals with faces of most of the iconic Hollywood dons right from Corleone to Sonny boy are done very creatively with broken brick and mortar. The seating resembling a Mafia den replete with mirrors, graffiti and neon signs and mood lighting, the place keeps up with the ghetto den ambience quite well. The second floor premium section has tables that may resemble like casino tables, creative pictures of the Mona Lisa, beautiful chandelier, high chairs and dark undertones giving the place a very elegant and dark look.
The names of the drinks and dishes have also been created keeping up with the theme and deliberate spelling mistakes are made to make it read like Gangsta lingo. It’s interesting to note that both the premium and non-premium sections have different menus where care has been taken for the premium part to offer much classier dishes and drinks including a good wine and spirit list and exotic dishes that include expensive ingredients. What’s surprising though is that the menu is a mix of Lebanese and Indian and doesn’t reflect the Mafia theme; I was thinking to find dishes inspired by the Sicilian and New Yorker Italian cuisines.
We tried several cocktails over the evening including a Sexy Bull – a Vodka, pineapple, raspberry and lemon juice concoction which was too sweet to my taste and a Scarface that had apple juice, lemon and muddled cilantro with a grey goose base. Here the cilantro had a bitter tone which wasn’t very pleasing either. The best cocktail of the evening was the Cartel which was Grey Goose vodka, Tanqueray gin, Bacardi rum, Tequila, Cointreau and sparkling wine all perfectly balance, giving it a delicious flavour which was not too sweet nor hard and extremely enjoyable. Certainly a drink, fit for the Don.
Of the food, the mish mash of Lebanese with Indian had its hits and misses. I personally liked the concept of Taftoons, which are thin crisp Naan breads topped with several toppings to resemble a thin crust pizza. I tried the Barbari taftoon which had hummus and chicken as its topping. It was a good dish but a bit heavy on the stomach, one cannot work past three slices of this one and it is ideally a dish to be shared.
The mixed kebab platter had three types of kebabs; the murgh malai tikka was usual and will find favourites with the expat crowd due to its low spice quotient. The tangdi kebab was average but the Mirchi kebab was amazing where the big chilies were filled with chicken in green marinade and grilled to perfection. The chilies were sweet and fleshy and the chicken not overly spiced and cooked well, all in all a good combination of flavours in the mouth. The Shish touk was a bit heavy on the spices, which, I think was deliberate as one feels to urge to drink some more, thereby keeping the till happy.
One dish that certainly stood out was the Chicken Avgolemenu Soup, which instead of using stock, used rice starch as its base and had basil and chicken slices. The soup was mild in taste, but heavy in flavours, I could certainly see it as an excellent comfort food for myself. I had this with a classic Mojito which was a perfect accompaniment to a perfect dish.
Of damsels and villains, the place is a beautiful place to spend a lazy evening. The drinks are alright and food decent, the service is classy- as it should be given to a don. It’s a place you would love to visit with your date, if you want to give her a live-life-king-size treat. Do make sure to reserve a table in the Premium lounge of the second floor and trust me, you won’t regret!
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3 | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for two: Rs.2000| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12.00 pm am till 4.00 pm – 6.30 pm till 1.00 am
Wheelchair Access : No
Address: B1, Kamat Building, Opposite National College, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Tel: 098 70 676645
This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.