The area of Lower Parel is fast developing into a very popular restaurant and pub area in Mumbai. Due to a heavy concentration of major corporate offices, this area has become a popular hangout for people post office hours.
Over the last few years, it has also seen the opening of two of Mumbai’s first micro-breweries. Battling the heavily archaic licensing laws, the first micro-brewery finally got its brewing license earlier this year after almost a year of its operation and the second one got its last month after going through a similar predicament.
We visited White Owl on Monday, the 17th of November for a tasting of their brews and for a tete-a-tete with the executive chef of the pub who has crafted a special menu to pair with the home brews.
The restaurant is built up in a space which was originally a parking area at the India Bulls Centre of Lower Parel. The management has left the walls of the pub intact giving it a rustic feel. The minimalistic décor and the tastefully chosen lighting give the place a cool vibe which appeals to groups of friends and romantic couples alike.
During our visit, the owner of the restaurant Javed Murad took out time to walk us through the samples of the four beers that they are brewing at the moment. Over the next few months, they have plans to introduce two more brews in this line up and a few seasonal specials as the occasion may demand.
The four brews they currently have on tap are Diablo, Halcyon, Shadow and Torpedo. The Diablo is a typical Irish ale, slightly reddish in colour with mild caramel and roast flavours and is easy on the palate. The Halycon which is a classic German Hefeweizen, is a lighter drink which has a very intense fruity after taste. I found the English stout Shadow to be a bit of an acquired taste with a very strong roasted after taste with a hint of chocolate and is a bit bitter towards the tail end. The American Pale Ale Torpedo was perhaps the closest to the Indian beers with a strong dry hop aroma and citrusy effervescent freshness. We tried the sampler of all the 4 brews and settled for a Halycon and a Torpedo for ourselves.
We were told that the food at White Owl has been meticulously crafted to pair well with the in house brews. The House Lavash with assorted dips (Rs. 295) was an interesting platter to start with. Of the three dips that were served with the lavash, the olive and basil tapenade was refreshing and the carrot and cumin pate was decent but the hummus could have been made better.
The Lemon Grass Infused Prawns (Rs. 455) were refreshing and went quite well with my Torpedo. The citrusy aromas and flavours complemented each other in both the dish and the drink and I must say that this dish was relished by us. The same, however, can’t be said for the Rosemary Grilled Chicken (Rs. 525) which we had to return the first time as it was heavy on the seasoning. Though it was better the second time around, I felt that they could still do with lesser seasoning as the rosemary gave a bitter finish to the palate. The chicken by itself was quite juicy and soft.
During the evening, though the staff seemed quite attentive to us, I sensed lapses in their overall product knowledge. This could be a simple teething problem and we would be keen to see the place get rid of their initial kinks and get the food and service act together so that they stand well along with the fabulous brews in the pub. The brews are certainly something that would pull me back to the pub again.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3 | Drinks: 3.5 | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 3 |Overall: 3
Meal for two: Rs.2500| Alcohol: Yes | CreditCard: Yes | Timings: 12 Noon to 1 AM
Happy Hours: 12.30PM to 7.30PM, all days of the week
Wheelchair Access :Yes
Address: The White Owl, One India Bulls Centre, Tower 2-B Lobby, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400 013
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.