The Bar Terminal, Fort; Mumbai: Where creativity meets the quirk

Interiors 1The Bar Terminal was a surprise, a pleasant surprise, one that took me back in time and space by many years. During my engineering days in Bangalore, many a places were electric, exciting and entertaining despite their locations. The Bar Terminal is a must visit spot in South Mumbai, even if it is only for an experience.

Hard to find, the Bar Terminal is located in the lane right next to the BSE Building at Fort, which is quite dead during late evenings and on the weekends, making parking a breeze. The entrance is shared with XXX restaurant, walking through a door on the right, up a flight of stairs making the experience a little spooky to be honest. Once you reach the front door, a very different world welcomes you with open arms. The interiors are colorful, funky and quite interesting with each section adorning unique decorative items from everyday junk. Like the CD Chandelier – a reflective piece that you need to look at twice to understand that all is uses are pre-owned plain CDs. Or the plastic cartons on the bar, whose colors bring the bar to life. The wonderfully put together pieces make the place quite an interesting experience.

Interiors 3With regard to the food menu, it is 100% vegetarian in its offering. A meat lover like myself would usually be disappointed, but not here. There is plenty of creativity flowing through the menu that will make you appreciate the thought that has gone behind designing the experience . The names, the plating and the ingredients are quite unique, making each dish an experience in itself.

Paneer PestoI started with the Paneer Pesto Bhurji – served in a small mug with a warm, cheese and pesto sauce laced bun. The paneer was soft, juicy and delicious with the Pesto adding an amazing touch to an otherwise bland base. We polished off the dish in a jiffy.

Next arrived the Mushroom Afgani. I am a big fan of well-cooked button mushrooms and this dish was beautifully cooked. The spicy sauce was brilliant, hitting your nose right through without burning a hole in your palette. The mushrooms turned out to be the dish of the day for me.

Ragda Paties ShotA very interesting presentation was the Ragda Patties Shot – layered chaat served in a cutting chai glass. The dish is carefully filled in layers in a clear glass, which allows one to see the ingredients as clear as daylight. The dish is topped with bhujia and a leaf of coriander making it a delicious sight, equally blissful with every bite.

Even the drinks are served in a unique fashion, with many quirky names and combinations, accompanied by the standard fare for those who don’t dare. I tried the Smoked Berry while my partner tried the Unicorn – both attracting attention by the use of dry smoke. The drinks arrived in style, each on their own tray, with  a container of dry ice and water. The waiter poured water into the container and the dry ice starts to flow out like a cloud, which is then poured over the drink. The dry ice mixes with the flavours and allows them to escape the drink, thus making each sip a pleasure on the taste buds and the nose. I  found this experience to be quite unique and pleasurable. The Smoked Berry is a strawberry based Tequila drink, which was quite good. One has to try it just for the effect.

Pizza PuchkasThe next dish was the Pizza Puchkas, cooked vegetables and cheese in a Puchka, which needs to go into your mouth in one piece. While the dish was interesting, it could not match the Pagda Patties Shot.

I next tried the Cigar Rolls. The dish again surprised us with its presentation. Each Crispy Fried Roll, filled with juicy spinach and cheese, comes in a transparent shot glass with a tangy sauce at the bottom. The rolls are easy on the palette and juicy on the inside.

TLIThere are many dishes to meet your brunch (starts at 11 am) and dinner needs. Amongst the more interesting finds, with combination of parathas and pancakes, they also offer 3 twists on the Maggi (thank you for coming back) along with the natural preparation. I would love to come back and try the Nashta one day.

Despite my introduction to a variety of items and a complaining stomach, I was excited to explore other items on the menu.  I next tried the Crispy Corn Chilly Pepper – which was again served in a cutting chai glass. This presentation makes it so easy to eat and share, without one having to chase the corn around a plate. The taste was good, nothing electric, nevertheless enhanced by an easy to eat plating.

Lemon Grass & Kafir LimeWith little or no room left in my stomach, we decided to take a break and concentrate on the drinks. We ordered a Lemongrass Kafir Lime, which was served in the most interesting fashion imaginable. The glass was shaped like a large bulb, with its own screw on top with a twisted straw emerging from the cap. The bulb could stand on the table with its slightly flat end, delicate to handle, but very interesting to behold. The drink in itself was heavy on the flavor and ice, not the best I had that night. My partner tried the Long Island Ice Tea, which was served in a wide glass with a slice of Orange on top, which was used to hold the straw (another intelligent touch).

I next tried the Jack Sparrow, a dark rum based drink served in a glass shaped like a cask, with loads of crushed ice (overflowing the glass) and a tasty blend of mixers within. This drink  topped my tasting for the night.

Crispy Corn Chilli PepperBack to food, we started to tire out and requested for small samples. We wanted to walk out and not pass out, so we stuck to sampling small bites. Our next sample was Jalepeno Cheese Nuggets. They were delicious and crunchy on the outside. We also sampled the Mumbai Masala Garlic Bread, loaded with masala potato and peppers, served in pav style bread with cheese topping. The many dishes served over the evening filled me up so well, I had no space left by the end of it. I had enough cheese in the day to last me a month, twisted and turned in the most interesting ways.

The evening was memorable, with great music, a mini dance floor, eccentric ambience, twisted drinks and a delectable menu. The place is great for casual get-togethers, celebrations, and fun dates or even if you are just hanging out with friends.

Ratings out of 5

Food: 4 | Ambiance: 4 | Service: 4 | Overall: 4

Meal for Two without Alcohol: Rs. 2200 Inclusive of taxes | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|

Timing: 11 a.m.to 1 am | Wheelchair access : No

Address: Rajabahadur Mansion, 6/8, AmbalaDoshiMarg, Hamaman Street, Next to Bombay Stock Exchange Building, Fort, Mumbai – 400001

Telephone : 022 2210 0100

Disclaimer : 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; however readers may exercise their own discretion.

 

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