If you wish to experience a little bit of England in Mumbai, head to The Long & Short Gastro Bar, The Intercontinental Hotel, Marine Drive between the 08th and 23rd of April. For three weeks this month, you get to experience some creative international take on British Bar food.
The Long & Short is a lively Bar with both Indoor and Outdoor (limited) seating overlooking the Marine Drive. With lively music, prompt and very efficient service and some very interesting drinks, it offers a great platform for an international food festival.
The festival is led by two accomplished chefs from London, Chef Neelam Bajwa – a third Generation British India who has currently made Mumbai her home, and Chef Celio Ceolin – a Brazilian Chef who has been working in London for many years. Both Chefs bring their signature twists on London’s Bar Food making the experience quite a memorable treat.
Chef Neelam Bajwa, a fun loving, energetic, beautiful Punjabi kudi, was born in Birmingham in the UK and moved to London at 19, credits her love for cooking to her mother and grandmother’s kitchen, where Punjabi food was a big part of her childhood. She converted her passion to her profession when she worked as a Chef in a Gastropub near Heathrow. Her culinary introductions were received with rave reviews and repeat customers. This inspired her to establish her own food operation and catering business — Soul Spice.
In 2011 she decided to return to India to explore our rich and diverse culinary heritage and has set up The Gastro Kitchen to offer an authentic taste of British fare. Featured on the Sanjeev Kapoor cookery show, Chef Bajwa is now a well-recognized name both for her spicy lamb curry with hot, buttered chapattis and her traditional roast dinner with all the trimmings. She is more than willing to share her love for Indian food over a conversation or with a treat on your plate.
Chef Celio Ceolin, the gifted culinary artist, is coming to India on his maiden visit after having wowed diners at the gourmet capital of the world. Born in Brazil, Chef Ceolin started as a humble kitchen porter, but he watched as he worked and it wasn’t long before he mastered the menu and grew to become the Executive Chef of The Great British Food Pub in London. Since then, Chef Ceolin has been instrumental in the growth of the pub culture in the city. A strong believer in classic traditions, Chef Ceolin’s menu is reflective of the best of Britain’s culinary history. For almost two decades, Chef Ceolin has conceptualized and executed exciting and innovative ways to present British classics. His passion for food is portrayed in his love for cooking where his greatest joy remains a happy customer. He loves meats, and the meat and cheese selection in the menu reflects his love for simplicity and tradition.
The evening started with a fresh and wonderfully made Whiskey Sour, with Baked Camembert, Mushroom on Garlic Ciabatta, Welsh Rarebit and Wheat Beer Chicken Wings. The Camembert was a highlight, fresh, strong, earthy flavor with a tough baked exterior and molten soft interior. The Welsh Rarebit was bittersweet, flavourful bite, white unique and never tasted before. The wheat beer chicken wings were juicy yet mild in flavor, while my daughter loved it, I missed my super spicy chicken wings.
I switched over to a Murphy’ Stout for the next course of the meal, which was a wonderfully baked Chicken Pie, served with a bowl of peas and delicious mashed potatoes. It was more a puff pie in texture, and amazingly well cooked inside. The chicken and mushroom flavours were well preserved in a creamy, cheesy layer that was married perfectly well to the ingredients, cocooned by the delicious puffy exterior. This was by far the best pie I have had in Mumbai.
I then sampled the Scampi and Chips, which were cooked very well, and very authentic Scampi, none like the fakes one gets in European supermarkets. I also tried Cottage Cheese crisps with fries, a great option for the vegetarians.
To polish things off, I tried the innovative, and quite memorable Apricot and Basil Shortbread Tart, with Millionaire’s Cheese Cake. Every bite was fresh basil and apricot, a mind blowing dish so delicious and complex, it was hard to put down.
The location, setting and ambience is finer dining than a British Pub; however, you are encouraged to drink up those fantastic cocktails and beers and let your hair down with friends or your loved ones. The food accompanies the drinks wonderfully well, and given it is mostly finger food, it makes sharing a lot of fun.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4 | Ambiance: 4.5 | Service: 4 | Overall: 4
Meal for Two with Alcohol: Rs. 2500 Exclusive of taxes | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|
Timing: 07:00 – 02:00| Wheelchair access: Yes
Address: Intercontinental, 135 Marine Drive, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Churchgate, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020 Telephone : 022 3987 9999
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.