Restaurant Review: Boveda, Andheri’s New Watering Hole With A Difference

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The exposed brickwork on the walls. The rough-textured concrete bar. The air con ducts peeking at you from the seemingly unfinished ceiling above, with wooden ‘crate box’ lamp shades suspended from it. All elements alluding to a grungy, industrial warehouse-style space somewhere in SOHO or at the very least in Mumbai’s own grunge capital—Lower Parel. But Boveda (pronounced bo-vay-dah and meaning a vault or tomb in Spanish) seems content with being an aberration on Andheri’s bustling Link Road food and drinks scene, where each place seems to outdo the other in the whole ornate-n-plush décor department. But not Boveda! To use an analogy, if Boveda were to be a film, it would be a film noir amidst a bevy of glamourous magnum opuses. And it’s that very gritty countenance that makes it so refreshingly unique and stand out-ish.

BVD
BVD

Started barely a few weeks ago by two young lads and friends, Yash Sonthalia and Abhishek Goyal, who conceived the idea of Boveda while studying together in Singapore, this restobar is slowly carving a niche for itself as a place to reckon with. I checked it out on an early Friday evening when the tempo was slowly building up, with patrons streaming in for a bit of post-work and pre-weekend action. Starting off with a BVD—that was composed of Jim Beam bourbon, orange bitters, mint, lime juice and sugar syrup—set the tone for the evening here, where nursing a drink all by oneself perched on a barstool is not only tolerated, but encouraged. With strong underpinnings of a mint julep from America’s deep southern Bible belt, the BVD was bang on target with the smokiness of the bourbon juxtaposed by the freshness of the mint, the bitterness of the orange and the sweetness from the sugar syrup.

Equally refreshing—if a tad too sweet—was the Melon Ball that had Midori and pineapple nectar as its chief protagonists. Eschewing other options from the super-exhaustive drinks menu that featured a wide selection of malts, beers, wines and liqueurs like the elusive absinthe, I decided that it was ‘tummy appeasing’ time.

Gambas Chermoula
Gambas Chermoula

The dishes served here are perfectly blithe companions for the drinks. With seven be-skewered plump prawns sitting pretty on a rough-hewn slate platter, the Gambas Chermoula served with roasted yellow pepper mayonnaise was a superb introduction to the nibbles on offer here. Suitably competent was the crispy American Fried Chicken strips that would have achieved divinity had the meat been left on the bone and then fried.

Proving once again that flavour trumps all was the plain and simple looking, but dynamite on the palate Gambas and Chorizo Stew served with a crusty pao that had me mopping the bowl clean of every last speck of the stew. Supporting acts like the Lamb Chili Nachos with its plate fellows of sour cream, guacamole and tomato salsa along with the Tossed Spiced Mushrooms played their parts sufficiently well.

Creamy Mushroom On Toast
Creamy Mushroom On Toast

And while I’d give the ‘Oscar’ of the evening to the succulent Pulled Pork Pao Sliders with three huge specimens on a plate—thanks to their concentrated smoked BBQ flavour, the ‘Razzie’ I’d reserve for the crunchy Patatas Bravas that have driven the final nail in my proverbial ‘I-can-never-get-authentic-patatas bravas-in-Mumbai’ coffin. Tasteless by themselves, the only slight saving grace was the tomato sauce and cheese topping them!

Another major grouse that I have with Boveda’s menu is the measly duo of desserts on offer i.e. a Tiramisu Cheesecake and a Chocolate Walnut Ganache Tart. While the former hadn’t set well enough that evening to be sent out (the chef very honestly admitted to me), the latter was seriously ho-hum and lacking a second element like a coulis or whipped cream to bolster it.

Yet, despite its few negatives, Boveda had far too many positives for you to not make it a night here. My only bit of advice is to go there now, before the rest of Mumbai discovers it.

WHERE? G04, Morya Landmark One, Plot B-25, Off New Link Road, Oshiwara Village, Andheri (West). Call: 022 67080858/59
HOW MUCH? Rs 2,000 for two without alcohol
WHEN? 6.30pm to 1am
WHAT’S HOT? The well-illustrated drinks menu and the on-the-ball bartenders.
WHAT’S NOT? I know it’s a restobar, but no main courses on the menu is a big no-no!
SHOULD YOU GO THERE? Hell yes!

Pics: Boveda

Post By Raul Dias (102 Posts)

Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.

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Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.