A Casual Day Out: LagerBay, Bandra, Mumbai

[singlepic id=1725 w=80 h=92 float=left]LagerBay is easy to spot. It’s built exactly where it’s popular cousin Zenzi once ruled. But that’s where the similarity ends. While Zenzi was a vibrant party and chill-spot with bright orange interiors and an open-air bar, LagerBay is a quiet, subdued diner with a retro feel. The wall, the art, upholstery all belong to the 80s, except the waiters. There is therefore a good possibility that you would walk into this minimally done up diner on a Saturday afternoon, like we did, with ABBA singling ‘Take a Chance on Me’… and take a chance on this a little-over-a-month-and-a-half old restaurant, like we did.

Zenzi closed because of loud music and precisely for this reason, LagerBay does not have outdoor sitting arrangements. Spacious and offering a choice between American style red sofas and wooden dining chair, the diner-feeling is extended to the menu and the bar too. On offer are the usual combination of starters, pastas, steak, burgers, main courses (minus rice) and a selection of cocktails, straight drinks and mocktails. The idea, says partner and head mixologist Naveen Kotyankar, is to make Larger Bay a way of life, where you can come with your daughter to have a milkshake and then return with bumchums for a rocking session of beer, IPL and laughter.

So far, so good. But how about the food and booze?

The high point of LagerBay clearly was the ‘Cocktail’ style bar. My Hot Toddy was mild, a bit spicy and hints of green apple. Not really the classic, but a tasty rendition nonetheless. The Sangria Rosso (350), made of Sula Satori Merlot wine was good for a quick, refreshing sip, but I have tasted better. My guest termed it as bitter, which the second serving clearly was. The Strawberry Martini, our next drink, was made of fresh strawberry (the last in the season we were told), but too sharp for my taste.

Our Prawns and Calamari Ajilo (260) wasn’t bad at all. Tossed in olive oil, garlic and tabasco, it was light and went nicely with our not so overpowering drinks. The prawns were soft but the calmari too chewy for my taste. The Vegetable Quesadilla (225) stood out for its fresh crunchy veggies instead of the soft variety one encounters more often than not. The Chickpea Hummus (200), recommended by LagerBay, was a disaster – way too dry, served with cold pita bread.

The Fish and Chips (270) ordered next was fairly good. The chips were crunchy alright, but left a bitter after-taste. Among the vegetarian main courses, the Mushroom Risotto (285) was a good option – creamy and correctly seasoned. Finally, the Grilled Tenderloin Steak (340). Mine was cooked medium rare served with wine jus, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Thankfully unlike other places, there was no attempt to glorify this rustic dish and that’s what made it a safe bet. The meat, most importantly, was cooked just the way I had requested.

On a whole, LagerBay is a good place to spend a day away from the sun; peaceful with attentive staff. The average food and drink however need sprucing up if LagerBay wants to meet it’s aim of being a way of life.

 

Madhulika Dash

Madhulika is deeply interested in eating, sniffing, looking at and writing about food among other possible activities. Madhulika enjoys trying different types of food and travelling to distant locations, with the North Pole and Timbuktu prominent in her wish list. Madhulika covers Mumbai for Chef at Large and can be reached at madhulika.dash@www.chefatlarge.in