‘Try the Kelvinator, you’ll really like it,’ the bartender urges, as an alternative to the Negroni I’m eyeing. ‘It’s named after the chef.’ I’m a tad unsure, but I defer to his advice. For my companion, he suggests the Aperol Spritz.
The fizzy, slightly bitter Spritz is too delicate and feminine for my taste, but the Kelvinator lives up to its promise. I quite enjoy the masculine heft that the Irish whiskey brings to the aromatic, citrusy, sweet-bitter combination of Campari and Vermouth. It’s a sophisticated drink that you’d expect to find on a top-end international bar menu.
It is what consultant chef Kelvin Cheung is attempting to do with One Street Over – bring that international experience to a Mumbai audience. It’s reflected as much in the stocking of current global brandy favourite, the Peruvian Pisco, as it is in the menu descriptions, plating and even pricing.
The dishes on the single-page menu don’t have names but list the ingredients they contain. We start with the small plates. The cauliflower, cashew hummus, pomegranate, mint cilantro chutney is arranged around one rim of the black plate. Cooked al dente, and topped with thin, crispy roasted onion rings, the cauliflower has a toothsome bite while the cashew hummus and pomegranate add layers of sweetness. The burrata has creamy chunks of fresh, white cheese topped with a spicy pesto and sweet, crunchy baby carrots. Splotches of bright orange, carrot marinara sauce add colour, but little else.
Among the big plates, we order the pork adobo. The crispiness of deep-fried pieces of pork, and the sweet spicy sauce they’re coated pair perfectly with the drinks. But for a big plate it’s far too small a portion. Fortunately, our other main, a large bowl of dan dan noodles in a creamy peanut coconut broth and topped with an umami-packing punch of sautéed portobello mushrooms, more than make up for it.
Still peckish, we order the tambo tambo for dessert. The tapioca pudding topped with mixed nuts tastes like salty porridge and has the consistency of pap.
It’s a good thing that the dessert and the adobo have since been taken off the menu, which we’re told will be updated from time to time. New dishes will replace older, possibly poorly received ones.
One Street Over is a very casual, unfussy space where the music isn’t loud enough to drown out a conversation. It’s pricing, however, is a bit of a problem. It seems to be aimed at people who commute between international cities and Mumbai and thus would find it competitively priced when compared to, say, a New York bar. Or perhaps Ellipsis, where Cheung worked previously, and which is patronised largely by South Mumbai old money. For the rest of us, there are far more reasonable options.
WHAT: One Street Over
WHERE: Ground floor, Navrang Building, near National College and Hotel Linkway, Off Linking Road, Khar
WHEN: 7 pm to 1 am
COST: Rs 5000 for two including one cocktail each
Published HT Weekend January 2016