It’s gimlets over gimmick at The Little Easy, a new speakeasy-inspired bar in Bandra that requires neither a password nor a secret handshake to let you in.
We sigh with relief, glad that the marketing team isn’t so seven-years-ago, and also that Bandra can finally stake claim to a well-made cocktail.
Our first illustrated example is the Hunt & Peck, a rose-gold drink laced with vermouth and grapefruit bitters, tailor-made for all-day drinking. We order several in this woody, warmly-lit bar that opened last week but wants to be from the pre-prohibition era. Meanwhile, the bitterness keeps on coming with round two of citrus and muddled ginger in a gorgeous whisky-based Angel's Share.
Juleps & Jubilations
Generous windows flood the space with sunlight during the day, which makes it great for a weekend breakfast, where you can get Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch and a crisp morning Oriental Julep - vodka with kaffir lime, lemongrass and soda cracked over lots of ice.
The cocktail food group is definitely the principal lure here, but there is another we wouldn’t mind ordering by the gallon. Take our word for it and dive into the soups at The Little Easy. Bowls of warm broth are brought out like mini bonfires, most welcome on a late November evening. We recommend Porcini; it’s a creamy, full-bodied number with complex flavours that will send you into a deep reverie, only to be woken by the sprightly garlic croutons served on the side.
Lavender Fields Foever
Jodhpuri poppers stuffed with cheese and chilli are decadent versions of the humble jalapeno ones; while mini chicken naan bombs are dense and dull, and must be skipped.
But the only real disappointment comes from the emaciated steak, which cannot be elevated despite the bed of porcini and potatoes served with lavender jus. Other big plates are wholesome and delicious, especially chicken black bean bowl. With an ample serving of vegetables on the side and a portion of egg fried rice, this unpretentious dish is what we’re going to be reaching for after a long night of debauchery.
And right before closing time, a canary yellow lemon meringue pie flies to our table, cased in buttery short-crust pastry and topped with light-as-feather meringue, a sort of Hunt and Peck for tee totallers. Us, we'll have doubles of both.
Getting there: Linking Road, Bandra (W); call 30151113, a meal for two costs approximately Rs. 4,500 with two drinks each.
Accessibility: One step off the pavement.
This review was conducted by Anisha Oommen, food journalist and co-founder of The Goya Journal.
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