It’s been a great year for cocktails in the city (Miss T, Goyaa, Uno Mas), and Thirsty City 127 carries that torch forward. Refreshingly, the bar is less a showcase for its parent company, Thirsty Beers and more a place to unwind with a cocktail or three.
Thirsty City 127 has taken over the old Barking Deer space, but not much of the stag's scent remains. The new animals at this watering hole are cool and coiffed, boxed in by beautiful Art Deco grills, swaying under suspended gold orbs, some perched on velvet seats.
Have A Highball
Much effort has gone into the cocktail menu, which takes its inspiration from the ingredients needed to make beer - grains, hops, water, yeast and carbon dioxide. But this gimmick doesn't overshadow the drinks, which are beautifully made, balanced and never too strong.
Try a Forgive and Fernet if you like a creamy, almost colada like mouth feel, achieved here by combining homemade plum pisco, vanilla syrup flavoured with fernet branca, egg and cream. Regular Old Fashioned drinkers will gravitate towards Spice Trade, which adds some piquancy to the whisky-forward drink; Wabi Sabi elevates the whisky sour with a hit of bird chilly IPA cordial. Given the brewing equipment we are seated next to, we feel obliged to try a Thirsty IPA, a great introduction for those that find pale ales too bitter. Instagrammers, point your phones at Carmine (a forest berry-infused vermouth and gin potion) with a bewitching red hue, and at approximately Rs 1,000 per drink, is as precious as a ruby.
Let's move to smaller acquisitions then - the appetisers, be warned, are plated with a tight fist. Our chicken satay is three skewers to a plate, while edamame feels more like a complimentary bar snack than an order. Flavour wise, the acid and spice of the edamame wins over the grilled chicken, doused in peanut butter and chilli oil.
Remember, this is where you put your thirst first. And last.
The menu also has a separate Neapolitan pizza section, from which we order a doughy-edged pie topped with parma ham, tomato sauce, olive oil, prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella and arugula. Once again, its size doesn't match the price, though we can’t complain about the bread to cheese ratio.
Pommes de Fair
Three dishes meet us at the table when we settle down for our mains. Our b**f tournedos features a small round cut of beef gently bathed in garlicky chimichurri sauce that hits all the right notes, served with thinly sliced Lyonnaise potatoes. Spice lovers will enjoy pappardelle with fiery chorizo, while vegetarians would do well to stay away from the tofu, smothered by a curry-like green sauce.
Later at the brass bar we also gleam...er glean that there are 12 international wine growers on offer, with glasses starting at Rs 1,000. We’ll be stopping by again to hunt through the rest of this new land's watering hole, though probably after getting our dinner’s kill elsewhere. Remember, this is where you put your thirst first. And last.
Getting there: Mathuradas Mill Compound, Todi Mills, Lower Parel. Open from 6pm to 1am. Meal for two from Rs 2,000-5,000. Cocktails are priced at Rs 800 each before taxes.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
Accessibility: There is a short flight of steps to get into to the restaurant.
This review was conducted by Aatish Nath, a freelance food and travel writer.
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