Here it is. The long and short on the Long & Short. This gastrobar (with ambitions to be an interactive entertainment zone) opened on the first floor of Hotel Intercontinental almost a year ago. However, it limped along trying to hit it’s stride: went through a change of chef and menu tweakings. Over the past year, I ate here six times. And since it serves up international street food, I dined here with a bunch of great-fun global foodies: banker Dianne, private equity investor Rohit, ( both from London) strategy consultant Romanch (Chicago,) oilfield service expert Rishabh, lawyer Tulsi (both from Mumbai). We start at the bar and actor, writer Dhruv (Los Angeles) raises a toast to Viveka and Umang (both NYC based) for their forthcoming wedding. The global foodies love the ambiance, enjoy the innovative cocktails and only some of the food.
A bicycle at the entrance, sets the quirky tone. Cutting chai teapots, dabbas and kerosene tins, knick knacks , old photos and an interactive stage for gigs here. The charming small, alfresco terrace overlooking Marine Drive is a boon, especially in these cool months.
Flavors and cuisines jostle and joust across the eclectic menu under “Shorts” (starters) and “longs” (mains) and the cocktails too are funky, (footlongs, jars and so on) It’s Chef Kayzad Sadri’s Cajun style chicken and waffles with a thrillingly salty charge, salmon vibrant with Terriyaki and the unerringly roasted chicken with jus that come up tops. Other recommendations are the sweetly spicy tasty American spare ribs, grilled strawberry and sprout salad and the tortilla chips tasty Mexican fondue. Chatpatta Corn bhel. Tenderfirm dimsum, crunchy Tempura are worth trying too. Must end with the luscious strawberry Pavlova rum cream delightful with burnt marshmallows. The deconstructed apple pie is a masterpiece of crunch and squish.
Some interpretations of the streetfood are completely off the mark, be it the Mumbai masala sandwich, strange “Swiss brick”, bready NYC hotdog. Lacklustre Flatbread ditto for the steamed fish and the Patila biryani. The cauliflower spa risotto and the pork steamed buns have (sadly) been taken off the menu.
Though, comatose and off the foodie map till now, this open through the day gastrobar has refreshed itself. It’s interactive entertainment buzz is beginning to build up (evenings with French singer, karaoke etc). I popped in here for the Sunday karaoke four course brunch (Rs 1999 ) and even though not packed, it was fun. The menu still has weak spots, with a few too many dishes not from the heart but from a marketing plan, Chef Sadri’s exuberant new menu is on it’s way. There is playfulness in it’s décor, food and cocktails and with Happy hours from 1 to 8pm and meal for 2 at Rs 2500 served through the day, it sure is good value. Cheers!
InterContinental, Marine Drive. Ph 39879999. Open from 7am-1.30am
FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3.5
AVERAGE MEAL FOR 2: RS 2500