Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Beer Belly

Review: Barking Deer

Keen observation of the Mumbai food scene, and I notice fads – It started with the  90’s where we saw Italian –Mexican fusion places mushrooming like Cream Centre, New Yorker, America, cutting straight to 2011-12 Asian restaurants like Hakassan & Yuautcha opening up; French food – Chez Vous, Chez Moi, Suzette; Spanish – Arola, Vinoteca feeding us tapas & paella. As a food lover I enjoy being in a part of this melting pot, I love being in the middle of so much confusion and so many choices!

The latest fad I witness is Beer Brewing!

An intelligent conversation post lots of beer drinking with Richa Lulla, Baker & Blogger (Knead With Love) made me realize that while Maharashtra, Karnataka & NCR have been progressive on the beer licenses front, Mumbai lags behind. Hence the sad state of affairs. But beers lovers must not loose hope – people at the Gateway Brewing Company and The Barking Deer are in the process of defeating the system and bringing you up to speed with the rest of the world with their indigenous  brands of craft beer.

Located in the commercial & lifestyle capital of Mumbai aka Lower Parel, The Barking Deer is the newest edition to the city’s drinking scene. The place gives you a barn kind-of feeling with wood flooring and mahogany hues. Walls stacked with beer books, mugs & bottles. Towards the end of this this elongated sort of bar are huge copper vessels all connected to form what will soon be Mumbai’s first Micro- Brewery. Albeit they still await licences.

The micro -brewery

Brew Master Benjamin showing us how to brew beer

So we start with the Heineken paired with Cheddar sticks & Chicken Wings. The beer was quite normal & don’t think it did too much to enhance the flavour of the Cheddar sticks & Wings. The Wings had quite a zing to it, and I found the cheddar sticks quite lip smacking with yummy molten cheese at the centre.

Heineken & Chicken Wings

Next was the Amstel Beer paired with Potato Skins & Fried Calamari. The beer was a bit too bitter. Coupled with the potato skins, which are quite bitter themselves made it even more unpalatable. The fried calamari was a bit chewy but not bad!

Hoegaarden & Potato Stew

The came the Hoegaarden – a beautiful light citrusy flavoured beer. This was paired with the Potato stew – a beautiful balmy combination. The Chicken Waterzooi – light broth was a little bland and also the veggies were a bit over cooked

Leffe Blond with Lamb Shanks (top) and Cottage Cheese (bottom)

The next was Leffe Blond Abby Ale. Ooh this was my second favourite beer. It has a very peppery aroma & aftertaste. It went perfectly when with the Pilsner drowned Lamb Shanks. In the Veg the Cottage Cheese Steak with orange reduction was very blah.

London Porter with Creme Brulee

For desserts we move on to the London Porter – black malt, very strong almost like black coffee. Too strong for my taste. This was paired with the Creme Brulee which was too dulcet. Quite a let down for desserts

A meal for 2 would cost anywhere between Rs 2000- Rs. 2500 with alcohol

The Barking Deer leaves us with a promise to bring some innovative craft beers like fruit, chocolate beer, dark stouts once it gets the licences. Amen to that.

Food: Mixed Bag
Ambience: Good
Service: Confused

Quick Tip: A great place to meet up with your mates, chat up on beer and snacks.

The Co-ordinates:

The Barking Deer

Where: Opposite Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel, MumbaiIndia
Tring Tring:  - 022 61417400
Timings: 1 PM to 12 Midnight
Food Type: Bar Snacks, American Fusion
Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

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