11 December 2014

Beyond the Boveda - New Menu and Board Game Night

(Disclaimer: This is an all-vegetarian food review. Proceed reading only after you have resuscitated yourself from the shock.)

Blogging about food is no easy task! It comes with clogged arteries, bloated tummies, and love handles. Eating out can take an immense toll on your body, which results in not being able to fit into your favorite pair of Forever 21 skinnies any more. Sigh! I've been thinking about how I can balance my love for food blogging and still being fit, and I've come up with a three point program which includes making healthier choices while ordering, controlling portion size, and working out whenever I can. Your suggestions are  also welcome.

Pardon my above rant. I just had to put my decision out here on paper, and have you guys support moi. Last week was a fun week. And a part of that week included visiting Andheri's fun bar Boveda on two occasions. Boveda is situated on Lokhandwala's 'Bar Road', where a line of bars and restaurants are located, each having a similar layout and style. 

My first tryst with Boveda happened on Saturday for the Bombay Bar Hoppers Annual Party organised by a dear friend Bhavin. (You may know him as @onechilledbeer. You may also check out www.bombaybarhoppers.in for more fun events.) I was only there for an hour but had such a fun time, that I said I would return soon. I sipped on my Espresso Martini (Rs. 495/-) while sitting alone at the bar, and I enjoyed my drink and the vibe of the place. 

Call it karma, or destiny, or me just being dramatic, but I was back to Boveda on Tuesday night. This time to review their new menu on behalf of MumbaiFoodLovers. We were welcomed by the same outside, al fresco section with dim lights, which would be a good seating option in this weather. The inside section is a cross between grunge and classy with bare brick walls (which is being completely overdone nowadays) and plush leather armchairs. There's also a  beautifully done up bar with dim lights and comfortable bar stools that do not hurt your ass. 

Bar Bar Dekho
Tuesday is games night at Boveda. And not just any games...drinking games! We were handed over a card with game instructions and rules even before we were given the menu. There are games scattered throughout the place, and the bar was filled with patrons - both young and old - playing games. But quit playing games with my heart, okay? We settled down with our drinks for the night over an awesome game of Jenga.

Boveda's new cocktail menu is extensive and comes with their own cocktail pattern code which depicts the spirits that go into your drink, and in what ratio. Super interesting! Also they do molecular cocktails (well, who doesn't?) which I was super keen to try out. My Cheesecake Martini (Rs. 550/-) contains Absolut vanilla, kahlua, amaretto and cheesecake mix, and is just as yum as it sounds. Only try it if you're a fan of everything sugary, including your alcohol. I loved this dessert drink, and would go back for a second.

Cheesecake Martini
The molecular cocktails are priced similar to the regular cocktails, which I thought was a really good deal. We tried the Smoke Screen (Rs. 550/-) that came with Jim Beam White, vermouth, cranberry, orange bitters, and orange smoke. By the time the cocktail arrived at our table and I was done clicking a gazillion pictures of the drink, the smoke vanished. Eliminate the smoke factor, and you're left with a regular cocktail. I would have loved for the gimmick-y smoke element to have lasted longer. I spoke to my server about this and suggested if the addition of liquid nitrogen that adds the smoke effect could have been done on the table, or they could atleast call the customer to the bar to enjoy the visuals. I was happy to see them employ my suggestion a few minutes later. The couple on the table next to us got their drinks mixed on the table, and they went shutter happy!

Smoke Screen

The arrival of our appetizers kept our Jenga game on hold. The menu ranges from Spanish, to American, to pizzas, all of which is finger food you'd like to eat at a bar. Our Stuffed Mushrooms (Rs. 275/-) were button mushrooms that came stuffed with paprika cheese. The mushrooms could have been more cheesier, but the onion olive mayo that came alongside added a lot of flavour.

Stuffed Mushrooms
The Cottage Cheese in Firecracker Sauce (Rs. 300/-), which was a slightly modified barbeque sauce, was delicious. But something you would find replicated in different versions at most restaurants. Nothing unusual to write home about. I enjoyed the Patatas Bravas (Rs. 250/-) which were simple crisped potatoes topped with tomato paste and cheese. Simple, yet filling. 

Patatas Bravas
(Clockwise): Patatas Bravas, Cottage Cheese in Firecracker Sauce,
Stuffed Mushrooms
Cottage Cheese in Firecracker Sauce
I decided to get the Madras Curry Rice (Rs. 325/-) that sticks out like a sore thumb on an otherwise purely International menu. The vegetarian version was completely avoidable. My palate craved the taste of fish in this curry, as it would've elevated the curry several notches higher. 

Veg Madras Curry Rice
They do interesting half-and-half 11 inch pizzas on request which is a fun way to try out a greater variety of pizzas. The Smoked Cheese and Spinach (Rs. 400/-) which I personally enjoyed came with a tangy tomato base topped with sauteed spinach and loads of cheese. The crust is perfectly thin - not a papad, neither a dough ball - and didn't get chewy once it cooled down. It has a lot of spinach on it, so don't get it if you don't like your greens. I enjoyed it. Popeye would have loved it too.

The Feast (Rs. 375/-) comes with typical vegetarian pizza ingredients; onions, bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, cottage cheese, zucchini. The base was a pesto which felt far too dry compared to the tomato base I preferred earlier.

(Top to Bottom): The Smoked Cheese and Spinach,
The Feast
The Cheesecake Martini should have been my quota of dessert for the night, but I went ahead and ordered another cheesecake. The Tiramisu Cheesecake (Rs. 225/-) comes with cream cheese and a mild after taste of kahlua on a cookie base. The cheesecake came semi-frozen to us. Had it been served at the right temperature, it would have done absolute justice to the description. 

Tiramisu Cheesecake
Right at the entrance, as we were leaving I spotted a huge signage showing the entire Boveda calender for the month of December. Everything including their game nights, karaoke nights, happy hours, performance nights, and gigs was up on that calender. I've already made a mental note of the nights I'm returning back. And so should you.

Boveda is an absolutely fun space with fun events and on-goings. Go there for their interesting cocktails, and well priced molecular drinks. Go there for their fun events, game nights, and karaoke. Go there for their interesting appetizers, pizzas and finger food. Do not go there for a meal, it's just not the place for that. I enjoyed both my visits there, and yes, I'll be back!

Contact: Boveda, G04, Morya Landmark One, Off New Link Road, Near Infiniti Mall, Andheri (W).
Phone: 022 67080858

(The author represented MumbaiFoodLovers for the review, and dined there on invitation.)

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