There’s a sudden slew of new restaurants in South Mumbai. Even so, Slink & Bardot, which just turned a year old, retains its mystique. There’s something about the combination of shy chef Alex Gielbaum and the outward-facing co-founder Nick Harrison that makes the place irresistible to regulars and très exciting to first-timers. There are few nightspots that look this drop-dead gorgeous and still serve up some of the best French fare this side of the Sea Link!
And now there’s more fabulous food on the menu to tempt us back week after week! We sampled a selection from the 15 new ones on offer. The verdict? The addition is largely a hit, with just a couple of misses. While the older dishes on the menu had a few classic French dishes and a lot more modern ones that reference fine cuisine, Chef Alexis seems to have gone for more typically rustic and comfort food from France this time around.
To start, he brought in a hearty bowlful of a largely clear, slightly cloudy broth, redolent of all the rich aromas of prawn and calamari and clams. The seafood sat on the edge of the pool, allowing the poached flavours to run in happily. There was a gorgeous creamy rouille that we finished the bisque with before we dipped in our spoons for a taste. Made of potato, saffron, garlic and egg yolk, it’s the sort of mayonnaise that’s popular in bouillabaise and took us back on a nostalgia trip to our time in Marseilles on the French Riviera. A bit of crunch with the crisps served alongside, and we were happy as clams with this Lobster Bisque, done so right.
The starring line-up from the courses that came after this included the vegetarian Miso-glazed Aubergine Steak accompanied by the deliciously complementary flavours of pear, almond, orange and brown butter; an old-fashioned French Vol Au Vent with a light-as-air puff pastry tethered to earth only by the intense flavours of the mushrooms; and a truly exceptional Red Snapper a la Meunière, which was buttery moist and perfectly done. Certainly, a more sophisticated fish than is regularly spotted at Worli Fishing village! There was Australian Lamb Loin, and Duck that combines black garlic and a rich butternut sauce to create complexity and a satisfyingly umami flavour. There seemed to be a small hat-tip to Halloween at the heart of the dish and perhaps, Chef Alexis was introducing the new elements to his menu to celebrate the season that Mumbai rarely gets to savour.
Dessert too brought a whiff of Europe in autumn, with the flavour of roasting chestnuts infusing the smooth parfait sitting on a beautiful almond shortbread sablé, a divine toasty, creamy chestnut ice-cream and quivering cubes of intense rum jelly. Go on now, go and, don’t wait until Christmas!
Where: Slink & Bardot
Thadani House 329/A Opposite Indian Coast Guard Worli Village,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400030
Phone: 070459 04728
Note: The critic was invited by the restaurant but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own