Perched on the 38th floor of the Palladium Hotel, rooftop bar and restaurant Asilo (the word is Spanish for “Haven” and is pronounced A-sea-lo) enjoys an exclusive location in Mumbai’s Lower Parel area, sharing space with the brand rich Palladium mall. The mood at Asilo is pleasantly relaxed; with glittering city lights and a dark ocean visible for miles, the atmosphere feels suited to laughter and conversation with friends.
Asilo defines its design identity clearly, steering away from the minimalism of other rooftop bars in favour of a Mediterranean theme with wood floors, white couches and blue and brown accents. With its soft music and dim lights, punctuated only by the occasional flare of the outdoor grill, Asilo is more about unwinding than celebrating. We cannot imagine much dancing or partying happening here (unless it’s after a couple of drinks!) but the spread out seating and cozy couches coupled with the spectacular view of the city (and ocean) lent our meal a curiously private feel; unsurprisingly Asilo is an absolutely perfect date night venue.
If you’re in a larger group you might like to make use of one of the canopied cabanas, however with the next table only a few feet away these are not as private as some might like. For a personal party, Asilo offers a separate cordoned off space but it feels too much like a sacrifice to us to give up the luxury of eating under the starry sky.Drinks:
Asilo boasts a rather comprehensive drinks menu with an array of wines, cocktails and liquors. Whatever your preference is, you’re likely to find it here. We ordered the Lychee and Watermelon sparking cocktail (fresh lychee watermelon and vodka topped with sparkling wine) and from the list of Grey Goose signature cocktails, the Grey Goose Golden Delight (Grey Goose vodka, cinnamon, gold dust and Drambuie) which is supposedly the only one of its kind in the city. These were blended for us by the bartender – Angam. The sparkling cocktail teases the palette with a sour-sweet flavor, if fruity drinks are your weakness this one with its uncommon ingredients and almost Barbie pink colour, is a must try. Meanwhile the lustrous Grey Goose cocktail, brought to us on a mirrored tray and served in a Swarovski crystal studded martini glass is exactly the kind of luxury that floors you. The cinnamon flavor is delicate and does not overpower the vodka. The gold dust doesn’t add any flavor but it certainly made me smile every time I took a sip! We also opted for a Saint Cosme 2013, a red Rhone wine that paired well with our main courses. Food:
We started with some Stuffed Gnocchi (served with fresh tarragon, plum tomato sauce, olive tapenade and scallion confit) which was creamy and mild followed up with baby back pork ribs (glazed with Jack Daniels whisky and served with spiced fries). The pork ribs were incredible, especially for a city like Mumbai that doesn’t often look past chicken. For mains we sampled the ravioli (stuffed with five herbs, served with roasted pepper coulis and parmesan foam), the polenta (topped with mushroom ragu, five herbs and parmesan) and the John Dory (herb crusted, served with quinoa on a roasted vegetable ratatouille and port reduction). Of these the ravioli and fish were memorable, the fish being perfectly cooked and serve with well-seasoned vegetables while the ravioli was a change from the usual with its creamy foam and smoky pepper coulis. The polenta might be appreciated by others, but to us the other mains overshadowed it.
If you are a carnivore at heart, do not miss the melt-in-the-mouth pork ribs. Everything about them is perfect from the sticky sweet sauce to the well spice potato fries that accompany them. The subtle tiramisu was another winner of the night.
The Golden Delight cocktail is a fun splurge if you’re looking to treat yourself, though we do hope that Asilo expands their mocktail menu over time. Asilo’s menu also has several Jain friendly options.
Asilo’s USP is an inimitable view but the experience is heightened by a truly relaxed atmosphere and a winning spread of cocktails and starters. Having borne many comparisons to its neighbour- the similarly positioned Aer Lounge, Asilo manages to carve out a distinct identity with its zen vibes and Mediterranean feel. Both locations have vastly different ambiences and are bound to attract different patrons. Come here for a quiet dinner with a few friends, a romantic date or even an evening of solo introspection. The staff is always attentive and happy to offer suggestions. You’ll undoubtedly feel your worries slipping away as you watch the hypnotic city sparkle and pulse below.
What we ordered:
Lychee and Watermelon Sparkling Cocktail, Rs1,200
Grey Goose Golden Delight, Rs5,000
Stuffed Potato Gnocchi, Fresh Tarragon and Plum Sauce, Olive Tapenade and Scallion Confit, Rs600
Jack Daniels Whisky Glazed Brazilian Baby Back Ribs with Spiced Steak Fries, Rs900
Herb Crusted John Dory with Quinoa. Fresh Parsley on Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille and Port Reduction, Rs1000
Creamy Polenta topped with Truffled Mushroom Ragu, Fresh Herbs and Parmesan, Rs800
Five Herb Ravioli Roasted Pepper Coulis and Parmesan Foam, Rs700
Tiramisu with hazelnut, Rs400
40th Floor, Palladium Hotel,
Lower Parel, Mumbai
For Reservations: +91 (22) 6162 8031
All images courtesy: Erica D’Souza.
Note – The reviewer was hosted at Asilo, however the opinions expressed hyerein are her own.