Bar Review: The Bar Above Yellow Tree Cafe
The supposedly secret bar on the second floor of the building that houses Yellow Tree Café in Bandra—we say supposedly because customers who can’t get a table at the two-level restaurant are asked to wait here—is a grown-up drinker’s delight. This is largely due to all the things that the week-old bar, run by sisters and models Shamita and Mashoom Singha in collaboration with the owners of Yellow Tree Cafe, doesn’t have. There is no confusing guest-list door policy, no exorbitant cover charge, no queue of tipsy teenagers straggling towards the entrance, no flashy lights, no VIP section, no done-to-death faux English pub wood panelling, no retro soundtrack, no cheesy theme and for now at least, no crowd. Instead, it is a small, simply decorated room, with space for just four tables and two rows of bar stools, where the only prominent embellishments are some brass plates hung on one of the whitewashed walls and a pair of white shelves filled with books. The result is a cosy, homely feel that makes it the kind of place you can imagine yourself spending hours chatting with friends.
That is precisely what we did this past Saturday night, as we caught up with former colleagues while trying out the menu—a page-long list of starters and a relatively large choice of cocktails. We found that the food is not the strong point here; our emmenthal stuffed falafels (Rs325) had no trace of cheese, the crab and basa cakes (Rs495) were batter-fried coins that had a singularly fishy flavour. Tasting the drinks however was like testing flavours in an ice-cream store—as a result we now know what to get the next time around. We sipped on a superb kiwi margarita (Rs495), a smooth Scotch Nut (an in-house concoction of whisky, apple and hazlenut), a serviceable orange (off-menu) caprioska (Rs450), a so-so pomegranate sangria (Rs395) and a slightly watery pear martini (Rs450). Alternatively, you can call for a Kingfisher for a somewhat pricey Rs245 or one of their many wines from India, Australia, Chile, Italy and Spain.
The service was polite thought not very efficient; our server “forgot” about our pizza but when it arrived, the eight-inch Yellow Tree Touch (Rs250) was a satisfyingly smoky pie topped with bell peppers, sundried tomato, mushroom, and onion. We were also pleased to realise that they did not charge for the Scotch Nut, which our waiter recommended after we told him we were disappointed with the pear martini. You can’t order off Yellow Tree Café’s menu so a visit here is perhaps best reserved for times you’ve eaten elsewhere. Once you’re inside however, the bar successfully achieves the feat of making you forget that you’re in a building located on the traffic-snarled junction of Ambedkar Road and 33rd Road.
This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: bars, Mashoom Singha, Nightlife, Shamita Singha, The Bar Above Yellow Tree Cafe, Yellow Tree Cafe
The Bar Above Yellow Tree Cafe
Above Yellow Tree Cafe
Junction of 33rd Road and Dr. Ambedkar Road
HoursDaily, 7pm to 12.45am