Bar Review: The Pint Room
Bandra’s newest drinking joint, The Pint Room, pegs itself as a “beer café”. The week-old establishment, the management told us, is just like a Café Coffee Day, except that instead of coffee, they serve beer. Indeed, The Pint Room’s white, red and cane decorated premises is reminiscent of the coffee chain, though we detected a slight hitch in this concept: the legal age for the consumption of beer is 21, while the cheery ambience of CCDs is targeted at the under-21, college crowd. Do adults really want to drink in what looks like a swanked-up college canteen?
We don’t know if owner Pradeep Gidwani, who was formerly the managing director of the Carlsberg group in India, conducted any market surveys before launching a branch of his Delhi-based enterprise in Mumbai, but we have a strong feeling that he and his team visited and read reviews of the similarly-conceptualised Kala Ghoda beer bar Cerveza. They may have observed how the dim lighting gives Cerveza a dingy dive-like ambience, because The Pint Room, in contrast, is perhaps the mostly brightly-lit bar in the city. The café concept is reflected in the all-day operating hours—the doors open at noon on weekends, at 1pm on weekdays—and in the relatively early closing time of 11.30pm, a decision prompted perhaps by the recent crackdown on our city’s nightlife.
Whether bar or cafe, at the very least The Pint Room does what it says on the can. They aim to offer every beer available in Mumbai and currently, there are nearly 30 brands to choose from: one Trappist beer (the lovely but sadly unaffordable Chimay, priced at Rs1,300 and Rs1,400 per bottle for the Red and Triple respectively); one wheat beer (Hoegaarden); two stouts (Murphy’s Irish and the Portuguese Super Bock); two ales (Duvel and Fuller’s London Pride); one fruit beer (Liefmans); and a whopping 20 lagers classified according to those from Europe, the US and Asia (Lagerbay, you might want to take notes). While there’s no Saison Dupont (which you get at their flagship Delhi outpost) or Guinness (which even Cerveza and Woodside Inn have stopped receiving), they plan to add more beers to the menu soon, including Erdinger and Leffe.
With the focus firmly on the beer, the food and the music—like at a coffee chain—play second fiddle. The jalapeno poppers, for instance, had so much cheese that they overpowered the flavour of the pepper within. Get the non-veg crostini platter if you’re looking for something light: the mustard tuna spread was creamy and tangy, and the Puttanesca sausage topping was suitably spicy, even if the lamb pesto tasted like home-made kheema. If you’re planning to make a meal out of your visit to The Pint Room, order the non-veg kebab platter that—unlike the rest of the food which is prepared in their in-house kitchen—is catered from The Great Punjab, the North Indian restaurant next door. The soft chicken, mutton, and fish tikkas were filling enough to suffice as dinner for two.
As for the music, we could barely hear it until the crowd thinned out, after which we realised that we were listening to a mix of blues tunes by BB King and Etta James that played thrice in a loop during our visit. We didn’t mind too much because we were there for the beer, which came in well-chilled glasses. Our glass of Hoegaarden, which they serve through ice taps along with Kingfisher and Stella Artois, was particularly refreshing. But the best thing that The Pint Room has going for it, for now at least, is its staff who were among the most attentive (and chatty) we’ve come across in a while. They were observant and efficient without being overbearing. From what we gather, they’ve already helped make The Pint Room a pre-dinner hangout where people come for a couple of drinks before heading elsewhere.
This review was conducted anonymously. Prices start at Rs175 for a pint of Kingfisher and at Rs250 for a pint of Heineken. Most foreign beers are priced at Rs450 per pint.Tags: bars, Nightlife, Pradeep Gidwani, The Pint Room
The Pint Room
LocationThe Great Punjab
Next to Shoppers Stop
Phone022 6525 0009
HoursMonday to Friday, from 1pm to 11.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 11.30pm