There is a yet another new kid on the swanky streets of Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai: Derby. At a glance, the new restaurant comes across as just another fine-dining establishment. It is only when you step in do you realise that Derby is a whole new ball game—a cross between a gaming hub with a lively bar that also dishes out a hearty fare. it’s noisy, it’s frenetic, it is a place where you leave subtlety at the door.
The brainchild of founder Saloni Rupani, Derby boasts a young and energetic vibe that straddles industrial chic with retro elements—the blue and white striped floors contrasted against an exposed brick wall is a case in point. As part of the BKC boom, the space also benefits from high ceilings with full glass facades, Derby has combined it with an amalgamation of solid colours, wood and prints, playing cards artwork, a framed collage of cars, a shadow box inspired from the demolition derby motorsport, the geodesic horse sculpture and suspended rings of greenery, chandeliers and lights.
One cannot miss the big television screens, an essential part of Derby’s ‘eatertainment’ concept. The Derby app further facilitates a fun interactive dining experience allowing you to bid on games and events, and earn reward points and discounts when you visit next. The DJ Apron is roused by the front of a horse stable, with a ‘Ride your luck’ neon sign burning bright. Pheww… that’s a lot going on. But it all adds up to a place that practically screams at you to have fun.
Derby doffs the hat to both, local and global flavours, in its menu masterminded by Chef Mitesh Rangras who is a firm believer of authenticity. The Jackfruit Bao was perfectly-cooked jackfruit stringing when taking a bite. It was a nice vegetarian welcome, savoury well-marinated pulled jackfruit redolent of spices and crispiness with a good helping of scallions, with hints of roasted garlic.
The Smoked Mushroom Galoutis are another dish that deserves a special mention. The melt-in-the-mouth Chef Rangras almost tricked us into believing that they were non-vegetarian; he definitely knows his way around mushrooms! Derby’s menu also has comfort classics such as the as Vegetable Chips made from sweet potatoes, plantain, carrots and beetroot, and the Derby Fried Chicken.
As obvious, we left a lot of room for desserts – the Chocolate Chiffon Cake, which beautifully collapses to the warm drizzle of salted caramel sauce. There was also a creamy homemade Avocado with Honey ice cream.
Most of the dishes on Rangras’s Chef’s Table menu hit the mark, there were also a few misses, the Mediterranean Bowl, for instance. A bowl full of crunchy ribbons of zucchini, carrot and kale, creamy hummus and spicy chickpeas were evidently designed for health-conscious patrons unwilling to bend their diets. Healthier outliers include the Mediterranean Bowl. Ribbons of zucchini, carrot and kale, along with some creamy hummus, spicy chickpeas and a bland salad green completed the dish.
The bar menu though listed fancy cocktails, we did not have the opportunity to partake in any. Of the mocktails we did try, the high sugar content sent us reeling! We also rued the inability to have some fun with the games and activities Derby takes pride in.
Derby’s sprawls entices everyone in terms of food and the activities alike. However, if you’re looking for a degustation experience, pass. It is a place best suited for a post-work hangout, relax, people-watch, play games and eat to your heart’s content.
Images: Derby, BKC