Bringing you the best of everything - a rooftop to enjoy the open skies, a club to let your hair down and a restaurant - Bandra’s Vortex shows us why it is more than just a food paradise. If you’re around the Linking Road area, you’d be forgiven for missing out on this place if not for the flashy red glow of its neon sign. But once you do wander in, it is a little haven tucked away in one of the busiest streets of the city – the kind of place you would go to and blissfully lose track of time.
Distinguished by two separate entrances – one showcases tamed wildness while the other welcomes you to a premium dining experience. The restaurant seems perfect for your Sunday best, but you would still be received warmly in your breezy shorts.
The diner-cum-lounge called Vortex The Fusion Bar boasts of a menu specially curated by celebrity chef Gautam Mehrishi. You would be spoilt for choice with Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Jamaican, Peruvian, Korean, Japanese and delicacies from the southern regions of Karwar, Konkan, Kolhapur and Kochi, among others. Luckily, this place doesn’t disappoint vegetarians. The live kitchen concept is definitely worth a mention. While the open kitchen is limited to out-of-the oven dishes, observing the chaos and creativity that goes behind the scenes adds to the experience of dining here, making it no less than an episode straight out of a cooking show.
Their eclectic and colourful drinks push the boundaries making Vortex a pure cocktail heaven. We tried the Instagram-worthy Tequila Sunrise, and oh boy it was addictive. Though it was only tequila with a dash of orange juice and grenadine served unmixed in a tall glass, every sip was pure joy. Word of advice, you won’t regret enjoying this slowly to completely explore and appreciate the flavours. Watermelon Basil cocktail was a refreshing boozy affair, and thankfully not too sweet. We also called for a couple of beers to get the night started.
Witnessing pizza-making from scratch, is almost every pizza lovers’ wild fantasy. We saw our pizza and pasta being prepared in the live kitchen. The ingredients were laid in front of us, the veggies were chopped, dough was tossed and then the pizza was assembled. While the Quattro Formaggio Pizza (Four Cheese) and the Fettuccine Ala Fungi Pasta were in the making, our stomachs growl – yes, we were hungry and watching our food being made was only making it worse. How did they taste? More on that later.
Let’s jump to the Chicken Crispy and Fish Chilly that were full of surprises. Crispy and divine, every bite will remind you just how amazing Mumbai-Chinese food can be. Best way to enjoy these is to chew slowly and taste every ingredient.
The hero of the night – Lobster Thermidor – lobster stuffed with mashed potatoes and butter peas, made us want to lick the plate clean, but we couldn’t let go of our table manners. If you’re anything like us, you should totally go all desi and do justice to that big, juicy and out-of-the-world lobster. The Chicken Tikka Banno was bursting with flavours. Spicy, creamy and hot – it was just something we needed along with our drinks.
Vegetarians, don’t feel disheartened yet. If you haven’t been here already, the Galawat Ke Kebab is what you should (read, must) order on your first-time visit. You can’t really trust a non-vegetarian’s recommendation when it comes to veg food.
But this won’t let you down. The veg kebabs come on a bed of warqi parathas, adding a touch of novelty and mystery to the dish. Each bite will keep growing on you, leaving you wanting more. Don’t believe us? Well, try and let us know.
We don’t know how, but we did manage to leave some room for dessert. And, it didn’t let us down. Chocoholics will find a slice of nirvana in their Chocolate Brownie. Don’t go by the size, because those little bundles of joy are rich and chocolatey enough to satisfy your cravings.
Let’s rewind to the Quattro Formaggio Pizza (Four Cheese) and the Fettuccine Ala Fungi Pasta. When they finally arrived, our fast food cravings were satisfied, but they didn’t leave an impression. Topped with olives, broccoli, onions, peppers and lots of cheese, the thin crust pizza was like any ordinary pizza that you’d have eaten elsewhere. There was nothing unique or exciting about it, apart from the fact that it was extra cheesy. The pasta was okay and maybe someone with a bland palate would have taken to it. We’d suggest giving them a miss.
Before calling it a night, we did manage to get a sneak peek into Club Vortex – a complete contrast to our calm and cozy diner. A perfect hangout spot for party animals, the club offers the same food and drinks menu, but with better deals, of course.
So, if you’ve had a long tiring day, we’re not saying alcohol is what you should be turning to (although it’s the best solution to all problems) – but you can definitely head to Vortex for an evening that’s pumped with energy.
Wallet Alert: ₹1,800 for two people (approximately) with alcohol
Where: Crystal Shoppers Paradise, Link Road, Junction of 24th and 33rd road, Bandra West, Mumbai
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