The Indian outpost of the popular Dubai gastro pub, The Stables, is decked out in horse racing paraphernalia. It is spacious, with plenty of tables, bar stools and rich mahogany leather booths just waiting for you to sink into. The decor is inspired by the Victorian era with rustic chandeliers, upturned barrels and plenty of screens showing sports, including football from around the world and racing, of course.
There are hints of Chinese, Italian, American and Asian flavours on the menu. The greens in the Rucola and Pear Salad taste are fresh, misted with orange vinaigrette and made luscious with olive oil and aged parmesan shavings. The bar snacks are distractingly tasty. The Fritto Misto (roughly translates as ‘mixed fry’ in Italian) of calamari strips, prawns and white fish is the stuff of dreams. The quick, deep heat frying does away with the rawness while still retaining its intrinsic qualities - the juiciness. For some bigger bites, try the heart attack burger—the succulent double lamb patty marries the delightful saltiness of the cheddar cheese for a perfect matrimony. If you are still hungry there are pizzas for sharing too.
The Stables’ take on cocktails is interesting. The Stables Grog, a rum-based cocktail with pineapple and angostura bitter is sweet on the nose and tart on the tongue. Wind Suck, with vodka, fresh cucumber and lemon juice is refreshing. If you want something different, just ask: the bartenders will whip it up. Top marks for the attentive staff, bringing plenty of water and bowl after bowl of popcorn – both essential after a few drinks.
Desserts force difficult decisions. Will it be the gooey decadent chocolate fondant with a molten middle and a dollop of vanilla ice-cream or a sticky toffee pudding? The fondant is intense with a meltingly soft centre. Spongy, fluffy, slightly crisp on top, oozy and sweet within – the cake holds its own and doesn’t collapse in a muddy mess after a gentle prodding with a spoon.
The peri peri marinated baby chicken was grilled to a point that all moisture was lost. It’s Rs 585 badly spent. Also, dishes are paced as though no one has to rush back home, but some of us do.
Stables operates at a slower tempo during the day, than at night. It is best for after-dinner drinks when the atmosphere is lounge-y, and there are live acts on Fridays and Saturdays.
Peninsula Red Pine Hotel, Andheri East, Marol, Mumbai 4000059. Call: 022 30151747
Cost: Rs 2500 for one
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