Spread across a sprawling space, off the breezy Carter Road Promenade in Bandra, there is a new cosy wine bar that has debuted to lofty expectations set by the swish set of the Capital city. Delhi’s favoured wine and coffee bar, Perch, has found a new home in Mumbai. Make your way through the steps leading to the entrance—an inconspicuous little door that extends seamlessly from the glass frontage and welcomes you into a relaxing space filled with melody, munchies and warmth.
What is most striking about Perch is its relaxed-chic vibe—the melody of soft jazz adding to the clanking of cutlery. And the tone for the evening is set by a hip crowd that does exactly what the diner encourages you to do – reiterated humbly in small letters below their bird-faced logo on the menu – “Take a seat. Have a sip. Take your time.”
An understated, but stylish ambience that is an extension of Perch’s ethos – casual, honest and good—brought alive by clean décor, pristine white walls, functional teak furniture and a touch of green to uplift your mood.
The menu at this wine bar offers nothing special in particular and yet, everything you need – healthy bar bites such as breadsticks mimicking the goodness of an everything-bagel accompanied by a creamy dip or good ’ol lavash; imaginative small bites like a skewer of roasted grapes and bocconcini and smoked chicken croquettes alongside staples like fish taco; large plates and grills, which offer a combination of all-time favourites, such as a tenderloin medallion steak with earthy mushrooms and spinach.
For foodies who are craving something more creative, there’s zucchini steak bursting with umami flavours sitting on top of a bed of velvety pumpkin risotto and decadent treats like the baked cheesecake, complemented by a tart berry compote and a sprinkle of mint leaves. For cocktail lovers, there’s coffee sangria with a delicious caffeine-tinted mouthfeel, the sprightly forbidden spritzer, which is a gin-based fruity and soothing concoction, and the reverse martini that hits you in the head like a nail hammered in with a single stroke of the gavel.
Perch, an extension of co-owner Vaibhav Singh’s affable and relaxed demeanour, also the man behind India’s current favourite gins, Greater Than and Hapusa, shares poetically, “When we opened in Delhi five years ago, the idea was to offer people a space, where they can come and just… chill. That’s why we chose Perch – you can come, take a seat, spend some time and fly off, just like a bird.”
Washroom. Perch relies on a common washroom, also shared by Thangabali, a South Indian eatery located on the floor above, which is currently shut for renovation. If you’re guzzling drinks, and god forbid have a weak bladder, remember! You will have to climb a flight of stairs before you can find any relief. Also, we wanted to give full marks for their imaginative bar bite – grapes and cheese on a skewer but felt that the two didn’t quite add up. A dash of something citric, or a cleverer choice of cheese, like brie or Emmenthal, which have stronger profiles, would have helped.
Verdict: At the heart of what Perch restaurant, as a bar in Bandra, offers is a truly accessible establishment with quality food and drinks at genuine price points (bar bites begin at Rs 120 odd and cocktails at Rs 550) – notwithstanding the tony location – great music and a solid coffee and bar programme. As a celebrated space from the capital, Perch= brings with it a little bit of Dilli ka dil. But will it really fly in Mumbai? Only time can tell.
Images: Perch, Mumbai