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Lounge review: BAD, Mumbai

A new restaurant brings Spanish cuisine into focus, but misses the mark with desserts

The black and white interior of BAD. <br />
The black and white interior of BAD.

In a quiet by-lane of Bandra stands a café spread over three floors, with a slightly futuristic facade made entirely of black PVC pipes. BAD (Bringing a Difference) also houses a yoga and meditation studio, as well as a library and a community space.

The good stuff

The interiors are minimalistic, done up entirely in black and white. The ground floor comprises two tables (one with a swing as seating space) and a few bar stools at a long table by the window. There’s more seating on the first floor and the covered terrace. We sat by the window, on the very uncomfortable bar stools.

The menu is largely European, with distinct Spanish elements. We ignored the all-day breakfast and began with the Sopas (soups): The Colifor Y Azafran ( 223) was a smooth and creamy soup of cauliflower, flavoured with capers, herbs, and a dash of saffron. The soup, served in a large coffee mug, was delicately flavourful, and we practically lapped it up.

From the tapas menu, we selected the Kale Tempura ( 250), a bowl of batter-fried kale fritters topped with sesame and soy chilli alioli (not to be confused with aioli). The batter was thin and the kale fritters were deliciously crunchy, though they could have been warmer. The creamy alioli added a nice depth and flavour to the fritters. The dish of the day was Gambas Pil Pil ( 403), which looked and tasted exactly like the ones I had had in a Madrid taberna a couple of months ago. The prawns were tossed in lots of garlic, paprika and red chillies, and were served swimming in garlic oil. The prawns were juicy and perfectly cooked, and the dish was served with flatbread.

Gambas Pil Pil at the café.

We ended our meal with coffees from an extensive menu (presented as a hand-held fan). Our Cortado ( 205) was strong, with the perfect crema, and the Flat White ( 212) was smooth and silky. The coffees are made with Turkish-origin beans, and they more than made up for the disappointing dessert.

The not-so-good

Food-wise, BAD gets most dishes right, though the portion sizes are shockingly small considering the prices. There are no mains or large plates as such, so you would need to order several of the tapas and montaditos to actually have a full meal. The dessert menu is quite limited at present, with just three offerings. We tried the Buñuelos De Aire ( 286)—five custardy dough balls, served on a slate dusted with chocolate and roasted almond powder. The dough balls were light but had no particular flavour, and the promised textures and orange essence were missing altogether. The balls were also not rolled in the chocolate and almond powder (as mentioned on the menu); that would probably have helped with the flavour.

Talk plastic

Our meal—one soup, two each of montaditos and tapas, one dessert, and two coffees—cost us 2,217, all inclusive.

BAD, 22G Kapadia House, New Kantwadi Road, off Perry Cross Road, Pali Hill, Bandra—West. Open from 9am-11pm (Mondays closed).

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