As a child, my favorite place to be was always upstairs. When I came home from school, I would rush upstairs to my ‘playroom’ which was filled with books, toys and a scooter. When annoying guests had set up shop in our living room, I retreated upstairs to my room.
A couple of days back, the word ‘Upstairs’ took a new meaning for me and probably many a Mumbaikar with the launch of Upstairs, an Asian lounge, bar and restaurant in Tardeo. This ‘Upstaris’ is a little more grown up than the upstairs of my childhood; while one corner of the restaurant boasts a long bar, where the bartender juggles bottles and creates molecular cocktails, the outdoor section of the eatery offers lovely, alfresco dining area. The decor is pink and black, giving the restaurant an upbeat vibe.
Happy Hours Get Happier
While the vibrant decor may contribute to the party vibe, it’s Upstairs’ approach to their drinks which really gets the party started. For one, it has a unique pricing system on its drinks. Every drink your order of the same brand gets a little bit cheaper; the first is full price, the next is priced lower, the next is even lower and the fourth is absolutely free!
The bar also offers a host of dramatic cocktails; while one is accompanied with dry ice to envelop you in heady smells, another is served in a fish bowl. The bar also has quickly gained notoriety for the ‘Upstairs Infinity Shot’, where you sniff, smell and down the shot, after which you are spun around on your bar stool.
The Asian Angle
As well as offering a unique (literal) spin on its drinks, Upstairs is setting itself apart with a menu of authentic Pan Asian fare which includes dishes from 15 countries like Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and China.
To channel the Asian vibe, the al fresco dining area of Upstairs welcomes you with a statue of a serene Buddha.
Tasting The Talk
We visited Upstairs late last week to explore the Pan Asian flavors and sample some of its best drinks.
We began with sampling the Kireina, a zesty vodka based cocktail with a strong galangal flavor and the Drunken Suprittsu – a delicious, refreshing combination of 2 rums and pineapple and cucumber juice.
We also sampled the Water Pipe; a vodka cocktail perfect for a drinker who wants some drama; it comes accompanied with some heady smoke and a vibrant paan flavor.
Paired with those, we had the Mon Mi Kinh; a Vietnamese salad mad with glass noodles and chicken which had a deliciously punchy flavor. As appetizers, we also tried the Nyonya Chicken Satay, the Shrimp Har Gao and the Wasabi Prawns. The wasabi prawns were coated in a smooth, wasabi flavored sauce which made for the perfect balance of textures.
Meanwhile the shrimp har gao – shrimp dumplings – had a delicious filling of shrimps combined with herbs, though we do wish the wrapper had been a touch thinner. Our favorite of the lot of appetizers was the Chicken Satay, in which the chicken was beautifully cooked and flavored with a fragrant sauce.
For our mains, we called for the Chicken with Hunan Sauce and the Randang Fish Curry paired with the Mixed Mushroom Pot Rice and the Mee Gorang noodles. The Randang Fish Curry was an absolute delight – one of the stand out dishes of the meal – with a thick, velvety broth which was faintly spicy and had a soft, creamy fish.
We wrapped up our meal with the Choco-Coco Mousse – another delicious stand-out dish. Layers of airy yet indulgent coconut mousse were placed atop a richer, creamier chocolate mousse creating a hearty explosion of sweet flavours in our mouths. Despite already being full to the brim, we managed to find space to polish off a full (very generous) serving of the mousse.
Indeed, the taste of that mousse succeeded in getting us high with delight – visit Upstairs yourself to see which drink, dish or dessert will take you there.