Champagne and caviar bar gives away to a more pocket-friendly nosh

Zorawar Kalra replaces his now-shuttered ambitious seafood restaurant with a contemporary Thai eatery

When Rivers to Oceans opened at a plush Lower Parel mall mid 2018, it was supposed to be the exact opposite of its predecessor (TGIF). A champagne and caviar bar that focused on the freshest catch from oceans across the world and a gilded oval bar that anyone would want to be seen at.

While it might have worked in theory, Mumbai didn’t accept Zorawar Kalra’s ambitious, luxurious concept with open arms and the restaurant shut shop last month. Kalra hasn’t given up though and is still chasing his dream project, narrowing down a few locations in Bandra to reopen the restaurant. But he’s made a smart move to turn the tables in Lower Parel with his latest offering, Tygr, a modern Thai bar and grill with plenty of American-style dishes.

Ghosts of its predecessor are still present at Tygr (it was refurbished at lightning speed) – the bar still stands, but there is more wood visible now. it’s the menu which is a redeemer. Kalra realised that his original idea was too expensive to be located in a mall and has instead created a menu that won’t need you to have pockets as deep as the ocean. The small plates start at ₹295 and cost a maximum of ₹695, but it’s for a dish like Phetchaburi Grilled Blue Crab. Also on the menu are salads, soups, large plates, and sections aimed specially for mall walk-ins, think American-style burgers, egg Benedict variations, wings, savoury waffles, tortilla flatbreads and grills.

Tried and tested

Kalra has trusted his tried formula for a modern Asian bar and kitchen, which is Bo-Tai in Mehrauli, Delhi for Tygr. He’s picked international mixologists Dino Koletsas and Barnaby Ingram – the same duo who have also worked on the cocktails for Bo-Tai – to curate a cocktail menu for Tygr. Whisky lovers can try Hide and Horns (₹450), a whisky sour with a tropical twist of papaya, ginger and passion fruit, or Heart of Tiger (₹450) made with Scotch, jasmine and coriander tea, lime, milk, peach and soda. For drinks that are great to look at pick The Way of the Duck (₹450), a concoction of Thai amaro, gin, mango and guava, rose, Thai basil, pandan, and orange bitters, all presented in an egg-shaped glass served in a basket. There’s also Catch Fish Two Handed (₹450), a zesty Campari drink served in a glass fish. One of our favourites is Bending a Tree (₹450) a refreshing drink made with coconut-infused bourbon, pineapple, Thai red syrup, coffee and lime.

Light on the wallet

If presentation is what you are looking for, go for the carpaccios, served on liquid-filled chilled platters that keep the temperature constant. You could try the delicate Scallop Carpaccio (₹575) or an avocado version for vegetarians (₹320). In addition to the grills, the long list of appetisers will leave you spoilt for choice. There’s Stuffed Mushrooms, Corn and Cheese (₹320) which comes with a delectable processed cheese and corn kernels stuffing, deep-fried and tossed with Thai herbs and red chilli. Other promising dishes are Distended Chicken Nam Prik Pao (₹365), fried sliced chicken tossed with basil, kaffir lime and Thai sweet chilli sauce and Chicken Dimsums Thai Chilly Oil (₹365). The mains on offer are the usual: burgers, juicy wings, red, green and yellow curry, Panang and Massaman curry. A quick glance at Tygr’s alcohol menu, and we know Kalra means business, when we see beers for ₹150. It’s good strategy to flip around a food business around.

Tygr, 12 noon to 1 a.m.; Palladium Mall, Lower Parel; 9136921735

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 7:39:22 PM |

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