For reasons yet unknown to her, the zoman’s damsel has had a fascination with the name Boveda. Perhaps it gives her a warm feeling in her stomach or something that a chocolate brownie on cold winter’s day does, but she just loves the name Boveda.
So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise when the zoman says, he’s been to Boveda a gazillion times already. Yet, except for a few Halcyons, intensely staring at the nearly naked lady’s portrait, and watching his damsel groove to the resident DJs beats, the zoman had nothing more to associate with Lokhandwala’s famous vault – Boveda.
But like everything in life, my viewpoint on Boveda was in for a refreshing change and I must thank Rushabh for the Trell meetup invite that led to this eventuality.
Let’s have a look at what Boveda’s vault holds in store for us then, shall we?
Boveda sits snugly in between the lane, which I reckon is one of the best places in Mumbai to bar hop. You can literally hop in and out of a 5-6 places within a 500 mtr radius and that is simply superb!
I was in for a welcome change when I saw how Boveda looks under some amount of lighting.
From my pub hopping nights, I’ve always found the music here to be really good and at Boveda, we’ve never had a bad time musically despite our many trips to the place.
The arty and abstract décor of Boveda is something that screams COOL at you and they’ve got a decently done up bar counter too.
The outside seating makes for a great evening dine out and even during the day it seemed quite cool to sit here as opposed to some places which feel like an earthen oven.
Getting a drink from the bartenders is easy business during party hours (that is if you’re adept at navigating through a sea of people) and the bar staff are blitzy fast.
That being said, the service at the meetup was quite slow in comparison to the ninja like pace, we’re so used to seeing at the bar.
Don’t know why, but I reckon the service needs to be picked at least by a couple of notches to be worth appreciating.
Now there certainly were a couple of “give it a miss” types on the menu. But most of what we were dished out, seemed to hit it out of the park.
Since ours was pretty much a virgin affair – Read non-alcoholic, you dirty minds, we went the whole hog with a relatively clear perspective.
If you’ve seen a college romcom you’ll associate with this. The ronella was like that nerdy chick with braces. Plain Jane on the surface, but a hellcat beneath.
While the drink looked like an unassuming splash of red in a glass full of ice cubes, there was something special about the way it tasted.
Put me in a bar stool at Boveda on a hot summery day and I’d polish off their supply of Ronellas without a care in the world.
This is not your everyday cushy and cuddly gummy bear. This is a drink that’s high on sex appeal and if you’re into Vampire Diaries or Twilight like crap, you’d easily confuse this with a goblet of blood in a vampire’s pale icy hands.
While I loved the taste of the gummy bear, the curious cat in me was more intent on figuring out a mystery ingredient that was making the whole thing so awesome. Turns out, the boss herb rosemary was behind that superlative touch to the entire construct.
Overall – Absolutely loved this!
This particular concoction was of the highest value to me, for it taught me a great lesson in life. Mix vanilla ice cream with blackcurrant syrup and grape juice, and you will end up in the shitters for sure.
Didn’t like this one bit!
Now why would you do that, Boveda? Just because a drink has ginger in it, you don’t go ahead and call it a Ginger Rogers! I mean it takes a lot more than that to put a million dollar name to one of your potions and Ginger, Ginger Ale, Mint, & Mandarin, certainly don’t make the cut.
A very mediocre offering from the vault and if there’s anything I’d advise shying off from, this is it!
Looks girly and sounds girly, which is a win-win I tell you. If you’re a girl then this is your go to chick drink at Boveda and if you’re a guy, you’d love flirting with the flavours this beauty comes with.
Coconut and strawberry are that mushy romantic couple from school days that exudes sweetness in every way. Throw in some pineapple juice for that torrid and passionate love affair and you have a love triangle of flavors that’s bound to please.
Pardon me Barney Ross, but I’ve never had a thing for huge ensemble cast affairs! Nothing wrong with the formula, but maybe my limited intelligence and cognitive abilities aren’t tuned to comprehend a plot with too many superstars vying hard for airtime.
Ditto, with my F&B too. While the Juiced Up had every ingredient I like, putting so many heavyweights into a blender just for the sake of a “something for every taste bud” concoction, is pure laziness.
If you could isolate any single flavour from this mix, I’d doff my hat off to you. But still, I wouldn’t recommend this. Sorry!
Yet another pin-up in the calendar girl line-up of Tini’s. Whether alcoholic or virgin, these concoctions look smoking hot in a martini glass.
Again, the masala tini was no exception to the tini rule. A babe looking drink that would steal the photo-op from everything else on the menu.
Did I like the taste? Yes, but only when I held my breath before a swig. I reckon there was far too much of the masala stink to the drink than I would have liked. Yet, the drink looked great and tasted great. I guess, that’s more than enough for it to be recommended, right?
This drink had a funky smell that kind of reminded me of my damsel’s cosmetic cupboard. Forgetful memories of my damsel in a cucumber face pack, looking like a tiny she HULK on halloween, were all that this drink could inspire.
Just when I was about to put that into the past, the taste of the drink did nothing to bring me back on my feet.
Even if you were on a detox diet, you’d be better off away from this.
While the drinks menu was a mixed bag of hits and misses, the food aspect of our meetup comprised only of items that I can wholeheartedly recommend.
LAMB CHILLI / REFRIED BEAN NACHOS
I’ve said this before and I’d reiterate it again. In the entirety of the restaurant world, a few things taste great irrespective of where you have them. And for me, nachos go on that elite list.
I’ve never had bad nachos and Boveda didn’t let me down with either their veg or non-veg versions of this dish.
The tortilla chips were crisp, the salsa fresh, the sour cream & cheese dolloped to the right extent, and the lamb chilli / refried beans cooked to saucy perfection. And that is that, a great nacho!
SPICED HONEY MUSTARD WINGS
Aren’t wings delicious? Well, that’s a rhetoric and certainly needs no answer. Honey mustard is a pretty common glaze for wings and the good folk at Boveda used it well for a marinade.
The wings were done to perfection and the messy goodness they exuded made me abandon any concern whatsoever for knowing what went into the Oriental sauce they were tossed in.
A must have from the vault!
HONEY CHILLI POTATO
I guess I’m going rhetorics again, but do potatoes ever go wrong? No, they don’t.
A version of the French Fry, which is wok tossed in a honey chilli paste.
Just when the chilli is about to destroy you for giving it a challenge, the honey stands up to it and calms the fire your mouth is about to go on. Only, making room for more chilli to be stomached by you. It’s like a vicious cycle of tasty goodness.
I wish, Ching’s could replicate this formula and mass sell it to us. I’d love to be a couch potato!
GOAN CHORIZ PAO SLIDER
Deu borem korum tuzho, Boveda.
I might not look or sound like a Goan boy and technically I’m not one either. But there are few Bombay boys that actually get to live and party for 3 years in Goa, masquerading it as a graduation. And we are extremely critical of our choriz poi.
Coming to this particular dishing out, of my most beloved goan staple. As hard as I tried to be critical, the only flaw I could name was the absence of POI and it being substituted by PAV. Apart from that, the choriz pao slider was perfect. There’s something about those spicy, vinegar laced sausages that goes incredibly well with potatoes and onions. Adding lettuce to the mix, meant that you could chow down a few more of these than you otherwise could.
I am literally rolling in a pool of happy tears mixed with some drool. But yeah, this is a must have!
COTTAGE CHEESE PESTO VEGGIE SLIDER
Keeping this next to the choriz pao sliders was like asking a mass murderer to choose between a rifle and a slingshot. But having given this a try, I must say. Well played Boveda.
If there is ever a day when I need to go all veggie and a slider’s something I’m craving for. I’ll be looking this beauty up and we’ll make it a date.
The cottage cheese steak was thin and somewhat crispy. It wasn’t the soggy or raw centre dishing out that most establishments do. The pesto tossed veggies went well along with the entire construct, although I could have done even without them.
SPICED GRILLED CHICKEN BURGER
The animal kingdom is a testimony to this. Every birthing brings out a runt of the litter and never does it happen that all members of a new spawn are equally amazing.
In Boveda’s litter, this particular burg was the runt. And boy, what a sad one too.
There was hardly any mayonnaise or any form of moisture in the entire burger and the breast was grilled to such a point that the chicken had no moisture either.
Boveda has a host of amazing offerings in their slider / burger section and you’d not ending up losing out on anything if you give this a miss.
SPAGHETTI AGLIO OLIO E PEPPERONCINO
The aglio olio has been the most ardent love of my life and I have committed to it like I could never commit to another woman. It is one of the reasons I embarked on the gastronomical path and the truest testimony to the beauty that lies within extreme simplicity.
To me, the aglio olio is not a dish served at restaurants, but a sentiment. And I must thank Boveda, for not taking a piss at my love for this preparation.
While I like the spice level absolutely low on my aglio olio, the Boveda version was peppery and upbeat with a palette warming helping of spice.
I quite liked it!
PENNE AL FREDO
The only issue with a penne al fredo on a bloggers table, is that it gets cold and clumpy before we finish taking our pictures. And that, is perhaps the only reason why I couldn’t enjoy my penne alfredo at Boveda. So let me not comment on it further.
PAPRIKA COTTAGE CHEESE STEAK
From being the most glaring feature on menus some years ago to becoming extremely commonplace on continental menus, veggie steaks have certainly come a long way. While my firang friends are still bemused as to why steak should be vegetarian, I stand by the cottage cheese steak. Especially if it is the paprika cottage cheese steak from Boveda.
Look at it entirely or break it down into individual elements, this preparation is far from any flaw. The cottage cheese was grilled to perfection and sat snugly between chewy and crumbly. The paprika sauce was of the right consistency and the seasoning / herb balance was spot on. While the ragout didn’t have an issue with it per se, I would have liked it skewed towards the mushroom rather than the spinach.
A 10 on 10 item on their menu and an absolute must try!
The tart was just about average. Maybe the food that preceded it set such high expectations, that the sugar rush couldn’t stand up to them.
For one thing, I couldn’t taste any whiskey in it.
The ganache wasn’t really special either and could have easily done being a bit runnier. I literally had trouble opening my mouth for the second bite and my tongue just seemed to stick to my palette with all the stickiness of the ganache.
While mine was an on the house, the prices at Boveda seem reasonable enough, for a pub place. We’ve never felt blasted to kingdom come on our weekend party dashes to Boveda and even as a place to get a good meal, I think you could pick this up as an option.
That being said, prices aren’t diner like, so you will end up spending some.
Yeah I reckon they’ve done enough justice to the name, for Boveda does have some semblance to a vault. There are some good looking and some great tasting treasures that it holds. And like in the Narnia movies, if you do get locked in this closet, chances are you’d come out with a satisfied smile on your face.
So, do I recommend Boveda and will I visit it again? A HELL YEAH for both the questions.
AMBIANCE – 4/5
SERVICE – 3/ 5
FOOD – 4.5/5
PRICE – 4/5