Address: Oasis Complex, Kamala Mills, Gate 4, Lower Parel, Mumbai Maharashtra India
Time: 12 Noon to 1 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,500
Cuisines: Goan, Continental, Seafood
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Smoking Area, Nightlife, Valet Parking Available, Serves Cocktails, Live Music
Please take a look at the photograph I shot with the award-winning, brilliant filmmaker, Ashim Ahluwalia and dream-team. What you can see is a burst of colors behind, cutesy cocktails on our table. What you can’t see are hammocks, mattresses, real sand, handmade dream catchers, bead curtains to brocade cholis, tie-dye cushions and more. And if this column had a film track attached to it, you’d see the video projection of the sea on the wall to the left of us, dressed up waiters (floral shirts, hats, et al) bustling around, hippie van parked outside, too.
I’m riveted by our new project with my inspired, super-creative, fun lunch guests. Directors’ assistant, Trisha Bhattacharya and screenwriter Nehal Vyas charm, as does Anu Rangachar, programmer, Mumbai Film Festival, who gives us her vegetarian take. As incisive as ever, genius filmmaker Ashim twinkles behind his glasses and remains down to earth in spite of his international and national accolades, awards and recognition. Do we go gaga over Lady Baga? Read on…
Lady Baga, Lower Parel, Mumbai: FOOD
Happy surprise! Chef Aloo (Aloysius Dsilva) heads the kitchen here. I’d dined at and enjoyed his cooking at many of his earlier restaurants including the last one, Villa Vandre.
Oomph, vinegar, round, full-bodied flavors infuse many a dish. We love the tangy spicy Aubergine & Green Bean Ambotik, the robustly-spiced Vindaloo as much as the simply fried Rawas and Mutton Chops. Superb Goan Prawn Curry, (Chef Aloo’s mother’s recipe) served the classic way with Tendli pickle and fried white Bait. Plenty for vegetarians: Tasty and well-made Mushroom Xacuti and Veg Caldin. End that with creamy dreamy Portuguese Serradura, with layers of crumble, condensed milk and whipped cream. The silken, citrus-kissed Creme Caramel is a must try too.
Lady Baga, Lower Parel, Mumbai: MINUS POINTS
Avoidable sandwiches and burgers, though cleverly named Porky Poee, et al. Stodgy vegetarian Rissoi, ditto for the Bangers and mash and the lackluster pumpkin. Chewy, overcooked Calamari. Music can get too loud and decor can get overbearing.
Lady Baga, Lower Parel, Mumbai: MY POINT
Just when we thought themed eateries were passe, in comes Lady Baga hammering in its #Goanbeachshack – Make Sangria not War. Peace. Sand. Sky. Sea theme. It’s an over-the-top playful overload, which you’ll either love or loathe. Fueled by Moonshine and Hooch and Eric Lobo’s other cocktails, we got into the mood and enjoyed it. As did we enjoy most of Chef Aloo’s Goan dishes, and not so much the Continental ones.
Loud music, louder decor. You can’t say they didn’t warn you. The name says it all – a cross between Lady Gaga (the provocative, blonde singing sensation) and Baga beach in Goa. At the moderately priced, open all-day Sabina and AD Singh’s “Lady Baga”, it’s Carnival time, folks!