Lounge review: Lima, Mumbai
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After introducing Mumbai to Indian diaspora cuisine with NRI, chef Atul Kochhar is back with a new lounge bar. Lima opened this week, next door to NRI in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), and features a small selection of Latin American food and an extensive bar menu. There are no desserts on the menu at present, but you can order from NRI’s dessert cart.
The good stuff
The textured green ceiling immediately draws the eye, as do the massive navy blue bar at the centre and the knotted-rope light fixtures above. The ambience is lively and colourful, and the reggaetón music is foot-tapping (thankfully at a volume that permits conversation).
There are four Pisco cocktails; we picked the Rosemary Passion Chilli (Rs.750). Pisco is a fruity brandy popular in Peru and Chile; at Lima, it’s combined with passion fruit and ají rocoto (a very hot Peruvian chilli pepper) to make a sweet-spicy cocktail, with the rosemary adding a hint of earthiness. There are more cocktails to choose from, and we went with the Lima Star (Rs.600), a delightful sweet-sour combination of vanilla vodka, passion fruit juice, lime and white chocolate.
We ordered a couple of bar nibbles to go with the drinks, Yucca Chips (Rs.225) and Chicken Croqueta (Rs.250). The second comprised delectable crumb-fried croquettes stuffed with minced chicken and served with a spicy huancaína dip (a mayo-based dip with rocoto peppers). The Yucca Chips were the winners hands-down; deep-fried “French fries” made with cassava tuber, liberally dusted with chilli powder and served with ají amarillo dip (a Peruvian yellow chilli pepper).
The tapas menu is divided into “ceviche” and “tiradito” (cured seafood dishes, vegetarian options available), “churrasco grills”, and “antojitos” (Mexican street food). From the churrasco menu, we ordered the Gochujang Honey Chicken (Rs.500): succulent chicken pieces marinated in a spicy mix of ají mirasol (dried amarillo chillies) and gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste), served with a wonderfully tart green tomato salsa. We were surprised to see a Korean condiment feature on a Latin American menu, but the chef explained that there is considerable Japanese and Korean immigrant influence on Peruvian cuisine. From the antojitos menu, we picked the Lamb Chimichanga (Rs.650), bite-sized, deep-fried tortilla rolls stuffed with lamb mince, refried beans, manchego and Cheddar. The flavours were muted compared to the bold flavours of the other dishes, but the cheesy rolls were delicious with the accompanying salsa, guacamole (both excellent) and sour cream.
The chairs and tables say coffee shop rather than lounge bar, and seem out of place in the otherwise colonial veranda-like setting. We changed tables once but both were a bit wobbly. While the Lamb Chimichanga was flavourful, it could have done with a bit more of the filling.
Our meal—two cocktails, two bar snacks and three tapas—cost Rs.4,458, all inclusive.
Lima, Maker Maxity, North Avenue 2, BKC, Bandra—East (30005040). Open from 6pm-12.30am.