Colaba’s newest European eatery is tucked away on the road running behind Radio Club. Open for dinner for now, The Pier plans to start lunch services in the near future. In its earlier avatar as the Japanese restaurant, Tetsuma, it wasn’t uncommon to find revellers from the nightclub Prive drinking at the bar (most of whom had sneaked in through the shared bathroom!). Unfortunately, The Pier still shares its bathroom with revellers at Ghost (the renamed and renovated nightclub) next door.
The cobalt blue sofas add much needed colour to the dimly lit restaurant that is done up predominantly in dark wood. A long, amply stocked bar runs along one wall with sofa seating along another. Both the Pier Flip (dark rum, triple sec, fresh cream, egg yolk and sugar syrup) and Sangria we ordered, had bite and taste in equal measure. The Pier Flip was too sweet and yet strangely, left a bitter aftertaste, as if to remind us of its potency. The sangria though, was light yet flavourful largely in part to the fruit pulp that had been added to it. It’s not on the menu though and will have to be specially requested.
On the owner, Samir Chhabria’s recommendation – he was chatting with patrons and asking for feedback – we ordered the beer battered fried calamari and quinoa tabouli salad to start with. The lightly fried calamari had a thin layer of batter and the right amount of crunch, our only complaint was we couldn’t taste any beer. The quinoa salad though, came off as one-note and was too citrusy for our liking.
While waiting for our pan seared rawas with lemon grass beurre blanc, we studied the menu which features truffle scrambled eggs, duck confit, mushroom risotto, amongst other European favourites. Our main course, which came with cherry tomatoes and braised bok choy, was a revelation for its sauce, which unfortunately looked like dahi chutney but surprised us by adding a subtle lemon grass flavour to our dish. The evening ended with a fluffy cappuccino soufflé accompanied by a piquant Kahlua sauce.
The Pier has nothing to distinguish it from other European eateries in the city. Its bland interiors aren’t inviting and its food is not going to be the main draw. What makes it a winner though are the relatively inexpensive, innovative cocktails.
This review first appeared in Time Out Mumbai