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New flavours, familiar vibe: Slink & Bardot reopens in Mumbai

Worli restaurant Slink and Bardot, which closed down to the COVID-19 lockdowns, has reopened.

August 06, 2022 / 12:54 PM IST
Both Slink & Bardot’s food and cocktails menu highlight seasonal ingredients and draw from diverse cultures to bring out the flavours.

Both Slink & Bardot’s food and cocktails menu highlight seasonal ingredients and draw from diverse cultures to bring out the flavours.

Once known for its strong cocktail programme and decidedly French boudoir vibe, Slink and Bardot was among the many establishments that fell prey to the COVID-19 lockdown. Now, as the world emerges from the pandemic, so does Slink.

Located in the fishing village of Worli – the fisherfolk of Mumbai are among the earliest settlers in the city, their goddess Mumbadevi gives the city its name – Slink and Bardot doesn’t just retain its cool vibe, it also features a happy new menu.

Walking into Slink has always been a bit like strolling on to the sets of Midnight in Paris. You get off the cab, leave the noisy cityscape behind and step into a warm creative space where you could well run into Gertrude Stein and Hemingway arguing with Picasso.

Slink & Bardot reopens in Mumbai Slink & Bardot, Mumbai

Unlike several other restaurants that have attempted to create the cool salon vibe, Slink’s is likely the most authentic. For one it isn’t in a mall but rather a real house where you could easily imagine the best creative minds coming together.

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Unsurprisingly, when it reopened, Slink featured on the Instagram of the city’s coolest creators. The old-world charm, mismatched furniture, chandeliers and brooding colours make for great Insta Reels. But so do the sumptuous meals and cocktail menu.

Even as the space itself is a throwback to Paris-of-a-different-era, Slink’s new menu has gotten over its French hangover. Influenced by different cuisines of Asia and Europe, the folks over at Slink like to describe the menu as ‘flavours without borders’.

Keeping with industry trends, ingredients are at the heart of Slink’s menu that caters equally to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diners. Expect ingredients to be dried, smoked, cured or pickled as is the case with okra or bhindi, served with potato and leek foam.

Okra with potatoes and leek foam, at Slink & Bardot in Mumbai Okra with potato and leek foam

The Smoked Buff Toast comes next. Served with Kasundi and Kimchi, this is a happy explosion of flavours. Cauliflower and broccoli are served in a surprising twist of flavours with Roasted Garlic Labneh and Chili Lime Vinaigrette for our subsequent course.

Me so morel packs in a miso custard and mushrooms, whereas Chef Ali Akbar Baldiwala’s take on the traditional chicken wings includes goji berries and fermented berry hot sauce. We end our meal with Miso Aged Sliced Steak served medium rare.

Quite like its food menu, Slink & Bardot’s cocktail programme also highlights seasonal ingredients and draws from diverse cultures while attempting to capture their flavours. Seeds, flowers, herbs, and fruits are used to create bitters, infusions, and tonics for spectacular classic cocktails with a twist.

Slink’s bar menu features over a hundred cocktails that doff their hats to different eras. Each cocktail has been reinterpreted for the contemporary times. Which is also how the several of the cocktails are alcohol-free keeping with the teetotalism trend that began just before the pandemic hit.

We could tell you about Slink’s take on punch (anglisized for paanch or five) that brings together spirit, sweetener, citrus, water, and spice with turmeric-infused gin as its base.

Or the Bardot Sour which is a take on the familiar Whisky Sour. Or indeed the Aeropress Negroni but there’s really nothing quite like sitting at the two bars and having the mixologists tell you about the origins of the cocktails you requested for.

Slink & Bardot's Aeropress Negroni Slink & Bardot's Aeropress Negroni

And that’s really just the kind of place Slink & Bardot is. It inspires you to slow down, take a sip or a bite, let the warm ambience hug you into a relaxed state, shutting out the noises of the city that lay just on the other side of its door.
Abhishek Mande Bhot is a freelance journalist.
first published: Aug 6, 2022 12:54 pm
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