Craft (Kurla, Mumbai)

Phoenix Market City and Kurla, more generally, is an under-rated hang out in Bombay. It was recently uttered that there was such a thing as the “Market City Bar Crawl”; apparently you start at Harry’s Bar and work your way around the number of bars inside the mall and finally once inebriated enough, you hop on the “Choo Choo” train, a 100 buck thrill show that ducks and dives through the mall. The very fact that this seems even moderately appealing probably is testament to the generic suburban inhabitant I have become. However I’m sure before long you will see the BKC suits catching on to this “petite tournée de bars” as the French might say, after a hard day’s work in the corporate jungle.

For those planning such a session, a trip to Craft beforehand wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Despite the rather unglamorous associations of being part of a shopping mall, the restaurant has done its best to create a secluded and private ambience. The high wooden trellis enclosures around the 6-seater tables go some way to keep prying eyes and ears at bay. You would think the all black walls and floor might be more at home in a nightclub, but much to my surprise, visually it all seems to work.

The pineapple, cinnamon and ginger juice I ordered was perfect. The pineapple was of good quality and the addition of cinnamon and ginger is a genius’ creation. The golden corn and zucchini fritters with raspberry sauce were decent, but not memorable. The no carb spaghetti was an interesting dish, clearly very healthy. Although I was a little bit alarmed by just how spicy the sauce was and as such the dish ended up being more like an Asian stir-fry than a re-conceptualisation of Spaghetti. The Chocolate and Orange desert was well presented and tasted good. My only complaint being the rather greasy brandy snap baskets.

Overall, I can’t think of any better restaurant for modern western cooking in the mall. Hence if you are passing by, Craft would be worth a visit, but no need to travel from far.

**Follow Up**
I was all ready with the #yumbang tag and to upgrade Craft after a superlative cheeseboard with robiola, cheddar and feta. The Chef, Nikhil, also made a personal visit to the table where I complimented him on the concept and aspirations. However it seems like praise went to the head. An inedibly overcooked baked omelette turned up and then an incorrect dish with couscous artived. There is no doubt Craft is trying (friendly staff, attentive management and personal service) but in Mumbai’s highly competitive dining out market, attention to detail in execution is vital.

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