Abhishek Sadekar finds that the third branch of Smokehouse Deli in Bandra is perfect way to share great food with a big group of friends.

AmbienceAfter starting off in Lower Parel and then extending its brand in Mumbai’s business district, BKC, Smoke House Deli (SHD) has now opened another branch near Pali Naka in Bandra west, replacing the European-Continental food restaurant, Yellow Tree.

However, the décor is slightly different here. The lamps hanging from the ceiling and the colourful floral tablecloths give it a distinct English countryside feel. The menu at Smokehouse Deli, again in white, is extensive. Since currently the place opens at 1pm, we decided to skip their all day breakfast or egg preparations and head straight for the lunch menu.

The Peri Peri rubbed chicken satay (Rs 390) from the list of appetizers will win you over with thePeri Peri CHicken first bite itself. The grilled chicken skewers were succulent and marinated in a peri peri sauce. The sauce had a perfect balance of tangy citrus and chilli flavours that were complimented by the sweetness from the mushroom onion glaze on them. It actually made us crave for another one before we even were done with our first satay.

The SHD 3 Cheese with jalapeno spiked cheese toast (Rs 320) were presented as small rectangular bits of toast topped with a combination of different kinds of cheese. The crunchy, cheese-laden toast was the perfect foil to the creamy mayo, strategically placed underneath them.

Our drinks for the afternoon included a refreshing bright red Watermelon and mint juice (Rs 180) and Three two tango – an orange-peach-cranberry based cooler (Rs 210) that hopped between tangy and fruity flavours with every sip.

SHD07The Grilled rawas and smoked simla chilli (Rs 690) was very close to perfection. The creamy green leek sauce complimented delicate white fish while made from green leeks complimented it very well. The green bell peppers on top gave it a distinct smoky flavour that lingered pleasantly as we made our way through the fish.

Our Fusilli with three mushrooms and bread crumble pasta (Rs 450) was disappointing in spite of the addition of smoked chicken (Rs 50). The pasta was unevenly hot much like it was reheated in a microwave before being served. The white sauce looked like it was slightly curdled too. Though the idea was to present the pasta as a crumble, the tepid unseasoned and slightly overcooked pasta did not work for us at all.

After consuming more than our daily share of meat and fish, the Philly cheesecake (Rs 250) on the dessert menu seemed too CheeseCaketempting to not order. While the cheesecake was not overwhelmingly sweet, the rich cheese taste lingered and was only built up with each bite. Easily one of the best we’ve tried in the city. Having gushed about the dessert, we’d say the service at Smoke House Deli is quick and attentive. It’s also a pleasant change to have staff that are informed enough to make confidant recommendations.

The menu at Smokehouse Deli is elaborate with a varied range of items and it may take more than just a few visits to sample all of it. But with great quality ingredients and spot on flavours, coming back here is an easy sell.

Must try: Peri peri chicken satay, Philly cheesecake
Meal for two: Rs 2500 + taxes (without alcohol)

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