Other food-crazy friends had mentioned this place to me a couple of months ago but I only made it to Bandra to explore its wonderful menu last Sunday. The Blue, run by chefs Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane, is a well-kept secret serving my two favourite cuisines — Thai and Japanese. If that were not enough to have me salivating, the fact that the chef-owners have worked in five-star kitchens, know their ingredients and ensure high quality food at relatively affordable rates sure is.
The little place, with just a quartet of tables in the inner AC section and a couple more outdoors, has a cheery vibe with blue walls, black-and-white retro-print floor, polished wooden tables, comfy chairs and a couple of food books, including Nobu’s treatise on vegetarian cooking holding pride of place! The service was efficient and friendly. The waitstaff understood the rather extensive menu well and were able to make recommendations based on our requirements.
As it was a terribly hot and humid evening, we decided to cool off with this stellar salad, a quixotic but clever combination of fresh avocado, silky tofu, juicy tomatoes, crisp greens and a scrumptious sesame dressing.
Next up, I binged on these grilled pork skewers, their sauce highly recommended by our man in black. The sweet and spicy sticky goodness is best approached by hand and involves a lot of licked fingers. The meat, though a trifle tough, was superbly tasty and I didn’t even need that hot dipping sauce!
The som tam or raw papaya salad came piled high on the plate and was a piquant mix of papaya slivers, carrots, beans and tomato in a zesty chilli dressing, topped with peanuts. Seefah came to check on us at this point and we quizzed her on this fully loaded som tam. The sweet and super talented chef, who grew up in Bangkok before she worked at the Four Seasons Mumbai for a dozen years, explained that this is how they have it back home. And when I thought back to the dynamite dish that I had in a rustic restaurant in Kanchanburi in Northern Thailand, I realised that it too had a whole lot of other additions thrown in apart from the ones we are used to having in a fine-dining raw papaya salad here. I really enjoyed the filling freshness and zing of this one.
Since we had largely stuck to the Thai side of the menu, we decided to end on a sweet note that I was hankering after on a recent pitstop in Phuket. Who would’ve thought that I would get a taste of this delightful dessert back home in the bay after missing out on it in its homeland?! The exemplary texture and sweetness of the sticky rice, raised to a whole other level of luscious by the alphonso mango served with it and perfectly complemented by the crunchy moong sprinkles.
For me, this was just the start of my exploration of their extensive menu. There are already five-six other dishes that I have my eye on and superlative sounding sushis and sashimis beckoning bewitchingly. As much as I want the eatery to succeed and you to try its treasure trove of authentic treats, I hope I won’t have to beat you to a table at The Blue, else I’ll be rather blue!
Top tip: Get there as soon as they open for lunch or dinner, as the teeny place gets full really quickly and they don’t take reservations. If you live in the area, you’re among the lucky ones who can have the yummies home delivered.
Where: Down the lane opposite Mini Punjab, opposite Eddie’s, 16th road, Khar West.
Call: 022 3395 1655