BASTIAN, WORLI

Bastian, at Bandra was about getting ready to open its doors when I interviewed Chef Kelvin Cheung for my Chef Talk interview way back in 2016. Bastian Bandra made its mark on the dining scene in Bombay from the moment it welcomed diners but in 2019 Chef Kelvin moved left.

At the start of 2021, Bastian opened at Worli, and you would be living under a rock if you have not heard of it. I haven’t visited the Bandra one, so I cannot compare, which is why I will keep this review just to what my experience was at Bastian, Worli.

Photos do not do justice to the interiors of Bastian. You walk into a space that has a 40-foot ceiling, with a 28-foot-tall bar, accessible via a small, open elevator. There is, what I would call, a balcony that houses a DJ as well which overlooks the rest of the restaurant and of course very Asian resembling natural cane weave mat fans. You cannot miss the cacti and lush foliage that creates a mini forest-esque set up on one side of the room while the opposite wall comprises of colourful charger plates of different sizes. The bling and glitz are replaced by a very natural texture and a boho-chic vibe, where there is a great blend of elegance and drama.

Bastian Worli has a diverse menu for pescatarians, meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans. As I was part of a large group, we had created a set menu for us.

NOTE: The non-veg dishes out ranked the vegetarian ones for me. That is not to say the vegetarian dishes were not ok, they were good, but if I had a choice, I would go back to choosing the non-veg ones out of personal choice.

From the Little’s menu we had:

Kale Caesar Salad: A healthy salad comprising of kale, radicchio, garlic, charred corn drizzled with a Caesar dressing. Good

Gluten-free truffle fries: Hand-cut potatoes drizzled in truffle oil, with generous shavings of Parmesan and scallions. Superb

Crispy Tofu: Silken tofu with sesame peanut sauce drizzled with chili oil. Good

Szechuan String Beans: String beans tossed in Szechuan sauce. Good

Korean Fried Mockmeat: This is for the vegetarians. Its mockmeat (fermented soya bean which is supposed to give you texture and feel of chicken – which in my opinion it did not) in sesame soy glaze, kimchi, scallions and sprinkled with sesame seeds over a bed of mozzarella. So-so

Animal Prawns: The name can really throw one off. I had plenty of questions for Rakesh, our server (who by the way was absolutely fantastic throughout our meal) who patiently tried to explain this dish to me. these were wok tossed prawns in animal sauce and candied nuts. So, what does the animal sauce consist of – well I asked – cucumber, onion, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, with black and white sesame seeds, scallions and togarashi. Superb

Pan Seared Snapper: Fish in caper lemon butter sauce, with some baby kale, onions, and cherry tomatoes and some togarashi. Good

Korean Fried Chicken: Boneless pieces of chicken in sesame soy glaze, kimchi, scallions and sprinkled with sesame seeds over a bed of mozzarella. How can you go wrong with this one especially as its creator is a South Korean chef – Boo Kim? Superb

From the Large menu we had:

Chicken in Szechuan Chilli Butter: This Szechuan chilli butter sauce was made with Kashmiri chilli paste, homemade fermented sambal, and garlic butter. Good

Burnt Garlic Veg Fried Rice: Jasmine fried rice, veggies, and crispy garlic. Good

Truffle Mac & Cheese: The classic Mac and Cheese. Superb

Veg in Sri Lankan Curry with Paneer: Paneer added to a tangy curry made with homemade Sri Lankan spice, sambal, curry leaves and coconut. This was the only dish I did not try from our bespoke menu.

If the crowd present for lunch and the buzz-iness, or the number of friend’s social media pages that have posts of them dining at Bastian Worli is any indicator for this restaurant’s popularity – they have hit the ball out of the park. But Bombayites can be both fickle and loyal. So, if Bastian Worli is to continue to keep the crowds coming in, it will need to continue keep up with the quality, flavour, service that they have now. If they do that, they will be setting the bar very high (literally and figuratively).   

For me to go back to Bastian Worli, I would need an occasion. It’s not a restaurant I would think of revisiting for a casual meal.

Location: Bastian, Wadia International Centre, Center, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Kamagar Nagar Number 1, Worli, Mumbai Telephone: +91 7208656074 / +91 7208656073 Open from 12 NOON – 4 PM; 7 PM – 10 PM

NOTE: I ate at BASTIAN on my OWN time and money. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.