The launch of Upstairs has been the talk of the foodie clan for the past week and for good reasons. We happened to review this place on its launch and were amazed by great the show put up.
Upstairs is one of the places where the music and the vibe hit you before the alcohol gives you a high. They have two seating areas, an indoor one with high stools and a bar and the outdoor seating with dim lights, cute decor, and comfy seating. They are a multi cuisine bistro with some speciality dishes from many South Asian countries. They have an interesting alcohol menu that is bound to get you drunk, ‘coz well, the more you drink, the less you pay!
The menu has been designed to encompass a wide spread of some famous dishes from multiple countries; authentic flavours with a mild tweak to suit Indian sensibilities. I am not very well versed with these cuisines, so I have taken this opportunity to learn a few new things and to tell you guys the same in a gist (Please do correct me if I am wrong, I am human and I am hungry! )
Here’s a peek into what we tried :
Appetizers : Vegetable Murtabak, Mushroom Yakitori & Cottage Cheese Chilli Pepper.
Murtabak is a stuffed pancake (in Indian terms – stuffed paratha) which is a famous delight served in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and North India. Yup, we Indians have our special version of almost everything! The preparation style and filling for Murtabak differs from region to region, so there is not one right taste for these. Broadly, there can be a savoury version and a comparatively sweet version.
The ones we tried here were tending towards the sweeter version. Served with a delicious and thick Sambal, the Vegetable Murtabak was pretty delicious. A crispy-thin overlay of wheat flour bread with a stuffing of onions, carrots, beans, etc. and Sambal which managed to tickle our taste buds. It was spicy with a hint of coconut.
Mushroom Yakitori, grilled mushrooms served on skewers with a thick tamarind sauce. The sauce used can be best described as a sweet, thick version of soy sauce (famous in Japanese cuisine to prepare Yakitori and Kushiyaki). Yakitori involves skewering of meat/veg. options with specially prepared sauces. Yakitori is essentially a meat-based dish and this is possibly the reason that the Mushroom Yakitori here did not really do much for my palate. Maybe the flavours come alive in meat, ‘coz for this one, the mushrooms did not get any special flavour which one would expect over all the grilling and sauces.
Cottage Cheese Chilli Pepper was a very mildly spicy dish with lots of pepper. The cottage cheese had a crispy outer coating. Made with loads of bell pepper, this is a safe option on the menu if you are not one to experiment much.
Next up: Lemon Coriander Soup and Mushroom Char Siew Pao.
Lemon-Coriander soup is a popular item listed in many Indo-Chinese menus.The Lemon Coriander soup at Upstairs Bistro was a refreshing combination of lemon and coriander along with tons of veggies. Although the lemon content could be increased to make it tangier, I still loved it. I am having this one for sure when I go here again!
Pao is essentially a variety of Baozi (Bao) that is stuffed,steamed and generally served like dim sums and can be prepared in various styles with a variety of fillings.
Mushroom Char Siew Pao had a filling of onions, garlic, red pepper and obviously mushrooms. We were reluctant to try anything else on the menu but were convinced by Mr Dishant, the manager that these are a real delicacy. And are we glad to be convinced? Totally!! These mushroom filled Paos are deliciousness! Served with three dips/ sauces – an insanely spicy sweet chilli sauce that left my lips with a tingling sensation, a medium spicy garlic & chilli sauce and soy sauce, these are amazing and not at all chewy. We went from ‘I am not eating so much’ to ‘That last piece is mine’ in a matter of sauces! Must try!!
They also have an interesting lineup of mocktails. We tried:
Peachiana – A refreshing peach based drink, not too sweet and with a hint of mint. That rhymed!
Coco Jumbo – A watermelon, coconut water & cardamom based drink. Yup, cardamom. A surprising addition to a mocktail, this one needs a little getting used to.One is hit by the strong fragrance, which is expected; cardamom duh! It took me a little time, but I liked it in the end!
Strawberry Margarita – A tangy strawberry delight, with the essence of Roohafza. Yummy!
Kiwi Delight, Virgin Mojito & Kalakatta – Refreshing options. None too sweet. I especially liked the Kalakatta, takes one back to the flavoured ice licking childhood memories!
We were full. Like really full, and were all ready to call it a night. But our server Mr Vicky would not have it. And trust me, if at all he is the one taking care of you on your visit, you are not coming back without a few pounds added!
Anyway, as Vicky would have it, we tried the Crispy Honey noodles glazed with Sesame seeds & Vanilla ice cream. Yup that big a name, and that huge a quantity and that delicious a dish! We also tried the Choco – Coco Mousse.
The honey noodles are delicious. Flat noodles, perfectly crispy, with the right amount of honey, served with vanilla or coconut ice cream. We stuck to vanilla. The sesame seeds are not overshadowed in all this honey – ice cream madness, which came as a big surprise to me. Loved these!!
The Choco – Coco mousse has a top creamy layer of coconut mousse with a second layer of mildly flavoured chocolate mousse. It is prepared in-house, and is worth every calorie!
Overall Experience: Some delicious food, groovy music and an amazingly proactive staff, Upstairs : Asian Bistro & Bar is a delightful experience!
The Battle: With the perfect music and the chilled out ambience, it will be difficult to get up and leave.The regret is that we could not try their kickass cocktails. But worry not, we are coming back!
(You will be shown Baraesti when you map this place, which is fine ‘coz these two are next door neighbours!!)