As concepts go, this new tippling haven is ‘street smart’, and international in its “rastas” of bar bites! Infused with street fare from famed cities across the world, is this bustling, infectious and quaint, hawker-inspired kitchen. Great idea. Even though malls don’t evoke any positive emotions (for us), Street Mama at Garuda Mall is a refreshing pub, very different from the run-of-the-mill mall establishments. Kitsch, with interiors by Payal Khanna, it brings you glimpses of cart loads from famous streets in the Americas and Pacific islands, Europe and Africa, Middle East and India and South East Asia and Australia and closer home in Mumbai with a tapas trail. Rajiv Singh, general manager and business head and Chef Milan Gupta fulfill the tippler’s travel yearnings and stomach rumblings.
Or as Varun Kapur, director, Global Kitchens, the parent company that helms close to 600 bespoke restaurants across India elaborates, “Street Mama can transport you to Bangkok’s chaotic Chinatown Yaowarat road, Brooklyn’s famous Bay Street or London’s street food heavens of Borough and Camden market, which along with their unique food also represent vibrant and refreshing drinks."
With high glass walls overlooking the city, hawkers come by with the day’s special, and cocktails from “Masti,” the mover-and-shaker behind the bar: it’s a welcome burst of fun in an otherwise ordinary mall. With manholes covers, street corners, alleys, benches, amphitheatre-like seating and a robust 82 feet bar, it’s a vibrant street side with different niches - From the Mama’s Cave or live kitchen, Mama’s Hood (amphitheatre) Mama’s Hangout (the 80 feet bar) and her court (banquet area), it’s right up the millenial's sleeve. And the harried shopaholic!
We wondered what Mama means to the various pockets of this city’s inhabitants, from the jaded urban dweller to students. Rajiv says that it is their version of all things soul and comforting, brandished on a menu of mainly tapas and some main courses. We started with tofu poppers (not fans of tofu), the Chinese nuances of soya and spice were good. The mutton seekh on a stick… was delicious and melted in the mouth. “The entire concept is very street driven. Mama is a feel we have tried to create with drinks and food from all over the world. Mama is not a person but a vibe from the streets of various countries, a bespoke concept of Global Kitchens,” says Rajiv Singh.
Global Kitchen is also the face behind the newly refurbished F and B outlets at Garuda Mall's food court with new additions of Copper Chimney, Dhaba By Claridges, Tacobelle, etc. We chomped on feta and melon salad, crisp fresh roundels. Delicious with a bounty of fresh lettuce and rocket!
Chef Milan with his years Taj and Marriott, and his independent restaurants in Mumbai, has turned the menu to imbue new life with unique fare like eggs and rockets, Ambarsari champ with soya nuggets, Long Crosty with mushrooms, etc. We had the guac(amole) on toast, a South American bite on crusty black bread - interesting.
The idli slider came sandwiched with paneer, and the succulent buffalo wings were ok, with a yum sour cream dip. The wings needed more zing as the city knows its wings. The robust bar has Akash aka Masti helming it, and he hawkers his fare with potent potions. The hawkers are a nice touch. The African peri peri chicken was succulent, the idea of small plates or tapas has become more and more a feature of new spaces. To have myriad options, and line that stomach.
We had the famed Baida roti, Mumbai style with a kiwi, green apple and tequila cocktail which was refreshingly good. A spiced infused rum akin to mulled wine made in-house, we also glugged Gauc(amole) beer - ea welcome bitter tinge.
The team plans to open another Street Mama in Bengaluru after its first in India, as the ooru is known for its open and experimental nature, before taking it to Delhi, Calcutta and Guwahati. The 158 seater was what Garuda Mall needed, and is perfect for a quick bite or a long tipple. We had laksa, a favourite, but it lacked taste or flavour.
The dimsums too, in steamy parcels were good though the hargao prawns were stale. We loved the pork spare ribs, its caramely texture, succulent and biteful. For dessert, it was churros dunked in chocolate, alright. Street Mama comes hip, happening, and ladle-clattering, wok steaming! Wish they had more of what Burroughs or even La Rambla really offered. Racklett, artisanal breads, paella, and more. It’s the perfect place for a tipple and a quick bite before or after that retail or movie therapy!
Street Mama, Level 5, Garuda Mall, Magrath Road, Bangalore - 560025
Meal for two: Rs 1,200/-
For reservations: 95133-00903