I remember learning the meaning of santé during my short and futile stint at studying French during my junior college days. ‘A votre santé’ is what is typically said when you raise a toast ‘to your health’. The Santé closer back home also forces you to raise a toast and make merry. Santé in Bandra is one of the many bars that infest the Queen of the Suburbs, but I’m not complaining. More the merrier, I say! Hic Hic Hurray!
After many that came and went, Santé is the latest entrant to occupy space at the C’est La Vie club in Hill road. Divided into an outside section with exposed brick walls…yet again, twinkling fairy light, and a chariot that’s converted into a love seat for two; along with an inside section which we couldn’t step into that night because of a group of exuberant adolescents celebrating their graduation. A table filled with food lovers/bloggers, mid week drinking, and finger food – my evening was looking bright.
Out of all the appetizers I stuffed my face with, and all the cocktails I gulped down, here are my picks off Sante’s menu. Yes, you’ll are welcome.
The Dairy Milk Martini:
One of my reasons for coming to Santé was to try their much acclaimed, claim to fame, Dairy Milk Martini. Friends who have tried it before, have raved about it. It really is a beautiful amalgamation of Dairy Milk chocolate and alcohol – a childhood favourite and adulthood favourite respectively. I’d come back to Santé just for this. It’s a pity they don’t have it on their regular menu anymore, just on the daily specials. Ask politely and the bartender just may oblige and make you one.
Pink Floyd’s Drink in the Wall:
Containing four different spirits, cranberry and absinthe this is one potent drink. In fact all of the cocktails at Santé are pretty generous when it comes to the alcohol content. Two of these and I guarantee you’d be bumping into walls along with Mr. Floyd himself. I’m a cranberry fan so my vote goes to this one, hands down.
Lamb Bao Buns:
The management is still contemplating over the presence of this dish on the menu, and if you’re lucky they’ll decide affirmatively. Tender, well cooked lamb in a slightly sweet honey-soy sauce, encased in a bao bun that I found a tad bit too thick. But overall it makes for an enjoyable accomplice to pair with your drink.
Piri Piri Prawns:
Piri Piri or African bird’s eye chilli provides spice to this dish, and hence the name. We however found the prawns to have a slightly indianised, desi tandoori flavour. I wish the prawns came with a dipping sauce on the side, but if you’re a prawn lover you will love this one nevertheless.
Wasabi Grilled Chicken:
Looking for a healthy alternative to balance the beer calories? The grilled chicken topped with wasabi mayo may be a relatively safe option. Even though it has mayo, it’s atleast not fried or dunked in cheese. I loved how the wasabi mayo added a kick to the bland grilled chicken. A lot of others on the table found the wasabi to be a bit too much. They may need to tone down the amount of wasabi to make this dish a ten-on-ten.
House Style Jalapeno Cheese Poppers:
My most favourite thing to order at a bar are Jalapeno Poppers. Purely by that logic, I pick these too. They were not as cheesy as I would have liked them to be. The chef may need to alter or change the cheeses he’s using to make these, I suppose. The salsa that accompanies the poppers is pretty darn good however.
Pair the above mentioned poppers with the Jack Black – a heady, boozy concoction of sour mix and whiskey, topped with apple, clove and caramel to make you feel festive within.
Pesto Malai Chicken:
Do you like the Mughlai starter, Malai chicken? Do you like pesto? Add them both together. Yep. The pesto malai chicken is a lovely blend of videsi and desi courtesy the pesto and the grilled malai chicken respectively. The feta on top was completely unnecessary and makes no difference to the beauty of this dish.
We ate a lot of food that night, but these are the noteworthy mentions. Overall, Santé is a pleasant addition to the ever increasing number of bars Bandra offers. I cannot comment on the price of anything I ate since it was an invite only event. Decent food, and cocktails that do not skimp out on the alcohol, defined my evening at Santé. Would I return? Only if I was in the area and craving a good cocktail. That Dairy Milk Martini was stuff my dreams are made of!
Contact: Santé,164, Near Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai.
(The author was invited to review Santé and dined there on invitation).