Has anyone else even noticed the vanishing of Bembos – the South American Burger place in Bandra? I’ll cry no tears for its demise as a promising new Latin American restaurant Asado has taken over the building. Asado, which means ‘barbecue’ in Spanish also serves Modern European delicacies and diet-destroying churros (Spanish snack of strips of fried dough dusted with sugar and cinnamon). The 3D art on the walls, murals, fake lamp posts and naked bulbs hanging from ropes lends Asado a very Cuban feel.
If you can eat just one dish here, dive straight in for the lava stone grilled lamb chops. Accompanied by jalapeno cheese flavoured sweet potato the ribs are were perfectly cooked, juicy and cut like butter. Another gratifying grill is the Sea Bass which was firm with crisp, seared exteriors.
The cute young things next to us were digging into a Brazilian beef steak done rare with the zeal of miners sifting for gold. The grills are undoubtedly Asado’s strength. They come with lip smacking sauces like Argentine Chimichurri, Miso Glaze or a Lemon Tarragon Beurre Blanc. If you are not too keen on the grills the Mexican Seafood Soup is another great way to start.
Some restaurants forget that vegetarians aren’t the only customers who want to forgo meat. Even carnivores like to mix it up now and then and eat something born in the ground. Asado embraces the challenge. The outcome is a rustic, hearty and thoroughly pleasing 4 mushroom fettuccine. Al dente and not too saucy the pasta dazzled with four types of mushrooms. The edamame and truffle risotto had the right bite and was creamy.
Order the Quinoa Salad with cucumber, sweet potatoes and beans and you might find yourself discreetly licking the sweet chilly dressing off the spoon. Though a big chunk of the menu has a Mexican and South American slant there is a smattering of Japanese dishes too. Prices indicate that one dish each in each section with judicious sharing is the way to go.
Drinks include jalapenos spiked Mojito. Surprisingly the crushed peppers add a devilish kick to the Mojito. Asado also does some neat rum-based Tiki cocktails. The most satisfying end to a dinner here are the Churros served with dipping chocolate.
Though a few of the servers, while pleasant, lacked the polish and knowhow of the cuisine and the armless chairs were a tad bit uncomfortable, the overall takeaway from Asado is: How soon can I come back?
Meal for two: Rs 3000 (with alcohol)
Location: Manorama Chambers, SV Road, Bandra (West). For reservations, call 022-65686666.
Nivedita Jayaram Pawar