With the cricketing season just heating up, it’s important to find a good spot to settle in and catch the matches. United Sports Bar & Grill is one place where you can root for your team without having to get too rowdy.
This sprawling watering hole in Thane is big, loud and a bit fratty. Yet something about it keeps me coming back for more. Maybe it’s the numerous LCD screens that the friendly staff will happily tune to whatever channel you want to watch. It could be the music which seems to oscillate between chart busters and classics. Or the impressive selection of bar bites and comfort food by chef Dominic Sequeira. But most of all, I think it’s the vibe: easy, relaxed yet energetic.
Another reason I make the trip to Thane is that it’s – whisper it – not that expensive. Sometimes we remember a place by the bill that drowns the credit card. But starters here are priced between Rs 80-300 and a pint of beer costs Rs 195. Lounge on comfy couches or settle in with a pitcher on the long community table and catch all the sporting action on the numerous projection TVs. If you overstay, take advantage of the extended happy hours where you get two drinks for the price of one (12-8pm).
There is a range of molecular drinks but my favourite is Orange Popping Boba (Rs 400) which is a whiskey based drink with passion fruit. The herbs-n-spice infusions in the cocktails are interesting as they add a twist to an otherwise simple concoction.
Start with Spiced Chicken Wings (Rs 180) which come gloriously bathed in barbeque sauce. The chicken is full of flavour, rich and a little smoky. The orange infused chili chicken (Rs 200) gets a kick from fresh orange rind and chillies. If you like something light the Khiciya papad (Rs 100) topped with tomatoes, onions and chillies make for a quick and easy snack. Nothing glorious but deeply satisfying. So is the snack of fried chick peas with garlic and chaat masala (Channa Express Rs 100). Another must try are the bacon wrapped prawns (Rs 420). Prawns hugged by thin slices of bacon and sitting on a bed of lettuce are closer to haute cuisine than bar bites. If you’re looking for a stellar main course with a good dose of protein and veggies, this is where you can call off the search. The herb crumbed basa (Rs 280) with lemon butter sauce is refreshing in its simplicity. The veggies retain their crunch and colour and the sauce adds just a hint of adventure to the otherwise perfect fish.
My preferred way to close a meal is to finish whatever is left in my glass. But professional obligations require me to dip into cakes, cookies and other confections. I am not complaining as United Sports Bar entices me with a few simple desserts that bridge comfort with elegance. The sweet to be savoured above all others is the Carrot halwa cheese cake (Rs 200). It’s the best matrimony of mascarpone cheese with carrots. If you order the Paan flavoured panna cotta be ready to post the beauty on Instagram. A dessert in a martini glass and sparked with a chocolate coasted paan is sure to hike up your followers.
Where: United Sports Bar, Viviana Mall, Thane. Tel: 02261701331.
United Sports Bar, R City Mall, Ghatkopar. Tel: 02266429850