Restaurant Review: Two One Two Bar & Grill

Restaurant Review: Two One Two Bar & Grill

Nowshad Rizwanullah
Two One Two
Two One Two

Two One Two
Two One Two

So we checked out Two One Two in Worli the other night. It looks totally different from when it was Magic and I realized our table was slap bang in the middle of where the club’s VIP section used to be lol. As usual Nowshad Rizwanullah’s gonna take over on the food (why mess with the expert!) and I’ll leave you with the thought that the next time you’re in Worli and are craving some lamb chops and cheesecake Two One Two is the way to go, ’nuff said.

Two One Two, Food Guide by Nowshad Rizwanullah

Naushad Rizwanullah and friend
Nowshad Rizwanullah and Karan Wadhera

Since opening its doors this September, Two One Two Bar & Grill has attracted a polarized mix of reviews – from the ecstatically positive to the dishearteningly negative. We decided to find out for ourselves, this time bringing friends to allow for a wider sampling and to get a sense of the group-dining atmosphere. Our final opinion was unambiguous – all six of us walked away full and thoroughly satisfied with our overall experience.

IMG_0663 copy
Two One Two
Two One Two
Two One Two

The restaurant quickly impresses upon arrival – elegantly designed and tastefully decorated, Two One Two has a comfortable, no-fuss feel about it. As other reviews have pointed out, this is only interrupted by tacky and distracting flat screen televisions that spit out cheesy one-liners and seem awkwardly out of place. However, unlike other blogs, we liked the restaurant and bar layout, with dining tables that are well spaced and make good use of an otherwise unusual space.

Food at Two One Two
Wine and Bread

Italian chef Alex Bignotti opens all meals with a customary basket of fresh bread accompanied by a tasty trio of spreads (pay particular attention to the delicious pesto). Our first starter, the Buffalo Mozzarella was among the best iterations of this classic dish we’ve had in Mumbai. The cheese was soft and exceedingly fresh, accompanied by juicy marinated tomatoes. Although we were disappointed that our choice of Parma Ham and Cantaloupe Melon was unavailable, we appreciated that the sous-chef apologized in person, citing unripe fruit and offering us the Selection of Imported Cold Cuts in its place.

Buffalo Mozzarella
Buffalo Mozzarella
Imported Cold Cuts
Imported Cold Cuts

Unlike most restaurants, Two One Two’s platter comes heaped high with a generous selection of enticing meats that are moist and tender – not the skimpy, dried out cuts this city is plagued with. The Seared Tuna & Tuna Carpaccio, however, was disappointing. While we enjoyed the kaffir lime marinade on the carpaccio, its seared counterpart had a distinctly fishy smell and felt unimaginative in comparison. Luckily, the Baked Camembert Cheese was quick to follow – hands down the crowning dish from the appetizer menu (as your waiter will be quick to point out).  The high quality cheese was perfectly warmed to be delightfully gooey without getting runny. Despite our best efforts, we could not decode the seasoning it was sprinkled with, but we unanimously agreed it was a memorable addition (let us know if you figure it out!). Spread over warm toasted bread, this dish had us craving seconds and thirds.

Seared Tuna
Seared Tuna & Tuna Carpaccio

Our main courses did not fail us either. The standout dishes were the grilled Irish Lamb Chops – charred to perfection on the outside but beautifully tender and smoky on the inside – and the knock-out Eggplant Parmigiana – a delightfully layered dish of eggplant, cheese and tomato sauce that will have even the most ardent carnivores digging in for a second bite. Although I tend to prefer a crispier crust, my fellow diners were also very pleased with the Mushroom Pizza, which omits the tomato base but does not skimp on a distinctly fragrant variety of fungi. Equally fragrant was our only pasta dish for the night – the rustic Linguini with Crab Meat and Anchovies. Unless you really fancy the strong taste of anchovies (confession: I do), I would give this dish a miss (do not expect to taste any crab – but do anticipate the large chunks of tomato and whole, unpitted olives).  More subtle seafood can be found in the grilled Rock Lobster, lightly seasoned and skillfully grilled to preserve the sweet, firm flesh that makes lobster such a prized meat. Finally, we tried two steaks – the generously sized T-Bone and the more diminutive Tenderloin. Despite costing more than twice as much as the latter, we found the T-Bone to be a letdown. Bland and grilled dry, it failed to stand up to the much more pleasing seared tenderloin that preserved the full, juicy flavors of the beef. If you’re craving red meat, stick with the smaller cut.

Irish Lamb Chops
Irish Lamb Chops
Eggplant Parmigiana
Eggplant Parmigiana
Pizza
Mushroom Pizza
Linguini with Crab meat and Anchovies
Linguini with Crab meat and Anchovies
Rock Lobster
Rock Lobster
T Bone
T-Bone Steak
Tenderloin
Tenderloin

For dessert, we would recommend the creamy Blackcurrant Cheesecake and the Chocolate Fondant. The cheesecake is genuine – not the gelatinous disgrace you find at most local joints – and the fondant uses balanced, sweet and savory molten chocolate, not the common sickly sweet alternatives. The Tiramisu was also well executed, but we thought the Pannacotta was a little runny for our liking.

Chocolate Fondante
Chocolate Fondante
Cheesecake
Cheesecake
Pannacotta
Pannacotta

Rounding out the food and ambiance, we were very happy with the service – the servers were well trained in the menu, brought our food out promptly, and were responsive to our personal requests (note: we gather things have improved quite a bit since the opening).  If there is one main failing of the restaurant, it is the location – tucked away in the Nehru Center complex in Worli, Two One Two may not immediately spring to mind for the casual diner. However, the next time you are in the mood for a good Italian meal, you would do well to visit – we have a feeling you won’t regret the trip.

Two One Two
Two One Two

12/A, Lotus BuildingHornby Vellard Estate
Opp Nehru Centre,
Next To The BMW Showroom
Worli, Mumbai – 400018
Tel: +(91)-(22)-24901994