When Chef Kelvin Cheung announced he was returning to the US after four years in Mumbai, he shattered hungry hearts across across a city that had grown remarkably loyal to his unique brand of modern American cuisine. Three months later, Mumbai breathed a sigh of relief as he made his way back, this time with reinforcements: Chef de Cuisine Boo Kwang Kim from Little Goat in Chicago, and fiancée Andrea Brown, who fills a number of roles at the recently launched cocktail bar, One Street Over.
One Street Over is the perfect name for this cozy neighbourhood bar that serves comforting, easy-going food served up on the same humble plates and bowls you might find in your own cupboard. But don’t be fooled – there’s nothing simple about the thought and effort that goes into every dish and drink served here.
Start with the cocktail list – designed by mixologist Arijit Bose and expertly tended by Ashitosh Narayanan (who seems just as happy to go off-menu every chance he gets – Peanut Butter and Jameson, anyone?). We loved the Spiced Moscow Mule (vodka, lime, ginger), the Spanish Style Gin and Tonic (with spices and herbs), and the Whiskey Smash (scotch, mint, sweet & sour). Meanwhile, the Bombay Central Punch (gin, rum, sparkling wine, citrus) definitely wins for presentation.
Although OSO bills itself as a bar first, the snacks menu of “small” and “large” plates more than holds its own, receiving the same attention to detail as the cocktails. Take for example, the superlative Kale Caesar Salad that will make you wish all ceasars were made this way, or the outstanding Burrata with Carrot Marinara: fresh, creamy, and utterly tomato-free (don’t miss the outstanding housemade sourdough bread). This dish also speaks to Chef Kelvin’s love for the little things that set him and his food apart: who else juices carrots and ferments it for 40 days to bring out just the right acidity? Similarly, the delicious Potato Skin stuffed with Mac n Cheese come sprinkled not only with truffle oil, but housemade ketchup-chips flavouring (yes, that’s a thing, and it’s a shout-out to his native Canada). Small, thoughtful touches that go a long way.
What we also love about OSO are the unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else in the city: Kimchee Grits – a creamy maize preparation which cleverly incorporates kimchee into the mix (we actually wished there was more kimchee); the Shrimp Gumbo – a risotto-like rice preparation with a surprising black bean twist; and the Date with Bacon and housemade ricotta (our plate came with fresh seasonal strawberries, because why not?).
Then, of course, there are the dishes you might find elsewhere, but are just done better here: the indulgent Smash Burger with bacon, cheese and egg; silky Dan Dan Noodles in peanut coconut broth; crunchy Fried Chicken n Waffles with maple syrup and truffle oil; and perfectly crisped Tempura Fish Tacos with sour cream and jalapeno salsa.
Officially we were too full to eat desert, but it’s hard saying “no” to freshly baked Maldon Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. So we didn’t.
And nor should you.
Of course, not every dish will appeal to every palate. Should veggie stew taste sweet? Do mushrooms work in tacos? Should General Tso be made with pork (instead of chicken)? Whatever your opinion, we’d be very surprised if there wasn’t a handful of dishes that put a big goofy grin on your face and inspire you to send a Kitchen Beer or Kitchen Shot to the back (yes, they’re on the menu, and they do get consumed).
One Street Over is hands down serving some of the best food and drink anywhere in the city, at prices that defy the care and attention that goes into them. But wait, there’s more! Mumbai’s newest restaurant trio is just getting started. Next up: a full-service restaurant that’s opening in Bandra this Spring. That’s all they’re revealing for now, but you can bet that’s one food review we’re not going to miss.
One Street Over
8/9, Ground Floor
(Previously Or-G and Community)
Mumbai – 400050
Prices range from Rs. 300-800 per drink or plate as of the date of this review.