The lane in Fort that’s best known for housing Sterling cinema has always been a popular one. The area is mostly bustling with activity, and here’s a new addition to the scene. “Town House Café” replaces joints like “Malt and Pepper” and the erstwhile “”Crepe Station.” This one’s a cute two-level café-pub with regular seating at the ground level and a super cute bar and casual setting atop a tiny flight of stairs.
The décor is casual and minimal but doesn’t seem lacking in any way. It looks cosy and homely, in a way. One glance at the menu is enough to give us every reason to believe that college students and yuppies who live nearby are going to be regulars here. There are reasonably priced bar bites and some even more reasonable drinks on the menu. Food is standard European fare with a smattering of familiar sounding dishes.
Immediately we proceeded to order appetisers. Our BBQ Chicken Wings (Rs 285) were yummy, with or without the accompanying blue cheese dip. Sadly, there weren’t as many pieces as we’d hoped for. More so, there wasn’t much meat on the ones we were served. The other starter, Lamb Sliders (Rs 345), was nothing to rave about. It came with caramelised onions, sautéed mushrooms and BBQ sauce, but the latter had none of the smokey-sweet flavour that the wings did. The patty too was a little dry.
Meanwhile, our first round of drinks fared a lot better. All Of Me (Rs 375), a musk melon-flavoured, vodka-based drink, was a little sweet but rather enjoyable. On the other hand, Blue Frog (Rs 445) was great value for money with a tall glass packing in four kinds of alcohol. Serious drinkers may argue that the bartender is a little generous with the Red Bull and they can’t taste the booze, but that’s exactly why we loved the drink.
While sipping on our drinks, we zeroed in on our mains too. While the burgers looked tempting – we’ve been told the fish variant is lovely – we went the traditional route with a Tenderloin Steak (Rs 445) and a Roast Pork Belly (Rs 695). It’s only when these two dishes arrived that Town House Café’s emphasis on plating became evident. Both looked pretty as a picture and we couldn’t wait to dig in.
We’d asked for the filet mignon to be medium to well done, but it came to us in an unpalatable condition. The staff was kind enough to offer a quick replacement, but while the dish improved significantly the second time, the meat still wasn’t cooked ideally. We did, however, love their jalapeno-tinged mash and the yummy, slightly tart pinot noir sauce.
On the other hand, the sauce with the pork belly was unimaginative – just a balsamic vinaigrette – and we made do by just dipping the pork (slightly overcooked) in it. The beans ragout that came with it is also better sounding than it tastes. Thankfully, since the portions are large (and hence very good value for money), we were quite stuffed on just the meat.
After the boozy Blue Frog, unfortunately we landed up with another heady concoction – the humble sounding Whisky Sour (Rs 350). It’s usually our favourite drink, but on this occasion, it had too much whiskey for us to enjoy it. We opted instead for a lighter drink, the Coconut Caprioska (Rs 375), and were much happier.
We’d have loved to end our meal on a sweet note, but there were no desserts on the menu. Even then, we see ourselves returning to ”Town House Café” to pre-drink before a nightclub-hop and nibble on some starters while we’re at it.
- Town House Café
6 Murzban Road,
Near Sterling Cinema,
(PopSplat critics review anonymously and pay for all their meals)