Thursday, 19 May 2011
Dishoom Chowpatty Beach, Waterloo (CLOSED)
Clever Covent Garden chapatis, Dishoom, have set up camp - and I do mean ‘camp’ - by the river, where their Chowpatty Beach pop-up café/ bar is set to shine until Autumn rains spoil the party. Juxtaposed with Southbank’s Brutalist blocks, their folksy homage to Mumbai-sur-mer is as garish as a 20-rupee poster of Ganesh, the elephant god revered as the Remover of Obstacles. What’s been removed in the creation of Chowpatty B, are tonnes of sand to form a cute beach-ette, and half of some municipal tip’s debris. Imaginatively recycled, it provides the witty decor in a wooden shack that shakes to 60’s Bombay beats. Cute staff sport lurid slogan t-shirts: ‘Life’s a Beach and Then You Fry’ I think I recall in the case of a smiley chef slinging spicy street snacks in our direction. Thirst quenchers include wines (disappointingly, none Indian); Kingfisher; Thums Up cola and Limca lemon soda in their iconic bottles and authentic Gola Ices such as Kala Khatta (£6) - basically, a Tanqueray slush puppy. Also popular; some rummy liquid, served in a fresh coconut, whose taste reminds me that I need to top up the windscreen washing liquid in the old Beamer. The punters seem equally keen on fruity alco-’Tipples’ as sugary sweet as Bollywood babe Anushka Sharma’s smile but, as with the films, I’m not entirely sure what all the song and dance is about. Whatever. As a hip hangout, The Beach is a blast. Check out the talent: you might just pull the next David Gandhi.
Southbank, Belvedere Rd SE1 http://tinyurl.com/3hhymwa