Since the time I have been reading about Long and Short in various social media platforms, I loved this name. This casual Gastrobar inside the glamorous InterContinental Hotel at Marine Drive, is the place to be. Long and Short gets its stylish name as it serves its mind-blowing drinks in long and short glasses, in many happy avatars. This place is perfect to unwind and catch up with friends, a place which lets you forget about the daily grind and the fast-paced Mumbai life, and a place to enjoy amazing “long and short” drinks along with a variety of dishes, while you watch the rhythmic Arabian Sea waves touching the South Mumbai coast. I believe, Long and Short at InterContinental has the ambience, drinks and food that bring the good mood for sure.
The laid-back yet hip décor at Long and Short is very interesting. The walls are nicely done up with beehive patterns. Black and white photo frames, bird-cage-shaped candle holders, colourful cutting-chai teapots, dabbawallas’ tiffinboxes, books, coffee mugs and even idols of Gods embellish the walls. Being able to watch the Queen’s Necklace while you chill out in a comfortable sofa and enjoy a drink, is a priceless experience in itself. The balcony with a sea view is definitely a big plus.
Their “long and short” plates offer food ranging from bar nibbles to hearty meals. The food is inspired from street foods around the world! The Long and Short menu has a wide range of food ranging from Italian, European, North Indian, American, Mediterranean and Continental dishes. They have a very good collection of wines and beers too. Their cocktails are a must try. Their Watermelon Mojito is very popular. I tried the Cucumber Martini, which was very refreshing, with a prominent hint of sweetness. I also tried the colourful Lavender Cosmo, which had Vodka as the base, with the vibrant orange nectar and calming lavender adding a romantic touch to it.
The Italian Chef Dario Dezio was absent on the day of tasting. However, we were told that he has emphasised a lot on Italian vegetarian food. According to him, Italian food traditionally focusses more on the beauty of vegetarian ingredients. No wonder, we tried a number of sumptuous vegetarian Italian delicacies here! We started the Italian tasting session with their addictive Spinach and Cheese Poppers. These was served with a spicy sun-dried tomato pesto. Simple and satisfying, these vegetarian poppers were perfectly round, evenly shaped, crisp from outside and creamy from inside. The tomato pesto was a great accompaniment with this.
Then came the Prawns with White Wine, Tomatoes and Garlic, which looked great, as it was finished with a touch of tomato sauce and parsley. But when I tasted it, I felt that the combination could have yielded much more. It was tasty, but I didn’t get the flavours bursting in my mouth. But, the actual disappointment was not the taste, but the texture! The prawns were overcooked and rubbery, and this was something I was not expecting at all.
Having said that, I must also say that the pizzas at Long and Short will knock your socks off. Their vegetarian pizzas are outstanding! I tried a pizza with the topping of Spicy Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Jalapenos, Ricotta Cheese and Capers. I also tried their Parma Ham and Rucola Pizza topped with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Both these pizzas were very flavourful, with just the right amount of fillings added over the crusts. Their Spicy House Special pizza tasted good, but the crust was okayish. It was loaded with roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, corn, olives and jalapeño. Overall, with absolutely crunchy crust and delicious pizza toppings, their pizzas (especially the vegetarian ones) were rockstars! The must-try pizza is my favourite Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Pizza. Try it for sure!
The Three-Mushroom Risotto was good, and the concentrated flavour of mushrooms added a depth to it. It was creamy and comforting. I thought I liked only seafood risottos, but this vegetarian risotto proved me wrong! The mushroom trio (champignon, portabella and porcini) packed in so much goodness and aroma into this dish!
But what I loved the most was the Spaghetti Carbonara with Vodka. It was just mind-blowing. The bacon tasted the way it never tasted before. The Carbonara was so yummy that I could have licked the entire plate off!
I was served M’s Rocky Road Pancake Mess, which had an interesting combo of flavours and textures. The marriage of marshmallows, salted caramel, banana, fudge brownie, walnut soil and candied pecans is surely the formula of comfort food! But I did not feel overwhelmed after tasting this. From the flavour point of view, I felt that this dessert could have been better in terms of the sweetness balance as well. But the Blueberry Compote was nice and berrylicious! I could have eaten it all day long.
So the question is, will I go back again? I will definitely do. I loved the lazy weekend afternoon, chatting and enjoying pleasant music in the backdrop, while great drinks and soul-satisfying food followed. As I watched the South Mumbai coastline from the balcony of Long and Short while sipping a fine glass of white wine, I felt the happiness that a weekend brings, from a new perspective. It was an afternoon well spent.
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