Amidst the wood and brick interiors at The Barking Deer, the only thing that reminds me of where I am is the sunlight streaming in through old-school windows and the odd glimpse of Todi Mills that houses Blue Frog. Otherwise, I might well have been in England or Ireland as the pub has been designed to resemble an English pub. It was even named The Barking Deer after an old English pub. Its founder, one-time banker, Greg Kroitzsh says he wanted the name to sound “cool”. “Besides sounding like an English pub, the name gave me a great mascot–a barking deer is quirky and prompts you to expect the unexpected. Just like a deer that barks like a dog is unexpected! Also, as it is found in hills and woodlands across India, it gave us that sense of location.”
He then showed us the brewing area. The pub will offer wheat and blonde beers as soon as they receive a license to serve the in-house brewed beer. Like every first-of-its-kind in Mumbai, the concept demands that Kroitzsh do a lot of explaining (he seems to enjoy it so I guess our babus are in for a treat). My disappointment doesn’t last long as he waves a list of 35 beers available, of which 30 are international from places like Belgium, Austria, Germany and England. Given the heat, I was in the mood for something refreshing and hence, chose the Leffe Blonde, while my companion grabbed an Amstel. Both tasted great with the Classic Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip and the Charamula Prawns. A Murphy’s Irish Stout went just perfect with the bread butter pudding. In case your lost with the variety then the staff can help you pair your beers right.
Two-and-a-half hours later, I left feeling like I’d been on a short holiday. I enjoyed the serenity of the place on a hot Monday afternoon. As we were stepping out, a slender stream of Lower Parel’s creative bunch stepped in for a quick work lunch. I’m told that this place is a riot in the evenings. Also, the happy hours between 5pm and 8pm is an open invitation for some after-work chugging. Besides offering Taboo and a host of other games and playing sports channels, the Barking Deer will soon host open mic nights and other gigs. A soon-to-open upstairs section is arty and will be reserved for these events and even movie buff gatherings, Kroitzsh tells us.
By: Raynah Coutinho