Upstairs is Tardeo’s only pan-Asian cuisine restaurant. Coming to think of it, it’s pretty much Tardeo’s only restaurant, there really isn’t anything to do there apart from ogling at apartments that cost the GDP of Greece. As much as I’d like to start talking about the cocktails, we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room; the location:
Upstairs is impossible to find unless you’ve already been there thanks to Google Maps spazzing out because the main entrance is tucked behind an office building. If you’re trying to find it on Google Maps the only thing that’ll happen is you’ll be given a twenty minute grand tour of the adjacent chawls and still be no closer to finding it. The entrance is right next to Sardar Refreshments, on the main road, that’s all you need to know. Because of Upstairs, we had to walk for twenty whole minutes, as a Catholic, I can forgive many things, but making me exercise is not one of them.
Upstairs gets its name because it’s on the fifth floor. But don’t let their lack of creativity fool you; it really is a nice looking place. Even though the floor reminds me of the one they had at Sinhal’s Classes, they manage to keep it classy. It also happens to be one of the most spacious new restaurants I’ve ever seen, there was so much leg room it made me uncomfortable. As a middle class man I find too much comfort disconcerting. But you’re not here because you care about my taste in interior design, you’re here because you like food, and also because we paid Facebook to trick you into clicking this post.
We tried a whole bunch of items on the menu, some were alright, others were a lot better, and because we’re selfless martyrs we’ve decided just to give you the good stuff.
1) Duet of Pepper Chicken
For a place that calls itself upstairs because it’s on the fifth floor, Duet of Pepper Chicken has a surprisingly poetic name, and just as well, it was really good. I’ve eaten some pepper in my time alive, but nothing quite like this, it tasted of pepper, but wasn’t particularly pungent.
2) Sambal Prawns
I love sambal. I love prawns. I love Sambal Prawns. They’re basically a bunch of gigantic prawns marinated in a sweet, spicy sauce, and although they weren’t particularly exceptional, I’d eat a whole plate of these alone.
3) Wasabi Prawns
Wasabi generally isn’t for the faint of heart, but whatever they used in the wasabi prawns wasn’t particularly potent. A little disappointing if you ask me, but still, it was nice, especially if you’re not big on spicy food. Strangely enough, I found the sambal prawns spicier than the wasabi ones.
4) Fish Katsu
Objectively speaking, the Fish Katsu was the best item we tried. Its a minced fish cake with herbs , and it’s deep fried so it already wins by a mile. It comes with a hot sauce dip, but I much preferred it plain. They use a bunch of Japanese herbs in it which I cannot pronounce let alone spell, so I’m going to end this paragraph with my dignity intact.
5) Mountain Chilli Chicken
We called for the Mountain Chilli Chicken because the menu promised us that the ‘chilli bomb’ would ‘explode’ in our mouths’. Not only did it not explode in our mouths, it was one of more bland things I’ve ever had. And I’ve been to England. It’s wasn’t bad by any means, (I might have loved it if they gave it a more appropriate name like Chicken Sesame) I just thought I’d let you know not to fall into the same trap we did.
6) Water Pipe
The water pipe is a cocktail that you drink out of a hookah; it tastes Pass Pass, only a bit sweeter, and while that might be a turn off for most people who don’t drive taxis, it actually was a very refreshing drink. I’d even go so far as to say it was the nicest cocktail we had that night.
7) The Lantern
After Hoppipola and Social, I was pleasantly surprised that the Lantern didn’t come served in an actual frickin lantern. I’m a grown man, I don’t need fancy toys to help me drink, I don’t drink when I’m happy. I drink when I’m sad. The lantern is pretty much Cranberry juice with rum, not exactly the most complex cocktail in the world, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The cinnamon made it taste like Halloween.
The Decree: All in all I’d say Upstairs is a nice place, it’s very reasonably priced, the food is good and the drinks are better, there’s a tonne of room, the music they play is stuck in 2011, a year I can still comprehend and the service is great (shout out to our awesome waiter Nitesh), I’ll even ignore the part where they called me a blogger. Would I walk around Grant Road aimlessly for another twenty minutes just to visit it again? Possibly.