There are many legends about how The Bombay Report came to be, some say we’re the product of a twisted lab experiment gone wrong, while others believe we’re a reactionary movement to Bombay Blue closing down, but for the record; neither is true. We’re just simple guys who love cheap beer, and like many of you out there, we can fondly trace the history of our alcohol dependency back to one very special institution, Pop Tate’s.
As seasoned journalists who’ve dined at some of the finest mid-tier restaurants in the greater Mumbai region, we were quite uncertain about whether or not we should review Pop Tate’s. Not only would it put us in a compromising position ethically because we couldn’t be objective about a place we love unconditionally; but we hadn’t been there in years, and if it was terrible it would tarnish the few childhood experiences that we hadn’t yet totally repressed. After much deliberation and a motivational speech from our investors who told us that journalism is dead, we decided to go about with the review anyway.
The first Pop Tate’s we tried our luck with was the one in Versova, which at this point had been worn away by the effects of aging and was hidden in the shadow of the metro. While we’re not the type to refuse a meal under a bridge, in this instance we decided to try our luck with Lokhandwala instead, a position we never thought we’d ever find ourselves in. Apart from having to navigate across the mud tracts that Andheri calls roads and look at struggling actors in ridiculous clothing buying vegetables as if they’re normal people, our journey, while long and frustrating, was nothing out of the ordinary.
Pop Tate’s is as synonymous with cheap beer and food as it is with being suspiciously appealing to children. And before you tell us we’re being unreasonable, literally the first thing you see in the window when you enter the one in Lokhandwala is a picture of Mickey Mouse with a mug of beer. Aesthetically, it’s basically an Indian version of TGIF, complete with random, fake memorabilia and movie posters from the 1960s that everyone appreciates, but nobody’s ever seen.
They openly admitted on the menu that they’re sponsored by Kissan Ketchup and McCain fries, which as an organization sponsored by Old Monk and bad life choices, we appreciated greatly. Pop Tate’s has an expansive menu which warranted an hour of scrutiny and a free consultation with our waiter, who explained to us the rather complex system of happy hours, upgrades, and OMG specials which we still don’t completely understand. Nevertheless, we were ready to order:
Spicy Chicken Wings In Zulu Sauce
As strong believers in the richness of African cuisine and the beauty of its culture, we decided to begin with the Spicy Wings In Zulu Sauce. Given our waiter’s insistence that they’d be too spicy for us to handle, we were pretty excited about them at the beginning, only to be later disappointed. Not only were the wings unspicy, they were also sour, and not very well cooked either. We don’t generally like wasting food, but we could barely finish two wings each before giving up entirely, much to the displeasure of the all the hungry children in Africa.
Chilli Cheese Toast
The Chili Cheese Toast at Pop Tate’s tasted rather homemade. While ours were served to us a bit colder than we would have liked, the bread was well toasted and cheese was some of the finest Amul has to offer. It was quite a nice accompaniment for our beers and an excellent achievement for an organization funded mostly by 8th standard childrens’ pocket money.
Breaded Squid Rings
The Squid Rings were served to us in some kind of metal box, which reminded us of Social. We didn’t like that. However, our anger was short-lived, because it was a genuinely enjoyable starter, and our favorite of the day. The squid was probably frozen, but given the fact that its monsoon, it’s just something you’ll have to put up with.
The Decree: Aside from the three starters we ordered, we also tried the Mixed Meat Grill Sizzler, which was pretty good, and the Meat load Pizza, which was awful. This leads us to conclude that if you ever do go to Pop Tate’s, you’re better off with just starters and lots of Happy Hour beer to wash it down. Did we like Pop Tate’s? The short answer is yes. Between singing along to Linkin Park and explaining to Derrick why it’s not okay to check out girls more than 5 years younger than us, we had a good, wholesome time. So yes, we liked Pop Tate’s, Lokhandwala. And you might want to pay it a visit too.