Restaurant Review: D:Oh!, Lower Parel

The mobs that have been milling at D:Oh!, the month-old restaurant by deGustibus Hospitality, which runs Indigo Deli, Neel and Indigo, are the kind you will find at most music festivals in the country. The Lower Parel spot is being populated by teenagers and early 20-somethings who like their music loud, booze cheap and food served quick. A self-service joint fashioned like local QSRs such as Kaboom and Pico, D:Oh! delivers on all three counts.

We were possibly the oldest people inside the all-day restaurant, which is designed like a playpen for millennials. They occupied the restaurant’s swing couches and pop-coloured chairs and had plenty of spare time during lunch on a weekday to engage in board games such as Jenga and Taboo. As such, D:Oh! is no place for a peaceful lunch. There is however a Pret A Manger-style grab-and-go counter piled with beverages and snacks that you can take back and eat in the quiet of your cubicle.

You order here like you would at any fast food joint, at a counter where they send you back with a numbered buzzer that vibrates once your meal is ready to be picked up. The menu, by Jaydeep Mukherjee, who also helms the popular city-wide Indigo Deli chain, is filled with plenty of comfort eats, street food-inspired bites and token regional dishes that have become the norm on most multi-cuisine menus.

The drinks are designed to please Instagrammers and diners of all vintages. They serve inexpensive beer and wine cocktails such as shandy, michelada and beer sangria (priced between Rs149 and Rs299 a glass), red wine-infused smoothies and regular milkshakes, ‘adult’ shakes and freak shakes that get progressively indulgent (and are all priced at Rs299 and under). Tackle sugar cravings with one of these challenging shakes laden with whipped cream and calories and pass on their boring selection of desserts such as tiramisu, caramel custard, and bread, butter and jam pudding.

The Becky Bacon (Rs299) listed under adult shakes is excessively salty owing to the surfeit of bacon blended into the milky beverage with a thick crown of whipped cream. The silken salted caramel pretzel shake (Rs165) tastes like liquid toffee with a finer balance of sweet and salty than the bacon one and is as filling as a meal. D:Oh’s! wicked fries (Rs199) have nothing on poutine. You can choose the amount of spice you want on your batch, which is topped with generic cheese sauce along with mustard seeds and onions that lend it a sabzi-like taste.

Lunch options vary from the light yet adequately filling such as the Middle Eastern wrap (Rs299) composed of chunks of herbed, mildly spiced and tender mutton kebabs encased in warm soft pita smeared with tzatziki, to the sleep-inducing but equally satisfying mac n cheese (Rs222) in which cheese-soaked macaroni tubes are blanketed with an addictive layer of brioche and hazelnut crumbs. Indigo Deli’s meat loaded gourmet burgers are among the best in the city. It’s surprising then that the same hands deliver the decidedly pedestrian chicken and cheese burger (Rs249) in which a pliant bun is filled with a staid salad of tomato, lettuce and onion and a fried cheese stuffed chicken patty.

The Bombay baida roti (Rs249) has a tasty filling of chicken kheema but the coat of egg over the paratha as opposed to inside it renders the meal soggy. The paneer 65 (Rs222), inundated with curry leaves, coriander and mustard seeds, and served on a bed of peanut-flecked lemon basmati rice is unexceptional and tastes something like what Shiv Sagar would serve.

Unlike Indigo Deli, D:Oh! may not win crowds on the merit of consistently good comfort food but it’s likely to be as popular by virtue of its competitive pricing. It’s what has made chains like the Social and Hoppipola such a hit with a demographic that thrives on cheap fare.

Get: Salted caramel pretzel shake (Rs165); Middle Eastern wrap (Rs299); and mac n cheese (Rs222).

Skip: Bombay baida roti (Rs249); paneer 65 (Rs222); and wicked fries (Rs199).

It is our policy to wait at least a week after an establishment has opened before we review it.

Prices excludes taxes and a service charge of five per cent.

D:oh!, Ground Floor, Unit 2B, Trade View, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 6237 2829. Open daily, from 9am to 1am. Get directions here.

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