Next time you walk out of a bad movie from the PVR multiplex at Ambience Mall and want to drown your sorrows, don’t walk around the mall looking for a watering hole. Mistral, a week-old restaurant, deli and bar (part of the PVR group), sits right at the entry to this theatre. It has an open-sky beer bar, a vodka and whisky bar and an open kitchen with a sandwich counter and grill. We are told that this concept will be replicated at other PVR multiplexes in metros.
The good stuff
On the second page of the bar menu, they claim to have a “mixologist” on board, so you need not feel restricted while ordering. The menu is extensive—17 varieties of beer and almost as many varieties of whisky. Also, they do have quite a few variations of tried-and-tested cocktails and some mixes which were interesting to read. We braved one of them (how it tasted did not make it to this section).
The space feels large and open and has different seating options—sofas and low seating for those who want to lounge around, high bar chairs for the people who want to have a quick drink and leave. Moving into the movie theatre from the restaurant is seamless, with many exit points leading straight into the theatre, the PVR-owned small book store and the ticket counter.
We felt that the menu was geared for quick bites rather than leisurely meals. There are six salads, 11 sandwiches (which disappear at dinner time), five burgers, 12 pizzas (no wood-fired oven here, though), three cold cuts and cheese platters, as well as staples like pastas and grilled items (pork, lamb, chicken, seafood). We tried Cream and Cheese Pasta, Rs.345, which was liberally doused in a creamy cheese sauce with freshly chopped parsley. For once we had enough sauce to finish the pasta with, instead of scraping the bowl. The Lamb Kebab platter, Rs.495 (one of the two Iranian dishes on the menu), with yogurt and garlic dip, Olivieh (a peas, carrot and potato salad) and sumac-sprinkled lavash was flavourful, and a complete quick meal. Our server was attentive and when he saw us struggle with the super-tall glass of iced tea, he immediately whisked the glass away and brought the drink back in a small glass.
The Bloody Mistral (the mixologist’s take on good old Bloody Mary), Rs.345, needs to be spiced up. The Mistral concoction uses red wine, lemongrass and Thai chillies (the latter two were just not discernible) in addition to vodka instead of Worcestershire and tabasco sauce; it just falls flat. The mixologist told us that he minimizes the use of Thai chillies because people don’t like spicy cocktails. Well, then don’t order them. The Mistral Colada (beer with coconut extract) sounded much too gross to order.
Please, if you are offering extra Parmesan, do invest in a Parmesan grater, and keep it handy instead of serving grated cheese in a bowl with a dessert spoon.
If the Mistral hopes to catch more walk-in customers (especially those looking for a quick drink before a movie), they need to speed up. A couple next to our table walked out after a 7- to 8-minute wait at 2.30pm because their drinks order was not taken fast.
A meal for two, including a cocktail and dessert, is Rs.2141, inclusive of taxes.