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    Sherlock’s second-in-command (Watson) turns popular wallet-friendly hotspot

    Planning to beat the crowds for a change, we showed up at Watson’s on Saturday, at 7 pm, to check out this ode to the now-closed pub Sherlock, started by four former patrons. A lovely partially open terrace space, simple posters, seating and memorabilia dedicated to the iconic detective’s side-kick, Watson’s is like its namesake – unpretentious yet smart.
    We jostled our way to the bar before our table was ready, and started off with an Irish cream on the rocks, a Long Island iced tea and their famous Bloody Mary. The Irish cream not quite the Bailey’s level but was heady enough for us to want another. The Long Island is best for those with great capacity as they really load up on the alcohol, and the Bloody Mary is spot on. But with its old-school pub feel and rock music, it is the beer at `300 a pitcher, paired nicely with the food, which is the ideal drink.

    05Food9Lead4Shaky start
    Serving predominantly bar nibbles with a few mains, we highly recommend the tandoori or Chinese options; not so much the European choices. Masala peanuts and papads, onion rings, deep fried mushrooms and paneer tikka got us off to a luke warm start as they were all rather oily and very similar in flavour. But the cheesy cigars (spring rolls stuffed with molten cheese and herbs) blew us away. Masala prawns were disappointing in size though tasty, and ideal for beer drinkers, but the chicken tikka and Andhra chicken – both boneless, well-done yet tender, hit the right spot.

    Main event
    For a change from the Indian starters, we opted for a grilled chicken in a pepper sauce. The chicken, cooked to tender perfection, was succulent and served with mashed potatoes (or roasted or fried) and butter grilled vegetables. But a peek into our fellow diners’ tables made us revert to good old greasy Indian food – chicken ghee roast.

    05Food9Lead1Strong finish
    All curry mains come with a mini portion of rice or Indian breads, papad, salad and pickle making it a single-person meal, yet recommended for sharing even. The ghee roast was perfect, with unmistakable flavour of ghee roasted spices, the kadhai chicken with freshly ground spices and capsicum in a rich onion tomato gravy. Achari paneer, a bit rubbery and too salty at first try, tasted better on the second round with butter naans.
    Desserts, not too exciting, can be given a miss here as the busy staff, especially on weekends, are clearly more focussed on serving unending orders of snacks. All in all, a wonderful place to unwind, and a fine place to rub shoulders with familiar who’s who of the city. Rs.1,500 for two with alcohol. At Assaye Road. Details: 7760988922

    — Aakanksha Devi

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