We are sitting on top of a sixth floor building, the breeze slowly becoming cooler as the night progresses, and sprinkles of rain glinting against our skin from time to time. AS sips from his glass of Cosmopolitan while I pick my standard order of Coke Zero (I know, it will kill me), and AG decides on a simple Screw Driver. Nothing fancy, but these are easy drinks to mix, and as the evening progresses, we lose our initial stiffness around one another, and conversation flows.
But probably that’s the charm of What’s Up, a rather swanky joint on top of a building in Southern Avenue. Veering away from being just another watering hole, What’s Up offers some rather fun and unique experiences to those who seek something different. Therefore, a table which doubles up as a jacuzzi, and massage chairs where you can relax and have a drink. We, however, have picked a small table near the bar, and its crowded but still not so bad that you can’t stand there. Hookahs are served on the side, and the expert makers quickly assemble them on request, flavours ranging from the regular Teen Paan to the more unusual Mint and Tabasco.
I am of course more interested in the food, and therefore, when served the Roasted Chicken Cream Chowder, a nice and bowl of soup with nubbins of corn and shreds of chicken in it, I am quite happy with it, given the weather which threatens rain at any time, and the comfort that the soup offers.
(Sorry about the photos: it was pitch dark in there, and I had to really put a good deal of effort to make the photos look halfway palatable).
I skip the prawns, and spoon a bit of the vegetarian Som Tam, the shreds of raw papaya marinated in a sweet and tangy dressing, with crunchy peanut shards on top. I do miss the dried prawns, but the salad is rather refreshing, just what I need to eat between bites of the Chicken Roulade, oozing copious amounts of cheese. The meat is tender and the outer shell is not too thick or thin – a dish which is going to bring me back again.
Our mains are a mixed bag, and I am pleasantly surprised by the Spinach and Corn Cannelloni, which has a thick layer of mozzarella on top, melted over the spinach and corn-filled cannelloni pasta, and I use the last of my share of bread to mop up the cheesy sauce from the bottom of the pan. There is also a Cottage Cheese Steak which I was going to take a bite out of, but then, a big bowl of Thai Chicken Red Curry came up and I lost my train of thought.
Thai Chicken Red Curry
The Thai Chicken Red Curry is quite nice, with thick coconut milk and silky pieces of boneless chicken thighs. The others in the table shy away from the pieces of deep fried eggplant, but as I have a deep and pure fascination for it, I scoop them out, mash them with my portion of fragrant jasmine rice, and slowly savour the heat of it all. The curry isn’t really what I had tasted in Thailand, but this is quite nice on its own, and I like how its simple yet well-executed, which is always a bonus.
Dessert is Cheesecake which tastes dangerously like Tiramisu, and the coffee-flavoured cream is delicate and light, with a layer of liqour soaked biscuits lining the bottom. I have been to What’s Up since then, and now know they make rather nice thin-crust pizzas and the chicken popcorn is served with a rather addictive mustard dressing and the shisha out here is pretty much on point. As it is open until midnight, it makes a great after-work place for some chilled out time.
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to What’s Up by the management.