Inside Old Times Sake, Santacruz | All The Deets
I push through mirrored doors and enter Old Times Sake, a vivid space that promises to take you back into the golden era of American music and pop culture. This Santacruz eatery is decked out with electric guitars, vintage records and cassettes framed on every wall. Every Breath You Take by David May plays as I find my spot on a bright yellow couch near the bar. Mind you, the creators have taken branding quite seriously, and so their menu is scribed on a huge vinyl and the coasters are miniature versions of records from the 60s 70s and 80s.
A caricature of Marilyn Monroe on a pillar and Harry Potter’s mugshots framed in an Andy Warhol pop-art filter stand out amidst the crowded decor. By the time I read through the menu, the melody transitions into Happy by Pharrell Williams, so I know they’re not hell bent on playing only vintage music, they keep it chill with relatively new, commercial tunes too.
Fitting the theme, our first cocktail is named Bob Marley. The Bacardi Limon and the tropical coconut flavour set the perfect mood, which we follow with a Chocolate Colada. This white rum and chocolate do surprisingly well in this milk cocktail, which we’d like to rename “Not A Milkshake”. If you’re into the unconventional, do try this one. Next up was the feisty Green Sole that has an overpowering smack of star anise blended into pineapple punch. A good choice for those who have a penchant for sour cocktails.
After a round of comfortably happy drinks we choose three interesting small plates from the menu. The first one being the Drunken Paneer that had beer battered paneer and a homemade dip. Fried to perfection, the paneer is spicy and crisp on the edges and soft from within; served with onions and fritters for added crunch, it’s a yummy pick for vegetarians.
The Chicken Vada Pav caught our fancy with its buttermilk kachumbar and thecha mayo dip. One bite into this Chicken Vada Pav and we could taste the crunch of cucumber and onion swimming with the spice of chicken keema and green chutney. They added a twist to this Mumbaikar staple and aced it.
The Sicilian Prawns could be crispier, but the butter chilli sauce, served as a dip, was the saving grace. We the dove into the Spaghetti Crema Di Pesto which was creamy spaghetti with sundried tomatoes. It turned out to be one of our favourites so far.
We were parched by now and a mocktail called The Dark Side proved to be just what we needed. It was essentially virgin mojito with grape punch, a blend of lemon, mint and grape that looked as magical as it tasted. Moving on to the entree, we tried the Chicken Cacciatore. We’re served veggies and chicken in brown gravy on one side of the plate and peppered risotto on the other, along with garlic bread. But the chicken isn’t as tender as we’d like and we’ve definitely had better risotto.
To sum it up, this American-styled watering hole is for the young, free-spirited and selfie loving loungers. There are a few hits and misses when it comes to food, but if you like a vibrant space with mesmerising cocktails, this place is for you. Also, for old times’ sake, you might want to give this place a go.