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A Date With The Stars

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tried & Tested: Food Review

With pristine views of the extensive Arabian Sea and a range of authentic delicacies on its menu, Estella is a promising new restaurant in Juhu. Khevna Pandit visited to experience the Australian cuisine

Imagine looking over the vast ocean and sipping on a heady cocktail, while the sound of the waves fused with the soft, jazz-inspired lounge music engulfs you. No, you don’t have to be in Verona, because Estella brings you the same experience right here in Mumbai. We walked in on a breezy evening and were stunned to see the peaceful abode nestled amidst the traffic-clogged lanes of Juhu Tara Road. One look inside and you will see a striking and impressive island bar that stretches right to the sea-facing section on the outer deck. The wooden interiors and dim lights are perfect for a romantic meal, but if you ask me, I’d tell you to pick the seating outside, if only for the vast oceanic views and sun-kissed silver beach.

Stars, wine & fine dining
I wasn’t very familiar with Australian cuisine myself, but after a glance at the elaborate and precise menu card, I could tell exactly what I wanted. The charming candle-lit table set-up included a variety of wine glasses accompanied by a portion of breadsticks. Before we could begin our tasting, we were presented with a small portion of soup and roasted pine nuts as a palate cleanser. The delightful, crunchy pine nuts were enough to whet my appetite for the rest of the meal. For our first plates, we were served a portion of the Asparagus Portobello Tortelleni (Rs 575), prepared with Welsh rarebit sauce & chilli caramel crackle, and the Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Skewers (Rs 550), which is accompanied by a sweet chilly rose petal lemon emulsion. The tortelleni was soft and creamy, and the spicy crackle of the chilli caramel coating added an exciting zing to the dish. We also ordered a Spicy Guava mocktail (Rs 375) and a Twisted Gin & Tonic (Rs 895), which was an in-house take on the classic British gin and tonic. With Gordon’s gin, triple sec, kaffir lime and lemongrass infused in simple syrup, it’s served in a frozen goblet. We were told that cocktails were a speciality at Estella, and the Twisted Gin & Tonic met expectations there. My dining companion enjoyed the blend that complemented his Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Skewers. I relished my share of the Spicy Guava; the tinge of the sweet juice went exceptionally well with the spicy aftertaste. Moving on, we tried the Mushroom Quinoa and Tofu Pattis (Rs 475), which was served with wasabi, onion jam, feta crumbs and pine nuts. The feta crumbs along with the crunchy roasted pine nuts were the highlight of the dish, which I particularly enjoyed, since mushrooms are a personal favourite!

The galaxy on your plate
We were told to leave room for their dessert, and thank God we did! The Banana and Caramel Parfait (Rs 575) with in-house churned French press coffee ice cream, kiwi marmalade and fresh cut kiwi was delicious, as was our portion of Blueberry and Lavender Viennese Shortbread (Rs 575) with rose petal pannacotta. Elegantly arranged with a swirl of chocolate, the parfait in particular is a must-try! The smooth flavours of banana and chocolate are a heavenly delight for those who love the combination. The rich coffee flavours of the ice cream confused us, but only because we couldn’t decide what to eat first! Similarly, the excellently presented shortbread was a piece of art served as dessert! Although the subtle flavours of the pannacotta may not appeal to everyone, the shortbread was a melt-in-the-mouth treat and I couldn’t stop myself from finishing it in a jiffy.

Parting words
Estella is a hip new restaurant that promises to keep fine-dining traditions alive. It takes care of everything from the ambiance to the carefully crafted concoctions and delicacies. If you’re looking for intimate dining with a difference, Estella is like a breath of fresh air. We’re definitely going to visit again, even if it’s just for the view!

What we loved
Ambiance: Something you don’t get to see every day is a pristine view of the ocean to go with your dinner. Don’t miss the lovely shades of the setting sun on the outer deck!
Privacy: The undisturbed intimacy and the seclusion amongst one of the busiest city streets is a rare find in itself.

The use of flowers in the cuisine: We loved how Estella consciously makes use of flower essence and flower petals in their dishes. It gave an elegant vibe and definitely enhanced our dining experience!

Music: If you’re a fan of soft jazz and lounge music in the days of EDM, Estella should definitely be your pick.

Where: Ground Floor, Nichani Kutir Building, Opposite HDFC Bank, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu
Meal for two: Rs 3,500
Alcohol served: Yes
Contact: 7999998212/ 7999998232

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