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YOUR TICKET TO FINE DINING

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great if you could experience cuisines from around the world without having to step outside the country? Well, your wish has been granted by Mondo, with handcrafted fine dining in Dahisar, says Khevna Pandit

How many times have we walked into a restaurant, eager to try something new, but are let down by the same old global cuisine on display? Many times, we’re sure. When we heard about Mondo, we weren’t quite certain what the restaurant offered that was different from the rest. However, it had been a while since we’d had a fine dining night out and we were excited. Sit-down culture has been vanishing lately and is hardly seen in restaurants nowadays. But, each time we make plans to go out, we’re thrilled! Located in Dahisar, ten minutes from the western express highway, Mondo has bagged a breezy corner for its home. Surrounded by tough competitoRs  and upcoming high rises, the restaurant is currently the talk of the town. (Of course, by town, we mean the suburbs!) We came by on a weekday afternoon, and were pleasantly surprised to find a nice parking spot right outside the restaurant, despite the Metro construction blocking our view.

A world tour on your plate
Despite the buzz, Mondo retains a humble five-table setting with a charming al fresco section. The interiors are simple and suave yet hand-picked perfectly, with every spoon and utensil chosen with finesse, befitting the cuisine on their menu, which changes every fortnight. That’s right, this is not a drill! If you walked in at the restaurant serving Greek this week, know that the next time you stroll in craving some food from Greece, the plates, in all likelihood, won’t be the same. When we visited, the restaurant was serving Sindhi as well as Thai cuisine. As confusing as it sounds, trust Mondo to come up with dishes that will charm you. However, if you don’t like to experiment with your food, they have a set menu of Punjabi and Italian food you can order from. Currently, they don’t serve alcohol, but you can pick from their piquant range of mocktails that will blow your mind.

A bit of India, a bit of Thailand
My dining companion chose the vegetarian Thai set menu (Rs 599) and I opted for the vegetarian Sindhi set menu (Rs 599), each of which comprises of an appetiser, mains, a palate cleanser and a dessert. We began our meal with the Som Tha, a raw papaya salad, and the Dala Chola Dubbal, which is bread topped with potato fritter and lentils. Served in an ornate glass bowl, the salad was a colourful mix of fruits and vegetables tossed in dressing that my dining partner thoroughly enjoyed. However, I could safely say that I was left licking my fingers after the Dala Chola Dubbal, which had a tangy twist, served with sev and sweet and spicy chutney. We couldn’t wait to taste more, and so we got on with the soup — a Khatte Tamatar Ka Shorbha from the Sindhi menu and a Tom Yum Pak soup from Thai one. The shorbha came in a cutesy kullad and with a side portion of papad to make things fun and crunchy. Surprisingly, and much to my relief, the Thai soup turned out to be tangier than the Shorbha!

Main course magic
We were served the Aloo Touk with mint yoghurt and the Porpia Pak, a vegetable glass noodle dish with a spicy sauce. The Aloo Touk, served on toothpicks, were crunchy and delightful. However, what caught our eye was the Porpia Pak, served in rolls and presented on a colourful plate with a portion of spicy peanut sauce. While my dining companion didn’t find the sauce particularly spicy, he definitely finished off the queer peanut sauce, which went exceptionally well with the rolls. Before we could move on to the main course, we were brought an icy guava sorbet palate cleanser, sprinkled with cucumber shavings and served in a pretty ice cream cup. Apart from the appeasing shade of pink that it came in, we enjoyed the icy burst of freshness in our meal, and we were all set to try the main course.

My dining companion was served the Vegetable Thai Green curry with Jasmine Rice and Sompa Salad. He loved the subtle coconut base of the curry and the sticky rice that went with it. However, the Sindhi bit of main course was more than just over whelming! Served with a portion of Bhee Bhugal, Sev Patata, Masala Pulav and Koki (an onion dusted bread), we were full simply looking at it! A delicacy made from lotus stem, the Bhee Bhugal has its roots in Sindh (no pun intended!). Although scrumptious, it was a taste you’d have to get used to. On the flip side, the sev patata looked welcoming, but turned out to be drier than we imagined — which had us reaching for water every now and then. And, while we loved the onion-dusted bread, or Koki as they call it in Sindhi, we couldn’t help but want to finish the aromatic masala pulav. In all honestly, the plate was quite a lot for one serving.

Time for something sweet
When it was finally time to relish something sweet, we were torn between which was better. The Thai menu had a portion of Caramelised Banana with cinnamon honey yoghurt and fruit cream, while the Sindhi plate threw up an indulgent Malpua Rabdi. The banana was fragrant and soaked in honey and cinnamon, so if you’re not a fan of the combo, this wouldn’t really be a dessert for you. And, as unhealthy as malpua generally is, the one at Mondo had us wanting more, because of its sweet melt-in-the-mouth texture with just the right amount of sugar syrup. We wrapped up the afternoon feeling full, and couldn’t believe how the six- course set meal only cost us a total of Rs 1,200 (excluding GST). We even tried a round of mocktails and were stunned to taste perfection in every sip. Impressed that, in a crowd of restaurants each looking to push upon patrons picture-perfect social-media food, there’s a restaurant like Mondo that wishes to focus on the unseen aspect of dining out — the taste of what’s served.

While we, too, have many questions regarding their daunting concept — How will they keep up with the vegetarian side of international cuisine? Will we see repeats in the future? — we enjoyed our meal and can’t wait to drop by to see what surprises us next time. Make sure you dial Mondo to reserve a table, especially on Tuesdays!

Where: Shop No. 1, Omkareshwar, New Link Road, Kandarpada, Dahisar (w)

Meal for two: Rs 1,300

Alcohol served: No

Contact: 30151968

NEXT IN STORE AT MONDO...
Thanks to their concept of rotating menus, what we had may be long gone when you get to Mondo. Here’s what you can expect right now:
Enjoy a delicious German/ Bavarian meal (Rs 599 for vegetarian and Rs 699 for non-vegetarian) with creamy potato soup, apple sorbet and a delicious main course if you’re into the cuisine. If you’re the kind who prefers an Indian touch, they also have an Awadhi set menu with Mutton Tava Chaap and Kofta. Don’t forget to leave some space for their authentic desserts though.
 

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