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Friday, November 16, 2018


Relish coastal cuisine

Discover some unique culinary delights concocted with tapioca, pineapple, pandan leaves and much more at ITC Maratha

Kadaloram, Kadaloram... goes a duet by the renowned singer K.J.Yesudas and maestro Ilaiyaraja who also composed the music for the Tamil film which features the song. The Tamil term for "by the sea", Kadaloram  is the title bestowed by (too many to name awards-winner) chef Praveen Anand on a set of unique curries – vegetarian, meat and seafood –  drawn from the seashores of Pondicherry, ancient Kayalpatnam, which used to be the principal port of Malabar where Arabs,Romans and Greeks traded and Jaffna, the capital of northern Sri Lanka.

Anand’s creations can be savoured by gourmands at ITC Maratha's fine dining restaurant Dakshin Coastal, which as the name suggests, showcases South Indian food.

“It’s my favourite cuisine,” says  Kuldeep Bhartee, Area Manager (West)  ITC Hotels and General Manager, ITC Maratha and one accepts the assertion given his 17-year stint as Food & Beverage Manager with the Taj Group of Hotels. He ought to know then, quite possibly as much, if not more, than Anand, who was the only Indian chef invited to showcase Indian food at the Sydney International Food Festival, which  had 22 chefs participating from across the world.

Anand has also been part of a panel of International judges at the Lanka Culinary Challenge in Colombo in 2011, 2013, 2015  and 2017 and is currently conducting research in the cuisine and culinary arts of the island nation. The results of his research can be seen in delicacies concocted with tapioca, pineapple, fresh mushrooms, pandan leaves, lemon grass, sundried ‘vadavum’ and ‘sarakku’ masala podi in combination with popular vegetables like cauliflower and bhendi, meats (chicken/lamb) and seafood.

We began our repast with non-alcoholic liquid refreshments: Coco Kapi, a judicious blend of coconut milk and South Indian filter coffee and Rasam Mary, a cool combination of rasam and tomato. One couldn’t help thinking how respectful a monicker that is, in comparison to the iconic and  blasphemous Virgin Mary. Throats suitably moistened, we partake of starters like Kara Pasippayaru, crisp morsels of spiced green gram, and  yummy meen patties  (fish cutlets).

Our companions, an effervescent Gujarati couple, begin with Marakkari Koozh, a broth of rice, vegetables and spices served in earthernware vessels resembling vases while we ponder on Kozhi Vadisaaru. Or chicken soup. For the soul. Sorry, couldn’t resist that. Also doing the rounds is Thanni Saaru (prawn soup with fresh local greens).

Chef Anand and his team have laid out a spread that includes Maravalli Kizhangu Massiyal (mashed tapioca tempered with spices), Urulai Kaalan Sothi  (potato and mushrooms simmered in coconut milk with spices), Sutta Meen Varuval (coal-roasted whole fish) Tallita Vindail—a Pondicherry concoction of seafood in a spiced tangy curry made with vinegar and cumin, Langouste Kootu Kary (Cray fish curry with pandan and coconut), Kaatai Paravai Kary (Spiced quails slow cooked in a coconut curry), Zeeraga Vadava Kary (a flavourful curry of meat with cumin and sundried ‘vadavum’).  It’s strange that  a carnivore can discover that some of the vegetarian items are very good, and  maybe, just maybe, a tad better than some of the non-veg.  And what a spread awaits the ghas-phoos eater! Keerai Parippu Perattal (Fresh greens and lentils tossed with garlic and onions), Mezhukku Perati (Beans tempered and tossed with chilli),  Vazhakai Kootu Kary (Curried plantains with coconut), Poritha  Ulli Kar (Fried garlic curry), Varutha Pasipurri Kary (Roasted green gram curry), The Anasi Kary  (pineapple curry) looked hot hot hot. But isn’t. The fresh pineapple is sweet.

 For non-veggies, there is a battery of aromatic seafood dishes of mussels, squid, shrimp, prawns, and fish; and hearty meaty ones  (lamb and chicken ) cooked in coconut and tempered and tossed with spices and tamarind and vegetables. There’s Erachi Paal Porital Kary (pan-tossed chicken cooked with coconut milk and spices), Malaya Kozhi (curry of chicken with coconut milk), Ziraga Vadava Kary (Flavourful mutton curried with cumin and sundried 'Vadavum’), Kothina Kari Perattal (spiced lamb mince with potato)...

There is a limit to what one can eat, of course, so we settled for the fried pomfret and the tiger prawn curry  (a personal favourite).  The spices are subtle, there is absolutely no need for apprehension about red-noses. The coconut is omnipresent – and we are not complaining.  Each of the dishes can be paired with single malt Glenfiddich whiskies,  which we didn’t try.

But  room for dessert is always there and we tried a bit of each:  Harira Paal (a confection of milk, poppy seeds and dry fruits), Poosini Kazhi (yummy pumpkin pudding) and Pana Vellam Kake (sticky, palm jaggery cake). If this is the result of Chef Anand’s research, we are willing guinea pigs.

New bar in Worli

A mall in South Mumbai has a new space for drinks and all-day dining

Party people have a new hangout at the Atria Mall in Worli. The ‘South Bombay Bar’, a spacious casual chic space, opened on November 14 on the fourth floor of the mall and offers all-day dining and cocktails from noon to midnight; it is the outcome of a partnership between Kaushal Shah and Gaurav Choksey, who are known for other ventures such as The Terrace, Sirocco and The Spare Kitchen.

At the launch event on the 14th, Binny Dhadwal (a.k.a Binny D Joker) served a range of interesting cocktails, including a couple that involved gin and tea, if you like to mix your beverages. Try the sake bomb (Rs 395), if you’re feeling adventurous, which is a sake shot with beer. They also have ‘nourishing cocktails’ (with names like ‘Anti Drunkeness’, ‘Stress Relief’ and an intriguing Mr Rabbit with Orange Wings, which is a delicious whiskey-based drink made with fresh carrot juice, orange juice and ginger syrup—all three at Rs 395). The cocktail menu is vast and includes everything from brunch cocktails to the classics.

Chef Rakesh Talwar’s wasabi prawns and chicken-tikka stuffed baos were a delight; the menu offers ‘all things comfort from across cuisines’, so expect a range of familiar items such as paneer tikka along with some more exotic items, ranging from soups, appetisers, pizzas and much more. (How about First Class Railway Style Mutton Curry, Rs 525; Bacon Biryani, Rs 395; or Gambas Pil Pil, Rs 645 (prawn cooked in olive oil, garlic, white wine and chilli flakes, served with garlic bread). For dessert, try ‘Sex… In a Teapot’, a gooey chocolate brownie with orange zest, Rs 395; or the Blueberry Kulfi, Rs 325, described as the Chef’s Favourite (and many options besides).

With murals such as VT Station and a map of the bay on the ceiling, the ambience captures the flavour of South Mumbai. We were impressed, also, by the simplicity and cleverness of the name. If you say out loud, ‘Let’s go to the South Bombay Bar’, it implies there are no other such hangouts in the vicinity!


Bombay to Mumbai

Tracing the evolution of its culinary landscape in Mumbai, The Shalimar Hotel is presenting the Bombay to Mumbai (B to M) festival in  nostalgic amalgamation of both worlds — the old and the new — at their restaurant Gulmurg.  Showcased on a plate,the two-week food festival is a time travelled diary of Mumbai's palate and a testament to its cultural diversity,from  Girgaon, Mohammed Ali Road, and Dadar to Bandra,  Sion Koliwada and Juhu Chowpatty.

 “Our chefs have travelled to all these parts of Bombay (Mumbai) and eaten with locals and  shop owners to ensure our recipes to be as close to authentic as possible’’ says  Yash Advani, Director, The Shalimar Hotel.

The restaurant will also house a ‘Mumbai photo-lens’ wall that showcases interesting images of Maximum City and captures its true loving, effervescent soul.

Where The Shalimar Hotel,  August Kranti Marg, Kemps Corner

When November 12 onwards (for 2 weeks)  Lunch and Dinner

Taxi Tiffin

A tiffin, as every Mumbaikar knows, can accommodate a variety of dishes and London Taxi which is  grounded in  Indian roots while drawing inspiration from Britain has started its very own menu  called "THE TAXI TIFFIN" at value for money prices and offering soup, starter, main course and  dessert. Apart from veg options like finger-licking cauliflower vepdu and non-vegetarian options like Peri Peri honey mustard chicken, there are Jain and gluten-free options too!

Where London Taxi, Kamala Mills, Parel

When 12 PM - 4 PM

Price Rs 450 (Vegetarian), Rs 550 (Non- Vegetarian)

Ice Cream Macaron

In a celebration of both Eastern and Western desserts, the Patisserie teams at Yauatcha India have created a collection of patisserie inspired by classical pastry techniques and Chinese ingredients and flavours. Launching during the festive season, the latest addition to the collection is a range of ice cream macarons. The exclusive selection of three new ice cream macarons takes inspiration from Yauatcha’s Cantonese heritage along with the influence of a signature dessert, the Raspberry delice in the Raspberry ice cream macaron. The second flavour is the Soy Caramel, a pairing of bitter dark chocolate with salty soy caramel and the third, Coconut. The ice cream macarons are a modern take on the classic nostalgic childhood treat of ice cream sandwiches.

Where Yauatcha Patisserie, Raheja Tower, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East

Timing 12 noon to 1 am

Reservations 09222222800

Seafood Paradise

Renaissance Mumbai brings you its month-long rolling festival ‘Fresh Catch Seafood Delights’ catering the best of seafood delicacies. Please your palate and choose your favourite seafood with the sauce of your choice and the chef will work his magic and prepare it for you.

 Renaissance’s Emperor’s Court will display an array of freshly caught fish, lobsters and crab from local vendors every day which will be appetizingly displayed in a market style wooden cart right outside the restaurant. The restaurant also serves the regional Cantonese and Sichuan delicacies alongside the serene beauty of Powai Lake.

Where Emperor’s Court, Renaissance Mumbai

When November 11 - 20, 2018, 7 pm – 11 pm

Price on request + taxes

Contact 75060 77166 or 02266927550

Thai Celebration

Thailand’s food needs no introduction, its profusion of exotic flavours and fragrances makes it among the most coveted of international cuisines. Home to thousands of miles of coastline, it is no wonder that Thailand has so many dishes with seafood as the main ingredient. Starting November, Nara Mumbai is celebrating the coasts of Thailand with a ‘Coastal Celebration’ menu that will feature exotic seafood dishes. So, step off the beaten track and explore a new culinary adventure!

When until Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Timing Lunch 12 noon to 4 pm and Dinner 7 pm to 1 am

Contact 022 61378080

Address: Nara, Ground Floor, Raheja Towers, Opposite SIDBI Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East)


Regal Shaam-e-Awadh

Savour authentic Awadhi cuisine at the Shaam-e-Awadh food festival at Saptami the multi-cuisine restaurant of Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport. Evoking the true spirit of the royals, the festival promises to be a feast conjuring divine gastronomic delights from the city of Nawabs, Lucknow.   Relish the specially curated spread by Chef Arif Qureshi that includes a variety of delights such as Seekh kebabs, Galouti kebabs, Gosht Biryani, Vegetable Lucknowi Korma, Nalli Nihari and much more!

Where Saptami, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport

When Upto November 17, 7pm -11:30pm

Price Rs 1,499/- plus taxes

Reservation [email protected], 9004617824/ 9004689458

Festive and Winter Specials

The popular Bake House Cafe has introduced amazing new additions in the European menu and cuisine. The new additions to the menu which are must try  are Dynamite Prawns, Rosemary Lemon Chicken, Lebanese Platter, Cottage Cheese Steak with Lemon Paprika Sauce, Sizzling Honey Chipotle Shrimps and Tenderloin Steak, Bake House Salad with honey mustard dressing, Aglio Olio Pizza, Mexican Chicken Leg, Casabianca Pizza, etc. About the new additions in the menu, Head Chef Zishan Shaikh says, "The dishes are mix of European specials along with a few comfort favorites like Lebanese and Mexican stuff and are made in authentic style using fresh ingredients and fresh cooking which is rare in the city. Customers will experience authentic home-style cooking and flavours which you get at the streets of Europe."

Where Bake House Cafe, Kalaghoda

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