bombay times

Review: Spice Klub

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North Indian. Molecular Gastronomy.

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Taaza Khabar: A month old pure vegetarian Indian restaurant goes the Molecular gastronomy way. I was lucky enough to have dined at Ferran Adria, Spanish wizard’s El Bulli (it is now shut) and also at the  London’s Fat Duck, Spain’s “El Celler de can Roca”,  Stockholm’s Oaxen where I was blown by each one’s amazing creations using cutting edge scientific techniques, ingredients and methods to make the familiar look unfamiliar and vice versa. The question always remains: does this unlikely transmogrification of ingredients and other cerebral shenanigans taste good or not?

DÉCOR

This Lower Parel 100 seater restaurant seems to have been kept deliberately non descript ( semi-industrial fit-out with exposed brick walls) to keep the focus on food.

FOOD

Ever had a vada pao which has a mousse aerated by infusing nitrogen in it?chutney in edible plastic pouches ? Quivering explosive orbs of papdi chat with coriander chutney foam? Happily, they also taste good. As does the pao bhaji fondue.    The passionately dedicated owner Aditya Gupta studied up and ensures the use of liguid nitrogen, dry ice, dehydrator  a( for  dahi bada and dhokla. Siphon for chilli palak soup, alginate bath and more. Rose caviar partners The chocolate flower pot is filled with rasmalai and saffron mousse and sprinkled with pista chocolate soil. Regular North indian fare marks the mains, be it Paneer Kadai, Veg Kohlapuri, Amritsari vadi aloo or the must try dahi pakodi. Gluten free & multigrain Rotis too.

MINUS POINTS

Some dishes are just gimmicks—and lackluster to taste too. The Pani Puri served in test tubes and syringes, being a case in point. Slushy with masala, Rajma in the mains. The Bubbling kulfi ( liquid nitrogen et al) is all show and no go, with over sweet, synthetic sauces. I just couldn’t get myself to try the soap cake with it’s Dairy foam.  No alcohol.

MY POINT

I commend this pure vegetarian eatery’s efforts ( starters and desserts) at Molecular gastronomy  ensuring  measured eccentricity. These dishes validate the  experimentation and they reflect a thoughtful,  equilibrium between what’s merely edgy and what’s tasty.Not always cutting edge, some dishes tip over into gimmickry. The North Indian mains are predictably comforting and so provide the much needed balance. Jaded vegetarians looking for newness this way please!

SpiceKlub, 8A Janata Industrial Estate, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W)

Ph 24925544

Open 12 to 4pm 6.30 to midnight.

Meal for two Rs 2000

RATING FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3

My Spanish Love Bytes

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I’m a beginner…an excited, fumbling one. I’m savouring Spain and sharing Spain as I tweet (tweat) Instagram and put delicious bits and bytes on Facebook and WordPress. I’m even writing this column on this big fat phone which I bought a couple of days before landing in Barcelona.

So here I am in Barcelona, the city of culture, knowledge, creativity and innovation,  the capital of Catalonia, where Spanish genius has been nurtured  over centuries…be it Gaudi or Dali or Picasso or Ferran Adria.

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300 EL BORN

It is only in Catalonia that even the war which they lost (in 1714) is celebrated by Michelin starred chef Jordi val in his restaurant “300 el born” with typical Catalan dishes, which I enjoy as much as meeting him.

BAR BRUTAL CAN CISA

I went straight from the airport to  the hot, happening, new bar Brutal Can Cisa in the old city, not only are amazing Catalan Tapas served but also only “natural wines”.

CARME RUSTADILLA

Perfection marks the three Michelin starred Carme Rustadilla’s  masterpieces. The 62 year young Carme weaves magic in her seafront restaurant. Each dish is a work of art and artistry and our three hour long meal is a memorable parade of 23 courses. Bliss.

TICKETS

At “Tickets” the El bulli – Adria brothers, vibrant and fun tapas bar with a twist (and what a twist) wizardry and skill  results in quivering spheres which  implode with olive flavour,  artichoke ravioli, the world’s first gourmet beer and more. It’s a treat to meet Silvia Albert Adria.

PAKTA

At the Adria brothers Peruvian-Japanese fusion “Pakta” I am blown away by the ceviches and sushi withPeruvian overtones

BODEGA 1900, a vermouth bar is a nostalgic return to the good old days and honest, simple flavours of anchovies, potato chips and rustic dishes delight.

ESCRIBA

A visit to the hallowed home of chocolate since 1906 and I can’t stop eating the rich, dark chocolates and the bakeries signature  velevetty cream encased crisp “Cremadata” and hot chocolate.

A pop into the city’s oldest fruit and vegetable market BOQUERIA, completing the ritual of the grilled green onion dipped in Salbitaxada with Chef David Romero of Barcelona’s oldest legendary hotel; The Majestic and dinner on the communal table of Garrega’s family eatery complete my short, hectic stay here. Next stop?The “Worlds best restaurant”  “El Celler can de Roca” and it is a part of CatalonIa. Viva Catalonia!

PS Looking forward to receiving your advice, how-tos and tips on Twitter and Instagram @rashmiudaysingh 

Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra

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Please look  carefully. No! its not a genies lamp ( spewing smoke)  that you are seeing in the photo. But I still held it in my left hand and clicked the camera with my right hand. Reason?  This liquid nitrogen smoke  is at once a symbol of magic and science  that Mumbai’s latest progressive Indian restaurant uses to coax surprise, taste, texture from it’s dishes….

Article featured on Bombay Times

http://timescity.com/mumbai/bandra-e/indian-restaurant-masala-library-by-jiggs-kalra/102307

Masala Library Jan 10