bombay times

MINISTRY OF CRAB

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Crab and prawn cuisine

LEAD PHOTO

Hype. Hoopla. Awards. Crowned Srilankas “best restaurant 4 times in a row. Ranked 35thbest in Asia 2019, Maestro Dharshan Munidasa’s “Ministry of crab”  finally opened two months ago in Mumbai. Having had many a magnificent meal at the Colombo flagship, I was apprehensive about it’s Mumbai debut. Can the same high standard of live Mud crab be maintained? Will the fluffy woodfired Srilankan “kade” bread be as addictive? And wont the  Mumbai vegetarian be disappointed? The Colombo MOC has only veg side dishes. It offers only  three desserts and we Mumbaikars have a sweet tooth.  In short, Is there hope behind the hype?

BOOKED & COOKED

This is the first time that my ploy ( of my assistant booking in a fake name) did not work. Reason? Since we were six diners, they insisted my assistant  give   credit card details. That would’ve given my name away. So we  cancelled. We tried reserving many a time later, but it was all booked up.  And much later just two of us booked there. Under a fake name. Ofcourse!

 

DÉCOR

Majestic. Housed in a tall stand alone  corner building in Khar. A glamorous highceilinged space with arched glass windows. A sweeping staircase takes you upto the mezzanine bar. On the ground floor the  show kitchen takes centre stage. Railings and fluting, wallpaper and mirrors are art deco-inspired. Kudos to Basrai for the artful use of  tropical woody natural materials

 

FOOD

Go on. Get ready to make slurping noises, put on your bib and crack that perfectly cooked crab bathed in (my favourite)  bold lusty pepper sauce.

Take your pick ( Crabs  sizes, small, medium, half a kilo, XL,  the OMG and 2kg Crabzilla.) Pair it with pepper sauce, olive oil and chilli, soy, or garlic butter  and do lick your fingers,  every now and then.

My other addiction is the Prawnzilla served in a  glistening  pool of  the bold garlic chilli sauce.

Appetiser? Go for the crab salad scooped into a luscious avocado with a whisper of wasabi, perfect Crab cakes with raw mango sweet chutney. Must ask for the baked crab risotto, a masterly balance of  texture and flavour.

Vegetarians, youre in luck, delicious Coastal Indian dishes infused with coconut ( Goan curry with baby aubergine,  mangalorean gassi)   japanese style stir fried greens too. Keep space for a happy ending… “story of cocoa” . brilliantly presented in a giant cocoa  bean pregnant with

bitter chocolate mousse and coconut gel. Equally good is the deconstructed  spongy version of French Toast

sparkled with sago pearls and burnt butter icecream. Superb vegan icecreams and signature granitas too.

 

 

MINUS POINTS

Crabzilla was not available when we dined there. Kade bread baked in an  Irani bakery did not match up to its Srilankan counter part. Singapore Chilly crab sauce needed it’s sweetness to be toned down.

Lacklustre vegetarian ishtew and an oversweet Black pearl dessert were the other minus points.

 

MY POINT

Peel away the hype, take away the highprofile cricketing legends  partners with chef Dharshan Munidasa) and what do we get?  A seriously great restaurant dedicated to using only the highest quality of wild caught, even-clawed lagoon crab. Only live fresh crabs are used. And this shows in the glistening sweetness enhanced by the perfect cooking  of each crab (no matter which sauce you pick, it has oomph). Vegetarians are taken care of, as are those with a sweet tooth. My apprehension of maestro  Chef Dharshan Munidasa not being present in Mumbai is proved base less by the brilliant young chef Jerry Simon Thomas who ensures consistency in quality and recipe. Except for a few dishes which disappoint MOC Mumbai more than claws it’s way to meet up to expectations.  Be ready to shell out  high prices for stratospheric  quality. After all, we are in a three-levelled, high-ceilinged glamorous crab heaven.

 

 

MINISTRY OF CRAB

442, Chitrakar Dhurandar Marg, 14th Rd, Khar West

⋅Open 7:30PM

 +91 77108 98811

RATING FOOD 4 SERVICE 3.75 DÉCOR 4

Meal for two Rs 8000

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LILT-Modern Asian| Bar room

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Modern Asian
One more new restaurant opens in the Lower Parel  area. It announced it’s arrival with hype and hoopla as the culinary hot-spot, serving “modern Asian with an Indian twist” . It’s “Lilt Modern Asian” and there is an obvious 
investment of money, time and dreams. We popped in unannounced into a more or less empty restaurant. Does Lilt have a memorable harmony? Or does it strike discordant notes? Read the full article on https://www.bombaytimes.com/
LILT 1

REVIEW: SOUTH BOMBAY BAR

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In Worli’s Atria mall, South Bombay bar, nestles right next to my most favourite movie hall. Enter a large (really large) hall. Look up to admire the ceiling with Bombay’s map, there’s an island bar,quirky signages and dramatic lighting.Loud (really loud) music.Read my detailed review in today’s Bombay times or on whatshot.in.

At SOUTH BOMBAY BAR with the gorgeous trio Gayatri Chona, Meha Patel (centre) Nidhi Negandhi

 

SUPERSTARRED VEGETARIAN

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Breaking news! Delicious news! Especially for vegetarians and vegetarian food lovers. At the iconic King of hotels and the hotel of kings, George V in Paris, their one Michelin starred Lorangerie is presenting the most fascinating and gourmet vegetarian menu Ive ever tasted. When I wrote and researched the Worlds first vegetarian guide to Paris (published by Times of India and partnered by GeorgeV) I ate my way through my beloved city for two years. But this is the first time I actually watch the creation and innovation of a series of stunningly sublime vegetarian dishes. The genius Christian Lesquer of their gastronomique restaurant  and Alan Taudon  coax amazing flavors out of the freshest and finest of vegetables and present them with panache. Delicate gems of wizardry dazzle. And sparkle!

Three Michelin starred chef Christian Lesquer and Jean Claude Wietzel at the vegetarian tasting of Lorangerie.

REVIEW: PLUM BY BENT CHAIR

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Questions: Is this a home décor store which serves food? Or is it a restaurant which sells home décor? 

Ans: Yes to both. In the intriguigingly named “Plum by Bent  chair” it’s possible to  eat your salad and buy not o that funky plate  (a skull wearing headphones) it is served on and also the chair youre sitting on. 

Read my detailed review on whatshot.in

shop and dine: Behman and Lynne Homjee at PLUM BY BENT CHAIR

REVIEW: IZUMI

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Go for it!  it’s unpretentious. It’s in a seriously small space. It’s Seriously good. My kind of place.   It doesn’t take bookings and seats only 15 we were told. So  my Japanese food expert buddy and i reached there at 5.57 pm. Ate our way through the menu. Verdict: Bandra’s IZUMI lives up to it’s hype.  Read my detailed review on whatshot.in

 

REVIEW: SOI 69

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Good news! Breach Candy  got it’s own Thai sidestreet (Soi). It perches on the fourth floor and has chef co-owners Seefah  and Karan (who wowed with their  no-frills erstwhile “The Blue” in Bandra).  Bringing them in is celebrity restaurant- nightclub tycoon Rishi Acharya. Read my detailed review on whatshot.in

REVIEW: HOUSE OF LLYOD

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Goa weaves it’s magic in Juhu. It all started over two decades ago (in Goa ofcourse) when  Celia Braganza and her son Lloyd cooked up a place known for its home style cooking and welcoming warmth.  And it’s Goa once more…Juhu’s House of Lloyd with it’s charming cane furniture,  potted plants, Mario Miranda murals and retro music sets the perfect stage for  the authentic flavors of Goa. Read my detailed review on whatshot.in.

REVIEW: UNO MAS

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Charming and unpretentious. Relaxed yet rocking. Open through the day.

 Hats off to the dynamo women behind Uno Mas: Cordon Bleu trained chef Pallavi Jayswal and Priyanka Sharma,  patisseur Anurita Ghosh and  interior designer Tejal Mathur. We love the robust, exuberant fare. Read my detailed review on whatshot.in.

Flamenco friday: In UNO MAS, rocking yet relaxed with Meher and Pia Davis.
(dancer Anant Joshi, Guitarist Deepak Verma)