Crab and prawn cuisine
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!
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
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.
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.
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
RATING FOOD 4 SERVICE 3.75 DÉCOR 4
Meal for two Rs 8000
And spearheading this amazing global Rosewood group and powering it with it’s unique magnetism is our very own dapper dynamic Radha Arora. Jai ho!
Hot and Sour Soup
10g Bean Curd – cut into Julienne
5g Wood Ear Mushroom – cut into Julienne
20g Dried Mushroom – Soaked with Water and cut into Julienne
10g Bamboo Shoot – cut into Julienne
50g Lobster Meat(optional)
10g Fishcake (optional)
Paste Chili Bean 2 – 3g Vinegar 8g (Season to Taste)
Dark Soy Sauce 2g
Chili Bean Paste 2g
Corn Starch 5g
Salt Season to Taste
Chicken Powder 3g
Sesame Oil 1g
Blanch all the condiments ingredients, keep aside.
Boil up all the ingredients of the soup base, add all the condiment ingredients and adjust the thickness with Corn Starch.
Finally add the Egg into the soup..
Discovery. Again and again, that’s the word that kickstarts my adrenalin. Be it while researching the Worlds first vegetarian guide to Paris or Indias first city restaurant guide. And todays’ restaurant gives me that same tingly, happy feeling. It sits quietly in Byculla. Elbowed into the printers compound, in one of the warehouses. It faces a Parsi chawl (yes there is such a thing) and yes! we did get lost trying to find it (because of some road closures) and ended up in Ghoddopeo village. We had a super time with great fun foodies. Yes! we will return. And make it a point to do so on Saturday… for the live-jazz night.
Having negotiated your way into the winding Byculla lanes, Walk into a low ceilinged reception area. And then wham! the warehouse’s highceiling, with amphitheatre-like steps comes as a surprise. There is a glassed in open kitchen, grey-toned industrial chic, Nikita DSilva ensures that the focus is on the food and the only pop of colour are the bright green plates.
Our server in a black uniform (like the rest of the servers) brings us the comprehensive short menu of what he calls “upscale comfort food” and when we ask for a a huge number of small and large plates of baos, burgers et al advises to slow down. A riveting parade of dishes begins …complimentry sticky rice balls with tangy sauces, prawn wafers with a dense bacon sauce.
Tart, sweet, salty, fruity bursts pop in many of the dishes. We love the refreshing juicy watermelon tucked into the Belgian pork belly bao with goat cheese enlivened with ginger coriander dressing.
Sweet persimmon chutney sparkles the charred broccoli served with airy burrata foam
Orange segments top the cast iron cauliflower, under a layer of mashed potatoes with Vadouvan butter, Citrus pesto in the seabass, guava in the pork belly… unexpected marriages. Fleshy moist eggplant plump with flavour and kissed with sweetness
Delicious dessert of PB & J–peanut butter mousse with textured peanut brittle on a chewy macaron base. Must ask for this dessert…Pillows of marshmallow bursting with blenders pride whisky over a callebaut mini molten lava cake sprinkled with miso caramel…Umami heaven.
Open only for dinner. Uncomfy chairs.The location is at once a minus and also a plus point. They do have valet parking. Thick skinned duck dumpling and chewy pork ribs are avoidable.
Please note, no take-aways and no kids.
Tucked into one of Byculla’s warehouses, Goyaa has a wonderful feel of discovering a hidden secret. It’s a grey minimalistic high-ceilinged space. Vibrantly seasoned and creatively composed with unexpected flavour combinations upscale comfort food of baos and more (plenty for vegetarians).
Not all of it works. Dishes priced at
Rs275 to Rs350 (the most expensive being Rs 450)
. The whole experience (including getting lost due to the closed road) is an exciting story. “Goyaa” is the Persian word for the art of telling a story. An unpretentious delicious story!
PS The twist to our story? we find out at the end…our unformed server is Siddharth Somaiya the brilliant 30 year old owner chef.
Goyaa, Unit No 2, JAK Compound, DK Cross Road, Byculla (E).
Rs 2000 for two.
Open from 7pm to 1am.
RATING FOOD 3.75 SERVICE 3.75 DÉCOR 3.75
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
It’s been my passion. Over the years. To track excellence and celebrate it. And while doing so…it’s the unexpected that kickstarts my adrenalin. And here in this magnificent Parisian landmark, I thrill to expect the unexpected. For almost a century, George V has been the epitome and the definition of Parisian luxury and elegance.
Le Cinq, it’s gastronomique restaurant been showered with three Michelin stars continuously. The sheer stratospheric excellence impeccable luxurious detailing has set a global benchmark. It has been home to the who’s who of the world. Located in the most luxurious part of Paris (where its secret aristocracy has lived for ages) the legendary Hotel George V reigns in its Franco-British aesthetic splendour. And amidst this exquisite Parisian splendour are two superlative surprises…Le George a down-to-earth Mediterranean restaurant and an amazing all-vegetarian menu in LOrangerie, it’s other restaurant.
A DOWN TO EARTH MASTERPIECE
Simply superb. Superbly simple.No two ways about it. It’s the worlds most luscious onion, plump with flavour and melt in the mouth too. It took the brilliant chef Simone Zanoni four whole days to cook it to his magical secret recipe, handed down to him by his grandmother. And this is just the beginning of the amazing masterpieces that’s sashay in. The brilliant young chef focuses on organic, local and grows his own vegetables and herbs. I taste one amazing creation after another infused with the chef’s personal influences and inspirations, such as the signature Le George dish the onion tarte tatin with parmesan sorbet. His creation of the Tomato tart with cacciopepe icecream dazzles.
Having worked with Gordon Ramsay, Chef Zanoni now helms Le George which has been making waves ever since it opened and also received i. Le George serves up Mediteranean magic
And does so amid shimmering priceless Baccarat chandeliers, mirrors and Lalique crystal. Healthy and light fare is all about “harmonious cuisine from the heart” an amazingly balanced and healthy menu (plenty of vegetarian too). This Le George more than lives up to the royal legacy it has inherited, after all it is born to the iconic George V, the hotel of kings and the king of hotels.
Chef Zanoni’s pasta is perfection. He generously shares the recipe
Tortelli Ricotta Lemon and Mint Recipe
-550g of flour type 45
-350g of egg yolk
-5g salt, 5g olive oil
-500g of ricotta
-70g grated Parmesan cheese
-40g of pecorino grated
-20g of egg yolk
-Sel, pepper PM
Make the dough by mixing all the elements with the robot cut, knead, well squeezed and let rest in the fridge 2 hours.
Make the stuffing by mixing all the elements in a container and then remove in pastry pockets.
Spread the dough using a rolling mill to have a parte about 2mm thick, arrange the dough on the worktop and prepare hazelnuts of ricotta stuffing the size of your cookie cutter on the half of the dough then fold the dough on itself, then cut the tortelli with the help of your cookie cutter.
Cook the tortelli in salted water for 1 minute,
prepare a pan with water and half-salted butter, a pinch of pepper and 2g of organic Sicilian lemon peel, remove the tortelli in the pan containing the mixture then finish cooking in the pan and at the end added chopped mint, then set on plate.
Great news! The 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.
And I do so in a modern conservatory of 7-metre high glass and–steel structure, which blends seamlessly with the architectural Art Deco style of the hotel with stunning views of the Courtyard dotted with orchids.
Creative Sublime wizardry of simplicity… finest of seasonal ingredients dazzle. Take a bow brilliant chefs!
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!
Along with Jean Claude Wietzel we taste our way through the concise, seasonal menu in which tradition is updated thanks to elegant, perfumed notes and a delicate blend of flavours.
The chefs reliably turn what’s already enjoyable into something very remarkable. And pure vegetarian too!
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.
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
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
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