The Urban Kitchen (TUK) offers gourmet Italian vegetarian cuisine with select Mexican and Indian dishes that can satiate the palate of even hardcore non-vegetarians
Desi vegetarian food has come a long way from salads, paneer based preparations and Chhole Bathure. With a variety of stylish, specialised restaurants hitting the city, newbie joints have to keep innovating and realise that it takes more than a plate of Pizza-Dosa to please the palate of a discerning vegetarian. The Urban Kitchen (TUK) gets it right by focussing on gourmet Italian cuisine with Mexican and Indian fare.
The urban kitchen Food: yummy Service: prompt Ambience: simple
Spaghetti Aglio Olio
Hardcore non-vegetarian detractors may think that vegetarian dishes make for bland evenings, but once you sink your teeth into TUK's food, you will realise that invention is the key word here and you will forget your craving for meat. While the place is simple (yet elegant), the service more than makes up for it.
Since TUK's widest selection lies in their Italian and Mexican menu, we decided to start with the Mexicana Nachos (Rs 120). These were some of the best nachos we have had this year. It had smooth layered cheese and we loved it. The cheese melted well over crisp, fresh tortilla chips. We wish, however, that there was more than one kind of salsa flavour to enjoy it with.
The Mexican City Tacos (Rs 125) were stuffed with a variety of interesting vegetables. The crisp wheat chips were interestingly garnished with guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and salsa. The original sense of the word is of a "plug" or "wad" used to fill a hole. TUK gets it right.
We moved on to some Red Tomatina Basil Soup (Rs 80) that is laced with juicy red peppers, tomatoes and onion. The soup was rich, tasty and heart-warming. Layered with plenty of basil leaves (perhaps a tad too many) the soup was packed with intense flavour.
The Macaroni Cheese (Rs 195) was a classic. The sauce was well-distributed and plentiful. The flavour of cheese was prominent and the noodles added character and texture to the dish. We wished there was some topping that would have improved the overall flavour and texture of the dish. Perhaps half breadcrumbs or Parmesan cheese would have done the trick.
The Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Rs 195) was one of the most classic Roman dishes. All parts spaghetti, minced garlic and a smattering of red pepper was saut �ed perfectly. It wasn't bitter (as it tends to get) and the garlic turned a hot shade of a perfect brown.
We tried one Indian dish -- the Achari Khichdi (Rs 160). Dal Khichdi is one of the most popular comfort foods. The one at TUK is as comforting as it gets with a tadka of spicy achaar (pickle). Since the place doesn't serve alcohol, we tried out the variety of mocktails. The Anar Kali (Rs 75) was a nice khus-soda combination.
The Strawberry Punch (Rs 75) was a tad sweet but smooth, perfect for a summer picnic or family get-together but also worked well after an Italian meal. The Virgin Pina Colada (Rs 75) could have been more chilled but was satisfactory.
At: Mangal Kunj Building, B Wing, shop No 2, Linking Road, Bandra (W). Call: 9820162307 The Urban Kitchen didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.