When we hear of a new restaurant with a quirky name like The Spare Kitchen, our curiosity and taste buds were piqued equally with excitement. The sprawling Spare Kitchen that has replaced Don Giovanni was more like a Spare Mansion by city standards, with one inside section replete with brick walls and dark wood tables, a lounge area, an exterior seating area with a live pizza and pasta section and the classy fine dining in the centre of it —there’s something for everyone here.
There’s a huge menu too — it spans Italian, Continental and Indian. Usually, we don’t trust restaurants that mix so many cross-cultural cuisines and typically, turn into a jack of all. We were hoping to be proved wrong.
We started with the Malabari Lamb (R325), which were tiny uttapam circles with a spicy, almost Konkan style coconut based lamb preparation. For fans of South Indian fare, the intensive flavour and will keep them going to the last bite with the authentic Malabari taste. The presentation was tasteful and the service, quick and efficient. Next, the Golden Prawns (R425) arrived, and as expected, was a luscious dish where the prawns were well marinated in a battered paste and deep-fried. The accompanying chilly-sweet dip complemented it, perfectly.
The Al Pacino
(R 375, 10-inch) was the basic cheese and pepperoni pizza. There are two kinds of pizza, and only two. There’s take out, which is greasy, gooey, and crazy delicious. But, there’s also the up-market pizzeria pizza. Its ingredients are generally better and is found usually in pizzerias or authentic Italian restaurants.
They are different. Period. Sadly for us, it was the only dish that wasn’t up to the mark. The problem is that it was neither street pizza nor gourmet. In trying to maintain the balance, the point was lost. Not good, but not great. The pepperoni lacked bang for the buck.
The Apple Star Mojito (R150) was our star of the evening; this quintessential, classy mojito had a strong apple flavour infused for variation. The Green Tea Pannacotta, served gratis, was a dainty little dessert, the Italian cooked cream was fluffy, and had a distinct Green Tea taste. Finally, the Strawberry Rasmalai Cheesecake (R 325) was a stimulating combination of the said title ingredients, complete with a crumble. Not too sweet, and calorie conscious. A sweet ending in this kitchen.
At 5 Kings International Hotel compound, ground floor, Juhu Tara Road, opposite Juhu Church, Vile Parle (W).
Spare Kitchen didn’t know we were there. The GUIDE reviews anonymously and pays for meals
The writer can be followed @tansworld
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