And everyone's invited. A new all-day restaurant recreates the colonial vibe of elite clubs with a vintage ambience and a menu featuring comforting, contemporary flavours
Lamb Massaman Curry meal; the bright interiors; Rati Aunty's Chutney Edu Pattice and Tsar Of Rus. Pics/Shadab Khan
As we enter Raghuvanshi Mills, we spot a massive clock on the tiled-roof façade of the first building within its premises. It belongs to Gymkhana 91, an all-day restaurant that opens tomorrow. The vintage-style clock harks back to a time when the elite would rely on clock towers to call it a day, after spending hours drinking MRP-rate booze and feasting on Steak Maneckji and Chicken Moscova at the city’s exclusive, members-only gymkhanas.
Owned by 30-year-old Aditya Hegde, whose family has been catering at Chembur and Ghatkopar gymkhanas for two decades, the new 3,000-sq ft space has a distinct colonial vibe with its arched bay windows, mosaic flooring, cane and marble furniture and a long bar.
The bright interiors
The extensive menu includes a mix of classic and contemporary fare where Eggs Kejriwal, Berry Pulao, Tibetan Thukpa, kulchas and kebabs share space with flatbreads, sushi, baos, dimsums and Thai curries. “It’s a modern take on gymkhana food. The menu of a gymkhana usually evolves based on members’ I plan to do the same,” shares Hegde.
Rati aunty gets her due
He has also followed the ubiquitous gymkhana quirk of naming dishes after its members. For instance, the Kuber Kulcha ('225) — melt-in-your-mouth and stuffed with garlic, cheese and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds and Sindhi chaat masala — has been christened after Prashant Gunjalkar’s (part of Salman Khan’s coterie) son, a regular at Chembur Gymkhana.
We also love Rati Aunty’s Chutney Edu Pattice ('245) — named after a friend’s mother who follows a homemade recipe dating back to 1940 — for its non-greasy and crispy potato coating, perfectly half-boiled eggs and tangy-spicy mint and chilli chutney. We wash this down with Tsar Of Rus ('445),
a potent and lip-smacking concoction of cream, caramel, vodka and kahlua.
Between sips of gin-coriander-lime infused East Indian Gimlet ('295), we dig into Crispy Chicken Katsu Bao ('265), enjoying the familiar flavours of a deep-fried chicken cutlet drizzled with a deliciously spicy Korean chilli sauce in light, slightly sweet buns made of lotus root flour.
World on my plate
Laced with noodles and vegetables, the generously-sized bowl of Tibetan Thukpa ('375) comforts with its mild flavours. The Lamb Massaman Curry ('450) scores for its slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone shanks doused in a creamy, coconut and tamarind rich Thai curry. We mop it up with wafer-thin roti canai and sticky rice. Unable to resist Chocolate Volcano with Orange Zest ('225), we take a bite of the gooey caramel and sponge-soft brownie. As tangy-sweet flavours tease our tastebuds, we soak in the sunlight and enjoy a relaxed afternoon. Isn’t that what gymkhana life is all about?
Opens on February 2, 11.30 am to 1 am
At Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, SB Marg, Lower Parel.